Basketball: No surprise here — UCLA’s Howland says Shabazz Muhammad to leave for NBA

Here’s one we could all see a mile away: UCLA coach Ben Howland said after Saturday night’s win over Arizona that star freshman Shabazz Muhammad will leave school after this season to enter the NBA.

Even Howland says he knew it was coming from the start.

“I’m very much a realist now,” Howland said. “I knew going into this deal that this was a one-year deal, and it should be. He’s a lottery pick. He’s a top-five pick. When you have that going for you, it is absolutely the right thing.”

Question is: Will freshmen Kyle Anderson and/or Jordan Adams decide to follow Muhammad to the pros?

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Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Brethren. Jabari bird has already said this is his plan as well. Lets hope next year is a sweet 16.

  • milo

    The NBA needs to change the rules and just let kids in from HS or create a juniors program like Europe.

  • Juancho

    Bingo milo.

    I think high schoolers SHOULD be able to enter the draft.

    And if they do not sign then thry should be able to go to college.

    That is how baseball does it.

    However once a kid signs up for college i think they should be ineligible for the draft for 3 years. After their junior year for instance.

  • Gobears49

    From what I’ve seen on video (OK, they are only highlights), Jabari Bird is already better than Shabazz — better shooter, quicker (imagine him running the fast break with Wallace and Cobbs), and a better shot blocker. Best looking recruit, at least on video, I have ever seen for Cal). Hope he can pass, though I would be surprised if he cannot, but he will definitely free up pressure on Crabbe to get some decent, open, shots within the arc, instead of him having to way outside the arc, like he often does now, to find open ones. Crabbe’s scoring average could even go up a bit next year as a result of not being as closely guarded as he is this year.

    An idea I just thought of is to have Monty have Crabbe meet Bird so Crabbe can get a good feeling that Bird is a team guy and will not detract much from Crabbe’s lead role on the team if Crabbe decides to return. I can’t see how this would be against NCAA rules.

    BTW, I think Crabbe has really improved his game this year in his being able to drive to the basket (especially to the rim), his rebounding, and his shot blocking. I hear he plays good defense (though I hear from some pro comments that the stud on that is Wallace. But Crabbe needs to learn to create his own shot more moving with the ball (though not a forced one). I think Cobbs is easily better than Crabbe at that now, which is one reason why he also is a pro prospect.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Gobears, Jabari looks better than Kidd did as a recruit? If that’s the case then Bird has no business messing with college. But I hope its true, as unbelievable as it sounds.

    Crabbe is a projected first round pick, he’s gone, 98% sure of that. He’s probably wanted that at age 5.

    You should be able to enter the NBA draft outta high school, obviously, but if you sign a college scholarship you should have to go for a minimum of 2 seasons, and the school should try and help you earn an AA degree in that time (wishful thinking).

    Beat furd. Go Bears!

  • Gobears49

    Should have qualified that Kidd would still be our best all-time recruit. Also, maybe Shareef would be second (he was voted best freshman AND best player his freshman year, his only year at Cal). In an earlier comment, a few weeks ago, I think I said Bird would be behind Kidd in terms of all-time recruits. I think Bird should easily qualify as being a higher rated recruit over Powe. He has more tools and, I don’t believe, was seriously injured in high school, as I believe Powe was.

    Still think Monty should sit down with Crabbe and Bird and tell them how he plans to run to the team next year, that team ball will be the watchword and that anyone who doesn’t follow that will get less playing time, perhaps significantly, than they otherwise would have. Plus, Monty should say he would bring freshmen along at a gradual pace, like he did Wallace this year. I can see Bird not starting at the start of next year if Crabbe returns. Then we would have all three of our guard/small forwards back, the strongest part of our lineup (though our bigs are coming on).

    The point is, if Cal wants to be really good next year, it needs Crabbe to come return. If he does, it could be a season to remember. Cal has never been past the Sweet 16 since 1960. Next year could be that year if Crabbe returns. But other things need to fall into place, such as a healthy Kreklow returning and another front court guy stepping up to get significant playing time.