When No. 13 UCLA opened the renovated Pauley Pavilion – after 18-months and spending $132 million – the star freshman performance was expected to be from shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad
Instead, Muhammad was ruled ineligible before the game. Luckily, freshman guard Jordan Adams came off the bench to drop a game-high 21 points off 7-of-12 shooting, to go along with eight boards.
The Shabazz Muhammad-less Bruins were able to pull away from Indiana State in the second half to take the first game of the season 86-59
Adams provided a much-needed spark in a slow starting game. The Bruins were able to walk into halftime with a 36-27 lead, aided by an 8-0 run.
The second half is when UCLA got going. The Bruins ended the night with a 23-7 run.
There’s a lot of good and bad that comes from this game:
The good – UCLA won a game without Shabazz Muhammad. Not saying that they won’t need them, they will. But UCLA showed why the freshman class is so highly-touted with solid debuts from Adams and point forward Kyle Anderson.
David and Travis Wear combined for 3o points (13 for David, 17 for Travis). Both bigs were able to knock down mid-range jumpers and remained active and pick-and-roll/pop situations. Fellow North Carolina transfer, Larry Drew played well. He didn’t score the ball, but he had five assists to one turnover. Drew dislocated his finger in the second half, but will be fine, according to multiple reports.
The Bruins also held the Sycamores to a dreadful 31 percent shooting.
The bad – Not having Muhammad clearly tops this list. Josh Smith’s size still remains a question, finishing with five points and five rebounds.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.