After aiding in a huge win against Arizona on Saturday night, fans saw Shabazz Muhammad play his last game at Pauley Pavilion. Muhammad is a projected top 10 NBA lottery pick, after the Bruins moved in to a tie of first place in the Pac-12, coach Ben Howland confirmed it.
"This was his last game at Pauley, no doubt it" said Howland.
Muhammad finished on Saturday against Arizona with 18 points and knocked down two free throws to seal the game for the Bruins. Muhammad seemed touched as the fans towards the latter part of the game continued to chant "one more year".
"The fans out here are great," Muhammad said. "I've enjoyed myself this whole year. I've been going through a lot this year with injuries and just getting experience at the college level. I'm really happy I came here and represented UCLA because it's a great school and I just gained a lot of experience coming here."
Yet Muhammad wasn't fully ready to commit to the NBA, he's still focused on playing out the rest of the season, which for UCLA could be a Final Four appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have two games remaining against Washington and Washington State on the road.
"It's still a long season of basketball. I just thought about the big win we're going to have and how important this win was for us against Arizona," said Muhammad.
Coach Ben Howland is a realist and has been down this road before with players like Kevin Love and Jrue Holiday who bailed after their freshman year. "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."
As the Bruins continue on their quest for a National Championship, when the season concludes officially for them, not only will they see the departure of Muhammad, but will we also see Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams into the NBA?