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Shabazz Muhammad makes his case to be top pick in 2013 NBA Draft

2012 American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection is dominating as a freshman at UCLA



Shabazz Muhammad at Bishop Gorman (left) and at UCLA. / USA TODAY Sports Images

This marks the 30th anniversary of USA TODAY recognizing the nation's top high school athletes. As we prepare to unveil the 2012-13 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Basketball Team at the end of the season, we'll dig into the archives and check in with ALL-USA honorees from the past three decades.

MORE: Preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA Team

There was no player in the 2012 class that combined the strength and athleticism of Shabazz Muhammad.

Still, the thing that set Muhammad apart was his relentless tenacity.

Once Muhammad made up his mind that he was going to score a basket, the only thing left for the defender to decide was whether that was going to be on the free-throw line or not.

“Shabazz is just a beast,” said Rodney Purvis, a freshman combo guard at N.C. State who came out with Muhammad. “He knows how to use his body and he’s determined when he’s on the court. He’s about business.”

He handled his business in a dominant manner during his senior year, averaging 29.8 points and 9.9 rebounds a game while leading Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) to a state title.

Now a freshman at UCLA, Muhammad has excelled with the same business approach.

On Monday he was named Pac-12 player of the week after scoring 27 points, including seven in overtime, to lead UCLA past No. 7 Missouri on Dec. 28.

This season Muhammad, who DraftExpress.com predicts will be the top pick in the 2013 NBA draft, is leading the Bruins in scoring (19.6 points per game) and has scored in double figures in every game he's played this season. 

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.

 

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