Anderson cleared, Muhammad waits
UCLA freshman guard Kyle Anderson has been cleared by the NCAA.
The NCAA investigated the relationship between Anderson’s father, Kyle Sr., and an NBA agent. The family argues the relationship with the agent has been a long-standing one and wasn’t started after Anderson’s rise as a national recruit, according to reports.
“UCLA was informed by the NCAA earlier today that freshman guard Kyle Anderson is eligible to play this season, and that the NCAA has found no evidence to substantiate claims of violations in his case,” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a written statement. “I am grateful to all those who were involved in the process. We are looking forward to opening our season on November 9 against Indiana State at New Pauley Pavilion.”
Anderson is one-fourth of the heralded recruiting class brought in by head coach Ben Howland, ranked by many as the top in the nation.
He has been compared to big guards such as Penny Hardaway and Magic Johnson for the way he can handle the ball at 6-8 and his court vision. His role with the Bruins however will be more off the ball with Larry Drew II normally running the show, that is, of course, if Anderson doesn’t get the defensive rebound.
Anderson has been challenged by Howland to attack the defensive glass. As an incentive, Howland told him after any defensive rebound he gets, he’s free to get the ball into the front court and get the Bruins into their offense.
Anderson was a big get for Howland and the Bruins, but he’s no Shabazz Muhammad. The unquestioned cream of the class remains under investigation by the NCAA.
The chances of him being cleared before the Nov. 9 opener against Indiana State appear slimmer by the day.
Muhammad’s amateur status is in question following allegations of improper benefits he may have received in high school, including allegedly receiving money to pay for unofficial recruiting trips.
Unlike Anderson, Muhammad didn’t make the trip with the Bruins to China during the summer, signaling the fact that Muhammad’s case is a bit more extreme.
If he’s cleared or not, the chances of Muhammad playing in the opener are slim following a shoulder strain he suffered in practice last week. Following an MRI, it was announced Muhammad would be out two to four weeks with the injury.
Muhammad is a bona fide lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He scored a record 35 points for the USA Junior Select Team at the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit last April. Team USA lost to the World Select team 84-75.
Muhammad was largely considered the lone NBA-ready player on that team, which also included current Bruins Anderson and Tony Parker. Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, who some ranked ahead of Muhammad in the class of 2012, was also on that team.