Now that Kyle Anderson has been declared eligible by the NCAA, all UCLA has to wait for is Shabazz Muhammad to get the same word. But there’s plenty to celebrate with Anderson finally being cleared to play.
Anderson was a Top-5 national recruit and a McDonald’s All-American just like Muhammad. Having been coached at one of the nation’s top schools in St. Anthony (NJ) by one of the nation’s best in Bob Hurley Sr., he’ll be ready to contribute immediately.
At 6-9, he might be the most versatile of the four freshmen. He plays more like a point forward than a power forward with his skills as a gifted passer and slasher. At the McDonald’s All-American game, he nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. For good measure, he added four steals.
He’s a matchup nightmare that can overpower smaller guards or be too quick for bigger forwards. He could share point guard duties with Larry Drew II or be on the wing as an extra creator. At his size, he might even be used in the post to draw defenders away from David Wear, Travis Wear or Josh Smith.
I’ll just go ahead and say this. He could remind Bruins fans of Magic Johnson. That’s not saying he’s the next Magic but his skill set definitely resembles the Hall of Fame point guard.
There’s plenty of reason for joy in Westwood as Anderson will be in the lineup on November 9 when the team hosts Indiana State for their preseason opener. Yet that joy may be not fully realized until Muhammad’s eligibility is determined.