File this under “Things That Have Been Obvious For Months”: Former UK target Shabazz Muhammad will most likely declare for the NBA draft after one year at UCLA. Shabazz has yet to officially announce his decision, carefully toeing the party line and saying that he’ll wait until his season is over, but his coach is less shy about the reality of the situation. UCLA played their last home game of the season last night, and Bruins coach Ben Howland was pretty blunt about what that meant for his star freshman, saying “that was his last game in Pauley, no doubt about it.” Peter Yoon of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more for you:
Toward the end of the game, fans began chanting “one more year” for Muhammad in hopes of enticing him to come back. Howland, however, isn’t getting his hopes up. He said he held out hope that both Kevin Love and Jrue Holiday would return for a second season, but both players left after their freshman years.
Muhammad will do the same, according to Howland.
“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.”
Pat Forde has yet to weigh in on Howland’s quotes, but one imagines he’s thinking something witty and hilarious about Shabazz having money to buy more designer label backpacks. Just kidding. It won’t be witty or hilarious.
Now that Shabazz’s one and done-ness is a foregone conclusion, expect the early entry speculation to heat up surrounding other super frosh such as Marcus Smart, Ben McLemore, Glenn Robinson, Anthony Bennett, and of course, Nerlens Noel.
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