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October 24, 2014

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prep recruiting:

Big-name schools, coaches are recruiting this week in Las Vegas

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Justin M. Bowen

Bishop Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad dunks over Palo Verde’s Nick Hipwell on Tuesday during the Sunset Regional championship game. Gorman won 79-62.

Basketball coaches from college powerhouses Kentucky and North Carolina were in Las Vegas this week on the recruiting trail.

North Carolina assistant coach Jerod Haase visited Bishop Gorman High on Monday and Tuesday. The defending national champion Tar Heels are interested in Gorman's Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 sophomore forward who recruiting Web site Rivals.com lists as the nation's top recruit for the class of 2012.

Muhammad already has 10 scholarship offers, including one he received from UNLV last winter during his freshman year. He also has offers from Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and others.

At Findlay Prep, Kentucky coach John Calipari visited Monday primarily to recruit senior Cory Joseph, one of the nation's top point guard prospects according to ESPN.

Joseph late last fall trimmed his list to five schools — Connecticut, Minnesota, Texas, UNLV and Villanova. Joseph likely won't make a decision until Findlay finishes its season in six weeks. He said this week that he hasn't added or removed schools from consideration.

Also, TCU coach Jim Christian was in the stands Tuesday night at Palo Verde for the Sunset Regional title game. The Horned Frogs are one of several schools recruiting Gorman guard Johnathan Loyd, who had a game-high 25 points in the Gaels' win against Palo Verde. TCU plays UNLV on Wednesday.

The 5-foot-9 Loyd has a visit scheduled for Northwestern next weekend. He has offers from multiple schools, including SMU, Northern Arizona, Cal-State Northridge, Cal-State Riverside and others.

However, coaches weren't able to talk with the players. This is the middle of the NCAA's evaluation period, where coaches can make in-person evaluations at practices or games, but can't conduct off-campus visits.

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