UCLA's incoming 6'6 freshman Shabazz Muhammad already has people talking. Muhammad has been ranked by CBS Sports as the No. 3 player in their pre-season top 100. The small forward is the highest-ranked freshman, and the top player in the Pac-12. He is preceded by Indiana center Cody Zeller and Creighton forward Doug McDermott.
According to the L.A. Times, Muhammad began voluntary preseason workouts in anticipation of UCLA's official training camp opening on Friday. Practicing may be the only thing that Muhammad is allowed to do for the next few weeks. UCLA is waiting on a decision by the NCAA regarding his eligibility.
Muhammad allegedly received improper benefits from the brother of an assistant coach on his high school team. He's also linked to a financial planner that helped provide funding for Muhammad's Las Vegas-based travel team. Those close to Muhammad are claiming that those accused of providing aid are close, long-time family friends, which is not considered an NCAA violation.
One person anxiously awaiting Shabazz's official arrival is Coach Ben Howland. Should Muhammad succeed at UCLA, Howland just might keep his job for another year.
UCLA opens its season Nov. 9 against Indiana State.