It should come as no surprise that UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland announced star freshman Shabazz Muhammad had played his last home college basketball game after the team’s 74-69 win over No. 11 Arizona.
It was previously expected that Muhammad was entering his final game at Pauley Pavilion and his head coach’s comments all but confirms that he will be heading to the NBA Draft following the conclusion of the season.
“That was his last game in Pauley Pavilion, no doubt about it. I know that. He knows that. We all know that,” Howland said.
“This wasn’t meant to be an announcement for Shabazz, I’m just being honest. Just keeping it real. I’m very much a realist now. 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.”
While Howland was confident that his star freshman was one-and-done, Muhammad did not appear ready to make a commitment about his future.
“It’s still a long season of basketball, I kind of thought about it,” Muhammad said. “I’m really happy I came here and represented UCLA. It was definitely the right decision. The fans here are great, I have enjoyed myself this whole year, getting experience at the college level.”
When it’s all said and done, Muhammad will almost certainly go to the pros. With his top five draft status, it would be a wise move to capitalize on his opportunity to be selected high in the first-round.