UCLA's Muhammad effect
What is the Bruins' ceiling this season, with and without their star freshman?
Every year in Westwood, Calif., there are high expectations for the UCLA Bruins basketball team, and this season is no different. Ben Howland brought in the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, a class that features two of the top five overall players in Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson. Add to the recruiting class a nice core of returnees in David and Travis Wear, Norman Powell, Tyler Lamb, Josh Smith and North Carolina transfer Larry Drew II, and you can see why Bruins fans are excited about this season.
Of course, that enthusiasm has been tempered a bit as the school awaits final word on whether Muhammad will be able to play this season. (UCLA's appeal of the NCAA decision to declare Muhammad ineligible will be heard Friday.)
With Muhammad out to start the season, the complexion of the Bruins is completely changed. Let's take a look at what UCLA's ceiling is without Muhammad, and how good they could be if he is declared eligible to play.
To read the rest of Miles Simon's take on UCLA, become an Insider today.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Big 12 chief rips NCAA, says 'cheating pays'
- Source: Kentucky among 4 in Miami event
- Florida loses Walker to season-ending injury
- Source: Wojcik heads out on recruiting trail
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game