The Kentucky basketball team missed on one of its top and longest-sought targets in the 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday night when the nation's No. 1 prospect, Las Vegas wing player Shabazz Muhammad, announced he was signing with UCLA.
Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 player who averaged 30 points for his Bishop Gorman High School team this season, made the decision public during a broadcast on ESPNU on the first day of the five-week national spring signing period.
The pick was no surprise. Muhammad was tight-lipped about his decision in the days leading up to the announcement, although general sentiment among most recruiting analysts were that UCLA was at least a slight leader in his recruitment.
He was also considering Duke.
Muhammad, who will play in the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game on Saturday, will join the nation's No. 3 player, 6-8 point guard Kyle Anderson, at UCLA next season, creating a dynamic duo that could greatly enhance coach Ben Howland's Bruins.
After missing on No. 1, UK fans' attention will quickly shift to No. 2 - as in five-star center Nerlens Noel. He is set to make his pick between the Wildcats, Georgetown and Syracuse later in the ESPNU broadcast.