Muhammad looks to put his bad days behind
LOS ANGELES – Everyone has bad days. UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad reiterated that on Tuesday afternoon when he met with the media at new Pauley Pavilion.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, his bad Friday turned into a bad Saturday as well.
He attended a 9:30 a.m. class on Friday and then had his car towed. After dealing with that situation he went back to his dorm to take a nap. He overslept and was late to practice.
“I lost track of time,” Muhammad said. “(I) kind of fell asleep and my alarm didn’t go off, you know how the iPhone’s are.
“It was a long day.”
Muhammad was benched for the start of last Saturday’s loss to Oregon. Coming off of the bench didn’t affect him or his team early. When he entered the game at the 14:58 mark of the first half, the Bruins actually led 12-11.
Muhammad scored the last eight points of the half for the Bruins as they took a three point lead into the locker room at halftime.
However, the second half was a different story. Muhammad took just four shots and missed all of them, going scoreless in the second half.
His final stat line: 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
“I think that’s the (least amount of) shots I’ve ever taken in a game,” he said. “I just think I also have to be more aggressive. I need to free myself up more.
“I think my shot was really flowing in the first half. In the second half, I don’t know what it was. I didn’t really get the chance to shoot a lot.”
Indeed, the nine shot attempts marked a career-low for Muhammad in Westwood. Disappointed about the loss and his personal shortcomings, Muhammad went across BruinWalk to Wooden Center following the loss on Saturday for a workout.
He worked on free throws, ball handling and also shooting to try to get the taste of what he calls “one of my worst days” out of his mouth. Apparently, it worked.
“I was really drained in sweat, feeling better about myself,” Muhammad said of his feelings following the workout.
He can only hope the self-worth he discovered in Wooden Center on Saturday night can travel with him to the McKale Center in Tucson on Thursday for the Bruins matchup with No. 6 Arizona.
It’s a huge game for the Bruins to not lose any further ground in the Pac-12 standings and Muhammad is taking it personal following his rough weekend.
“I got to take it upon myself for us to win this game at Arizona,” Muhammad said.