UCLA has cleared freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and former St. Anthony star Kyle Anderson in Gucci-gate.
The two freshmen were seen wearing designer Gucci backpacks following UCLA’s 84-73 upset of No. 6 Arizona Thursday night.
The Gucci Website shows backpacks that go from $990-$1350.
That triggered a report from Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, which, in turn, triggered an investigation by UCLA Compliance.
“The UCLA Athletics Compliance Office has confirmed that men’s basketball players Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson received items in question as gifts from their respective families and the matter is closed,” the statement read. To read more of this story, click here
Things continue to get wild in Westwood.
No. 24 UCLA, off to a 4-2 start that included Sunday’s loss to Cal Poly, announced that junior center Josh Smith has left the team.
“Joshua is a fine young man who has meant a lot to this program,” said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. “I know I speak for myself and my staff when I thank him for his time in Westwood and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Smith is the second player to leave the program in four days, following the transfer announcement of junior guard Tyler Lamb. To read more of this story, click here
UCLA junior guard Tyler Lamb will transfer at the conclusion of the fall quarter and conclude his college career at another school, the school announced.
Lamb missed four weeks of practice prior to UCLA’s 2012-13 season opener after having undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Oct. 9. The 6-foot-5 guard from Covina, Calif., returned to action against Indiana State on Nov. 9 and scored four points in 14 minutes.
He sat out the team’s next two games with a swollen left knee and did not play in UCLA’s two games of the championship round of the Progressive Legends Classic in Brooklyn on Nov. 19-20. To read more of this story, click here
BROOKLYN — UCLA freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson are friends, roommates and teammates.
Just rookies, they have both already suffered through injuries, been investigated by the NCAA and subsequently cleared.
They have an obvious chemistry off the court dating to their high school days, and their chemistry on the court could go a long way in determining how far the No. 11 Bruins go this year.
So one play early in UCLA’s 60-56 victory over Georgia Tuesday night in the Legends Classic consolation game could offer a window into what the duo — one a supremely skilled passer with great vision, the other a born scorer who can put the ball in the basket a number of different ways — can accomplish down the road. To read more of this story, click here
BROOKLYN — Knicks GM Glen Grunwald and assistant GM Allan Houston were among the nearly 50 NBA scouts at the Barclays Center Monday to watch the Legends Classic.
The event features a slew of potential first-round draft picks in 2013, including potential No. 1 overall picks Cody Zeller of Indiana, a 7-foot sophomore forward, and Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-6 freshman small forward of UCLA.
After having no first-round pick in 2012, the Knicks own one in 2013, but they don’t have a second-round pick. To read more of this story, click here
BROOKLYN — When Shabazz Muhammad was cleared by the NCAA of amateurism violations last Friday, the organizers of the Legends Classic caught a major break.
The 6-foot-6 UCLA small forward would make his much-anticipated collegiate debut here — in Jay-Z’s borough– against Georgetown, with a possible heavyweight showdown against No. 1 Indiana coming in the final.
Ideally, that would have meant a meeting between Muhammad and Indiana sophomore center Cody Zeller — both of whom are considered potential No. 1 picks in the 2013 NBA Draft.
But, alas, it was not to be. To read more of this story, click here
By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
BROOKLYN — Most of the hype leading up to Monday’s second Legends Classic semifinal between No. 11 UCLA and Georgetown surrounded the homecoming of Kyle Anderson and the college debut of Shabazz Muhammad.
But Georgetown’s own stellar trio made sure the hype afterwards was about them.
Junior guard Markel Starks had a breakout game with a career-high 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting and 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Otto Porter came back from a one-game absence to contribute 18 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and five assists as the unranked Hoyas surprised the Bruins, 78-70, in front of a pro-Georgetown crowd at Barclays Center.
Sophomore forward Greg Whittington added 13 points for Georgetown, which advances to an intriguing Legends Classic final against No. 1 Indiana, which outlasted Georgia in Monday’s other semifinal, 66-53.
To read more of this story, click here
Kyle Anderson Sr. says that when Shabazz Muhammad makes his season debut Monday night against Georgetown at the Barclays Center, the nation will see the best college basketball player in the land.
He also questions how UCLA head coach Ben Howland is using his son, Kyle Anderson Jr., a natural point guard who has played on the wing in the Bruins’ first three games.
“Watching [Muhammad] play, there are times when he looks like the best player in the country,” Anderson Sr., a former Division 1 assistant coach and current AAU coach with the Playaz Basketball Club, told SNY.tv on Sunday.
“I don’t think there’s anyone — at his best — that’s bettter than him now.” To read more of this story, click here
Shabazz Muhammad has been set free.
As a result of UCLA’s Friday hearing with the NCAA appeals committee, the 6-foot-6 Muhammad was cleared by the NCAA of amateurism violations and can suit up Monday against Georgetown in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn.
“I am excited to be able to play for UCLA starting next Monday,” Muhammad, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, said in a statement. “My family and friends were very supportive of me throughout this process and I couldn’t have gone through this without them.”
Said UCLA head coach Ben Howland: “I am relieved that this long, arduous process has come to an end. So many people worked very hard on this case and I am eternally grateful to them as well as the Bruin family, who stood by us throughout. I am pleased that Shabazz will be able to begin his collegiate career.”
Here’s the NCAA’s statement: To read more of this story, click here
UCLA coach Ben Howland doesn’t know when he will learn the result of UCLA’s Friday hearing with the NCAA appeals committee regarding Shabazz Muhammad but he’s “hopeful” the star freshman will debut soon.
The hearing ended by 1 p.m. EST Friday, the L.A. Times reported.
“We’ll be very excited when we get him back,” Howland said Friday on a conference call in advance of the Legends Classic next week in Brooklyn involving the Bruins, No. 1 Indiana, Georgetown and Georgia.
“We’re really looking forward to getting him back and excited. Hopefully that will occur here, so we’re just very hopeful.” To read more of this story, click here