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On the Kyle Anderson/ Shabazz combo deal

If you hadn't seen clips, heard the stories, or seen the sick stats before the Elite 24 game last weekend, and it was your first time seeing Kyle Anderson, you would have stopped what you were doing and said "that slow dude's some on some next level [mess]".

And you'd be right. The coveted Kyle Anderson is seen to be a game changer, a transformative prospect, the subject of much debate on Twitter and on blogs. When the 6'8" forward/ guard/ player breathes, fans want to know which way he leaned.

But despite anyone's "inside information", they don't know. But every fanbase has an opinion, and think their opinion's right - including the idea of Kyle Anderson playing with Shabazz Muhammad. It could happen.

It could also be just hype marketing.

The concept of Shabazz and Kyle was/is sweet music to the UCLA fans. For a set of fans who have struggled with recruits who haven't maintained the level of excellence the Bruins feel they should be accustomed to, the fantasy of TWO top-5 prospects sends pulses racing. Any group of fans outside of Kentucky would be beside themselves with joy.

But the meat of the story is: two top-5 prospects met, like each other, say it's possible that they could play together and be the heart of a monster class at some school; and currently, UCLA is the school where their interests intersect. 

Despite the energetic excitement from the west, the numerous articles on Kyle and Shabazz, and the rantings of a commenter who vigorously uses the #stjbb hashtag on Twitter, all there is to the story is two guys saying they like each other. Kyle Anderson and his father have been in control of their recruitment and publicity, and have chosen to announce on September 20th. Shabazz has stated he will wait until the spring to announce his college choice, and Shabazz hasn't even cut his list to seven.

How can they commit to the same school on different timetables? Would Anderson give up his agency and wait for another six months? Maybe, but given what we know about the Andersons, that doesn't seem likely; it would be a loss of control. The Andersons have been men of their word, unlike other top prospects have been (see: Lance Stephenson, others).

But the one constant is that the Andersons are deft at building the Kyle Anderson brand, getting fans to talk about him and his game - a bit of grassroots marketing, if you will.

They have displayed a keen sense of having their own priorities, not just a consideration of the flashiest colleges. UCLA is obviously a contender, but we don't know where Kyle is leaning towards.

There are another 20 days before we hear what college he chooses. And along the way, Kyle and his father have done an excellent job of keeping the recruiting game under wraps, maintaining control over their recruiting and publicity, building the legend in the major media markets.

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