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ESPN’s “Experts” Predict The Future

ESPN’s high school basketball recruiting experts don’t have a crystal ball — it would be so much easier if they did — but they all came together to give their predictions for Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad.

Here is where each ESPN “expert” believes the nation’s top two prospects will end up:

Nerlens Noel

Paul Biancardi: Kentucky

Adam Finkelstein: Kentucky

Joel Francisco: Georgetown

Mike LaPlante: Kentucky

Reggie Rankin: Kentucky

John Stovall: Kentucky

Dave Telep: Kentucky

(Kentucky 6, Georgetown 1)

Shabazz Muhammad

Paul Biancardi: UCLA

Adam Finkelstein: UCLA

Joel Francisco: UCLA

Mike LaPlante: Kentucky

Reggie Rankin: Kentucky

John Stovall: Kentucky

Dave Telep: UCLA

(UCLA 4, Kentucky 3)

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

51 Comments for ESPN’s “Experts” Predict The Future



  1. mocha
    5:02 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens Noel
    Me: Kentucky

    Shabazz Muhammad
    Me: Kentucky



  2. Taylor
    5:04 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens is easily going to geaorgetown and shabazz to ucla whether you guys like it or not we wont get either of them.



  3. Nerlens
    5:04 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Me:Kentucky



  4. Nerlens
    5:05 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    KSR ….home of the super trolls, Jesus Taylor this story came out like 2 seconds ago



  5. Chicago Chris
    5:05 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Joel Francisco projects total whiff. Hmmm.



  6. Chicago Chris
    5:06 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Francisco must go!



  7. PitinoLicksCardinalScrotum
    5:06 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Both are UK bound.



  8. Stamps
    5:06 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Going to UCLA would be a mistake. If it was me I would want to go to the hottest school with the most press. So I could make it to the pros with a good draft spot.



  9. Chicago Chris
    5:07 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Taylor’s playing the safe card. We get either, he’s happy, we get neither, then he’s some kind of seer.



  10. mdd34
    5:08 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    @2 – Debbie Downer.



  11. Chicago Chris
    5:08 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Prediction: Noel comes to UK but loses the flattop before next season; Big Blue Nation mourns.



  12. BPsycho
    5:08 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    #2 So… Even if we don’t get them, we still win, all we do is win win win Taylor!



  13. Bicycle Seat Sniffer
    5:09 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens: Kentucky
    Bazz: UCLA



  14. bow to the brow 23
    5:15 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens:arkansas littlerock
    shabazz:tennesee tech



  15. fencepost
    5:16 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    How bout we get Bazz & Nerlen then here comes along Bennett think bout it



  16. Who cares
    5:16 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    For some reason in not really caring about where either one of them go.. I was really into it before and during the tourney but now.. They need us way more than we need them….
    .



  17. JMF
    5:16 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Biancardi and Telep know their stuff. THey both say Bazz to UCLA and Noel to UK. I would write that down as what will happen.



  18. nassau65
    5:20 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    both to UK, point blank, period. oh wait, that didn’t work the first time.



  19. ghostface
    5:28 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    What in the hell are these ‘experts’ predictions based on? Gut feeling? Cal’s reputation as a recruiter? Nothing?



  20. Drew
    5:29 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    If Nerlen comes, we need a new version of “bow to the brow”. Maybe “Can’t stop the flat top”? Does anything rhyme with “Fresh Prince?”



  21. Fear the Brow
    5:30 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    I still think that UK has a good shot at both, but certainly seems like Noel is the more likely of the two. And honestly, although I’d love to have both, I prefer Noel.

    Also just saw some expert from 247 said “There is a better chance of Kentucky landing both of them than landing neither of them.”

    That quote with a full story is over here http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/326282/20120410/shabazz-muhammad-ucla-nerlens-noel-kentucky-syracuse.htm



  22. Cornhole
    5:31 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens and Oriaki will be UK’s spring signees. Bazz will got to the UCLANS and Bennett will go to Florida as Cal will take a commitment from Oriaki when he visits UK instead of waiting until June when Bennett will makes his decision. Wiltjer and Poythress can both swing ay small forward and power forward. Wiltjer will be a lot better with a summer in the weight room. Poythress is very underrated and will be a dunking machine.



  23. GMONEY
    5:32 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    The fact that Cal is going to be in the house gives me the feeling that we get BOTH



  24. UpperSectionStudent
    5:35 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Their guess is as good at mine. So, with that being said, I think both will to Mars and become the main attraction at Moron Mountain. Then Jon Hood will team up with Looney Tunes to return them safely to earth. And they will return the favor by playing 4 years for Kentucky.



  25. BenHowland
    5:36 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Open that FedEx package I sent Shabazz doesn’t “pop” open



  26. BenHowland
    5:37 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Hope..not open



  27. Tomorrow
    5:38 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    I know more than yesterday ever will



  28. Coach K
    5:40 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Open that UPS package I sent Shabazz doesn’t “pop” open too



  29. pioneer
    5:41 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    When will we just stop giving a shit about what these talking heads have to say about where a recruit is going to commit to? Yes they follow the players, their AAU teams and their high school teams closely. Yes they also have “sources” and have supposed insider information. But if we would just listen to the recruits they are keeping these decisions close to the collar. Who cares what ESPN brainwashed insiders believe. The announcements are all that matters at this point! Too much hyperbole!

