Mustafa Shakur, a 6-3 point guard from Friends Central H.S. in Wynnewood, Penn., spoke with Rivalshoops at length regarding his recruitment.
Shakur has narrowed his focus to three colleges this summer -- Arizona, Virginia and N.C. State. He's slated to visit Arizona the weekend of Sept. 13-15, and will trip to N.C. State from Sept. 27-29.
While nothing is etched in stone, Shakur said he could possibly visit Virginia the weekend of Sept. 20, between the visits to Arizona and N.C. State.
Shakur told Rivalshoops that he plans on signing early, and is not adding any more schools to his list in the weeks leading up to the fall signing period in November.
Here is the transcript of Shakur's Q&A last week:
Rivals Hoops: When we spoke to you in Las Vegas last month, you were looking at roughly five to six schools. When did you cut the list down, and what were some of the factors that led to you to narrow it down to those three schools?
Mustafa Shakur: I already knew a few of the schools that I was going to concentrate on, but I wanted to find out more about some of the other schools, so I just waited for the right time to narrow the list down. When I was in Las Vegas, I was at five schools. So when I got home, I continued on with the schools. After about two weeks, North Carolina and Georgia Tech were out of the picture. When Villanova got Mike Nardi, that dropped them right down.
RH: Did that make you drop Villanova, or would you have considered them still if they had waited things out and held Nardi off from committing?
MS: Not really. Because I don't want to lead a school on when I am not going to go there. So I would have told them that I was done with them recruiting me.
RH: Do you kind of want to go somewhere where you are the guard recruit?
MS: No, not at all. I just didn't think that [Villanova] was the place for me.
RH: When you got back from Las Vegas, you were in summer school. Did some of the schools come out to Philly to see you?
MS: Arizona came out. And North Carolina State, they were just about at every Sonny Hill game during the live period. And so was Arizona. They came to two or three games too.
RH: How did Virginia emerge so quickly on your list?
MS: Virginia was always in the picture, since two years ago. They were here also at the Sonny Hill games during the live period. School visits. They were here.
RH: It seems like they've supplanted some of the Big East programs that used to be on your list.
MS: I had like UConn and a couple of other Big East schools, but UConn wasn't really recruiting me that hard. And then they stopped calling me for some reason. So they were out of the picture. Boston College, they were in the picture at one time, as well as a couple of other [Big East schools]. I like Virginia and I feel comfortable with them. Not just because they came to my summer league games. Anybody can come to your games all the time.
RH: You have already scheduled official visits to Arizona and N.C. State. What are some of the things that you are going to be looking for when you starting taking your trips?
MS: I want to try to get to know some of the players and see how they feel about the coaching staff and the situation at the school. Whether or not they are comfortable with the style of play and if I am comfortable with it also.
RH: Will you look at the rosters of each team carefully to see if a school has a player that it recently signed at your position?
MS: Whatever school I choose, I am not going to choose off of a roster. I don't think. Not unless they signed somebody at my position in my class. If they signed somebody for 2002, I don't think I'd worry about too much.
RH: Can you talk about the relationships with the coaching staffs that you have formed, especially Arizona and N.C. State.
MS: Arizona, the assistant coach is Coach Tention, and Lute Olsen, I thought he was a laid back guy, a cool guy. If you look at him, you might think he was uptight. But I met him, and he is a cool guy. Coach Tention is a former point guard from San Francisco, so that's a good thing. And Josh Pastner, he's like a new assistant there. He was there when Bibby was there, and Jason Terry. There's a lot of history there.
RH: And N.C. State?
MS: They are a team on the rise. They are getting better and better every year. Julius Hodge and some of the other guys -- they have some hard working players. And Herb Sendek, he had one of the best school visits I ever had. A good visual presentation and everything. It was good.
RH: Is there anybody that you are going to counsel or lean on in your decision-making process?
MS: Basically, the decision is up to me. Because it's going to be so tough. North Carolina State, Arizona and Virginia are all good schools. I want to get advice, but it's going to be up to me.