Despite the struggles of UCLA basketball lately it is still one of the best basketball programs in the country. They got a whole lot better when one of the top players in the country committed to them. That player is Shabazz Muhammad. Some outlets have Muhammad as the best overall player in the class of 2012.
However Muhammad’s status for the upcoming season is still in question. The latest from ESPN Los Angeles.
UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad is not expected to receive eligibility clearance from the NCAA in time for the Bruins’ trip to China and will not travel with the team Aug. 22-29, the team confirmed Wednesday.
The NCAA is investigating whether Muhammad, the crown jewel in UCLA’s top-ranked recruiting class, received improper benefits during his recruitment. The organization has not made any determinations on Muhammad’s eligibility.
“Not sure if he will be eligible or not,” a source told ESPNLosAngeles on Tuesday. “There has been no ruling and it doesn’t look like there will be one before the China trip, so (UCLA is) holding him out.”
Muhammad is a 6-foot-5 wing player. Muhammad plays his high school basketball at Bishop Gorman High School in Los Vegas, NV. He has a ton of athletic ability but his motor makes him tough to stop, plus he already has a NBA type body. Muhammad is just a flat out scorer; he is always in attack mode. He excels at the mid-range game. He ever has a post-game. His three point shot and dribbling ability could use some work.
Muhammad finished with 35 points in the Nike Hoop Summit game. That was the most points scored by a player in the 15th year history of the event. He was also the MVP of the McDonald’s game.
There is no question the UCLA struggled this season, they were picked in the top 25, but things fell apart from there. A lot of off the court distractions played a big role in them struggling. However, in basketball things can change to the better quickly if you can get that impact player of players. Along with Muhammad the Bruins are also bringing in a top five player in Kyle Anderson. That is what UCLA has been lacking over the last couple of years, that elite player that can score 20 points on any given night. The Bruins return their starting front court with the Wear twins and Josh Smith.
Pac 12 opponents better watch out for the Bruins this season especially if Muhammad is playing.