Posted November 20, 2012 on
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The crowd at the Barclays Center was keeping its eyes on the court as much as possible. The fans were all keeping an eye on Shabazz Muhammad.
When would the heralded freshman from UCLA, who was cleared to play the NCAA just three days ago, enter a college game for the first time?
For history's sake the 6-foot-6 lefty from Las Vegas entered the game against Georgetown with 14:12 left in the first half. He hit his jumper and then missed his next four shots. He finished with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting - 2 of 4 from 3-point range - and the 11th-ranked Bruins lost 78-70 to Georgetown on Monday night in the semifinals of the Progressive Legends Classic.
''It was really exciting to get down to the court for the first time,'' Muhammad said. ''I just finally was getting the jitters out and playing college basketball for the first time and hopefully I'll get better. I think a lot better. I didn't do a lot well tonight.''
Otto Porter Jr., a sophomore returning after misssing most of the fiirst games after being hit in the head in the season opener, was loud on the stat sheet - 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and three steals - and quuiet about Muhammad.
''We knew he was going to play and we just tried to watch out for him,'' Porter said. ''We know they had a great inside game. We just play defense.''
UCLA coach Ben Howland was satisfied with Muhammad's debut.
''I thought he did a good job. I didn't plan on playing him all those minutes,'' Howland said. ''He's been restricted with a shoulder injury. You can see he's got a lot of work to do to catch up conditioning-wise.''
Markel Starks had a career-high 23 points for the Hoyas (3-0), who will face No. 1 Indiana in Tuesday night's championship game. The Hoosiers beat Georgia 66-53.
Muhammad wanted to be in that game.
''I really wanted to get a shot at them,'' Muhammad said of the Hoosiers. ''I guess we're really not ready yet. We'll practice and get this together. I know I have to back in shape and get back to teamwork.''
Thompson wanted to talk about his star.
''Otto's first full game and look at the stat sheet. That was a full game,'' Thompson said. ''Then there was a lot of other stuff he did that doesn't show up on this piece of paper. It was good to have him back out there.''
Porter was hit in the head 6 minutes into the Hoyas' season opener. He sat out the second game of the season and then came back with a flourish.
''I just let the game come to me and that's what I want to do and we'll all get open shots,'' said the 6-8 Porter, who led the team as a freshman in rebounding (6.8) and field goal percentage (52.5 percent).
He seemed to be right there as Georgetown shot 54.5 percent for the game (30 of 55),including 60 percent in the second half (18 of 30).
The Hoyas opened the second half on a 12-0 run - with Greg Whittington hitting two 3s - to take a 43-29 lead, their biggest of the game.
The Bruins (3-1) were within 59-53 on a 3-pointer by Norman Powell. But the Hoyas went on a 7-1 run that was capped by a hook shot by Nate Lubick with 6:17 to go. The Bruins did get within 77-70 on a 3 by Muhammad with 50 seconds to play.
''I think at the end we were all a little more comfortable and I was just trying to gel with teammates and get used to the system,'' Muhammad said. ''I'm looking for us to get better as a team and myself as a player.''
Jordan Adams had 22 points to extend his UCLA record of a freshman scoring 20 or more points in every game to start his career. Travis Wear added 12 points and eight rebounds for UCLA.
The Bruins played the last 12:13 without starting forward and Travis' twin David Wear who appeared to injure his back when he crashed hard to the court as he tried to defend a layup by Lubick. Wear remained on the bench the rest of the game but was in obvious discomfort.
''David Wear's back is really sore right now from the fall he took,'' Howland said.
The Hoyas seemed to get the best of the physical play despite being outrebounded 40-31 by the Bruins. The Hoyas finished with eight blocks while UCLA had four.
''They're huge,'' Thompson said. ''We just wanted to do what we do and limit them.''
UCLA had scored at least 80 points in its first three games.
BEST OF MAXIM
NEW YORK The NCAA is investigating a conversation pertaining to UCLA basketball player Shabazz Muhammad that a Memphis, Tenn., attorney said she overheard on an Aug. 7 commuter flight.
The attorney, Florence Johnson Raines, said she heard a man who said he was dating "an NCAA attorney" loudly telling people around him that his girlfriend had said Muhammad would never...
Shabazz Muhammad is a queer...
— Dimitri (@dimi_rakas) November 20, 2012
A Pull-Up As Your 1st Bucket Eh ? #Shabazz
— * Dee Garland™ (@Da_Dream23) November 20, 2012
shabazz Muhammad looks like somebody's Father...
— Naphiysh (@TFisaNaphiysh) November 20, 2012
Shabazz Muhammad look 40 years...
Shabazz Muhammad had 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting in 25 minutes in his UCLA debut.
With his collegiate debut out of the way, it was time for another first for UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad. The freshman made his first career start for the Bruins as they concluded their trip to Brooklyn for the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic.
Muhammad started in place of David Wear who injured his back in Monday's loss against Georgetown.
Ben Howland's most prized recruit...
The much-anticipated debut of freshman Shabazz Muhammad couldn't produce a win for UCLA.
Perhaps a matchup with slumping Georgia will.
The 11th-ranked Bruins will try to rebound from their first loss of the season Tuesday night against the Bulldogs in the third-place game of the Legends Classic in Brooklyn.
Declared ineligible by the NCAA earlier this month following an investigation...
NEW YORK -- The Shabazz Muhammad Era finally has begun at UCLA -- if you want to call one season an era, that is. But fans expecting one of the nation's most explosive freshmen to live up to the hype in his first career game were disappointed by Muhammad's debut in the Bruins' 78-70 loss to Georgetown on Monday night at the Barclays Center.
Sure, Muhammad, the No. 2...
Hyped UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad took 11 free throws. Georgia took 10 as a team.
That, more than any other stat, told the story of the night for Georgia, which frittered away a strong start and lost to UCLA 60-56 Tuesday night in the consolation game of the Legends Classic tournament.
''I thought the difference in the game was the free-throw line,'' Georgia...
Shabazz Muhammad scored 20 points and No. 11 UCLA made enough free throws late to hold off Georgia for a 60-56 win Tuesday night in the consolation game of the Legends Classic tournament.
In the final minutes of a mostly dreary game, UCLA (4-1) took the lead with Muhammad on the bench, on baskets by Travis Wear and Jordan Adams, but the hyped freshman re-entered with 1:58 left to...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Markel Starks scored 23 points and Georgetown beat No. 11 UCLA 78-70 in the semifinals of the Progressive Legends Classic on Monday night at the Barclays Center, spoiling the college debut of Shabazz Muhammad.
Otto Porter had 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Hoyas (3-0), who will face No. 1 Indiana in Tuesday night's championship game. The Hoosiers...
UCLA's next game will mark one of the most highly anticipated debuts in college basketball, as freshman Shabazz Muhammad will hit for the floor for the Bruins as they meet Georgetown in a Legends Classic semifinal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Monday night.
The No. 13 Bruins (3-0) will finally have Muhammad, considered by many to be the No. 1 recruit in his class. The...