Ben Howland: Shabazz Muhammad is leaving UCLA for NBA
The Bruins beat Arizona 74-69 Saturday in their final home game of the season. It was Senior Night at Pauley Pavilion, and though Larry Drew II was the only player honored, Muhammad may as well have been, too.
“I knew going into this season that his was a one-year deal. He’s a top-five pick. That was his last game in Pauley,” Howland said after the game, per the Daily Bruin’s Sam Strong.
“This wasn’t meant to be an announcement for Shabazz. I’m just being honest. … Just keeping it real,” the coach added, according to CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish.
Though Howland believes Muhammad is gone after the season, the Bruins’ top scorer is not ready to make that announcement.
“It’s a long season. We don’t know yet,” Muhammad said regarding his future, per Strong.
After sitting out the team’s first three games of the season waiting to be cleared by the NCAA, Muhammad joined the team and became its top scorer and 3-point shooter. UCLA has had a fair season based on expectations, but they still have two regular-season road games, the Pac-12 tournament, and the NCAA Tournament to leave a stronger legacy. Maybe Howland making the announcement can have a Ray Lewis-like impact on the team.