  30. What about Patterson & Lucas?

    Okay, stale joke…sorry.



  31. Eric K
    5:50 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    BBN don’t worry, IN CAL WE TRUST!! With or without them we are KENTUCKY!! GO CATS!!



  32. Nerlems Shabazz Oriaki
    5:59 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    My name is Kentucky



  33. Kim
    6:00 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    The one thing I disagree with Coach Cal on is the timeline for his players declaring. He seems adamant that none of his players will declare by today, because he doesn’t like the rule. But at the same time, wouldn’t it help recruits to know who is leaving? I mean, Davis is a lock. But Jones, Lamb, MKG, don’t you think Shabazz and Bennett want to know this? I think this is a mistake on Cal’s part. If the players know they are leaving, let them declare.



  34. Wall2Cousins
    6:03 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    23. nailed it….why would Cal be on the espn TV show if he didnt get atleast 1 or maybe both…doesnt make sense if he is on a show about recruiting,which he is known for,and not get 1 of them.



  35. Trust in Cal
    6:15 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    33…is it possible that Cal knows who’s leaving and who’s staying? Maybe he has told the recruits, and they have it on lock down.



  36. Yosemite Sam
    6:15 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    33 I’m sure Coach Cal has let the recruits know who’s leaving.



  37. BusterBrown
    6:16 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    bazz to ucla and its a good thing



  38. Al's IndiCats
    6:18 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Seriously, if Bazz goes to the bruins, how will he be a top ten draft choice only going to to the NIT? Would you want to spend your only year in college, only being on a local station, when if FACT he could go to UK and be on the national tv almost every game? Rumor has it, they’re thinking about digging up Sam Gilbert for Bazz to the bruins.



  39. Bobbyperrysucks
    6:44 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Let bazz take his 25 shots a game to ucla. They need it. Noel is the more important recruit.



  40. SEEYABAZZ
    7:05 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Noel to uk.
    Shabazz to UCLA
    UCLA will be a good place for him. He can dominate the ball.Cal has said UK isn’t for everyone



  41. 00BBN00
    8:03 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    If Cal knows who is declaring for the draft, and the players themselves know who is declaring. Why wouldn’t you go ahead and make it public? Unless you’re basically trying to give the NCAA the finger…



  42. Truth be told
    8:12 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    I dont think we get either. I dont see how In the hell anyone can pick another school over UK right now but we will miss on both. Bazz for some reason wants to play with Kyle at UCLA and Its going to be a trainwreck. BH Is a horrible coach and he cant control his players on or off the court. Noel Isnt that impressed with UK as many think and hes going to go old school like his haircut and go to Georgetown because believe It or not the Hoyas are pretty damn popular up there. Both think they can be one and done no matter where they go. They may be right but their pro careers will suffer from having subpar college coaches and they will both run as fast as they can to escape their collective trainwrecks and get to the NBA. In the meantime they will both be passed up by Goodwin and Poythress on the draft charts.



  43. bmt22033
    8:38 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    I’d still like to have both of them because Cal has proven now that he can take a bunch of five star recruits (and their egos) and get them to come together as a team. Two things stand out to me about Shabazz, though: 1) the potential eligibility problems would be magnified 10 fold if he were to come to UK and 2) watching him at the Nike Hoops Summit the other night, he seems like a ball hog (yes, he scored 35 points IIRC, but that’s not gonna happen every night). I also agree that Noel is the more important of the two. Seeing how AD changed the game this season was like tailoring a job req just for Nerlins Noel. You just drop him right in and keep on rolling.



  44. cruse
    8:39 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    hate to say but my hunch tells me they’ve got a plan to play together & it ain’t for us. UCLA is it. Why, because one is a selfish gun who could care less where he plays cause “He’ll get his for one year & flat top wants the same. If I’m right then it is what it is, we’ll be fine UCLA will not go beyond the sweet sixteen. See a coach comes in handy during that tourney & no one can match Cal.



  45. Rixter
    8:46 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    44, UCLA isn’t recruiting Noel



  46. Catsrule101
    8:59 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    I think Poythress is going to be a great cat. As far as Bazz….I think he likes to shoot too much for Cals system. I hope we get him but I don’t know how he will handle the concept pf sharing the ball. Cal should be on the phone tonight with Bazz and Noel telling them that Zeller and Watford are coming back to Indiana. If they think any of their other choices have a chance of beating Indiana next year, they are dillusional. If they complete this UK team that will be their best shot at a championship. Cal had also better go hard for Wiggins next year..that kid is going to be phenomenal.



  47. crackerhillbilly
    9:13 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Gotta feeling Bazz is way more ego than he is worth. Key to Cal’s system has been getting future teen millionaires to play total team ball. Don’t see this kid doing that. UCLA would be a perfect place to showcase selfishness.



  48. Paducahfan
    9:16 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Seems like we should get more time to celebrate before we have to start fretting about who will be playing next year. Not even a week.



  49. Catsrule101
    9:38 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to Kentucky basketball.



  50. iamthebobcat
    9:39 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    sha-duke



  51. Holy-Thumbs
    10:48 pm April 10, 2012 Permalink

    If Bazz choses UCLA, that’s cool cause it’s close to where he lives. However, if he passes both UCLA and UK to attend Duke, consider him the most hated college player since Laetner.