Noel didn’t waste anytime in trying to help his new coach recruit. He took to Twitter to persuade former Tilton High School team mate Alex Oriakhi to come to Kentucky. Noel’s tweet read:
#BBN We needa get @aoriakhi34 (Alex Oriakhi) to join!! Show him love!! #WeAreUK
Nerlens knows that Oriakhi’s leadership and his veteran savvy will be vital to a title run. His team list is down to Kentucky, North Carolina, Xavier and Missouri.
Lost in all of the Nerlens Noel hub-bub was Shabazz Muhammad. His decision to go to UCLA was quickly overshadowed by Noel’s decision to come to Kentucky. The ESPNU signing day special shifted gears and Shabazz was almost an afterthought.
Muhammad made some unusual remarks about UCLA being bad for two years and that he hopes they can sell out Paulie Pavilion, where the Bruins play their home games. To say that ‘Bazz didn’t sound too thrilled about UCLA is an understatement.
Of course the rumors are that he is in the pocket of Adidas thanks to his father and that since UCLA is an Adidas school and Kentucky is a Nike school, that he was destined to go to UCLA anyway. Maybe Shabazz is disappointed that he didn’t get to go to the school that he truly wanted to attend only to be stuck at Ben Howland’s circus. Only he knows the truth.
It’s also noteworthy that Shabazz may still be facing NCAA ineligibility due to improper benefits. He seemed like an intelligent, good kid on television. I hope everything works out for the young man.