How Shabazz Muhammad Impacts UCLA’s Lineup
With all the joy at UCLA over Shabazz Muhammad finally being declared eligible, Bruins fans can now look forward to how he’ll be used on the floor. He’s expected to play on Monday as the Bruins travel to Brooklyn to face Georgetown in the Legends Classic.
As of now, there’s no word if Muhammad will start right away. My guess? I say he starts perhaps by his third or fourth game depending on how soon he integrates himself in the team’s offense. But he’ll automatically bolster a team that could use some depth on the perimeter.
In the Bruins’ first three games, they relied heavily on an 8-man rotation. With Tyler Lamb injured, the four perimeter players – Larry Drew, Kyle Anderson, Norman Powell and Jordan Adams – are averaging 25 mins or more, with Drew averaging a team-high 36 minutes so far. Adams is averaging 25 mins off the bench while Powell is logging 29 mins.
With Muhammad on the floor, it’ll allow guys to rest and give Howland the chance to mix and match players. For example, UCLA could go with a quick lineup of Drew, Powell, Muhammad, Anderson and David or Travis Wear. A traditional lineup could see Drew and Muhammad in the backcourt with Anderson and the Wear twins and Powell and Adams coming off the bench.
Muhammad’s return would also allow for Adams to maintain his role as a super sub. I know I mentioned earlier that Adams is making his case to be a starter but now he can thrive as a reserve and get comfortable giving the Bruins instant offense.
It’s all the reason to watch the Bruins when they face Georgetown. Not just to finally see Muhammad in a Bruins uniform but how he’ll be featured in it.
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