The win vaulted the Bruins into a three-way tie for 2nd place in the conference.
However, the talk after the game was Shabazz Muhammed’s reaction, or lack thereof, after his teammate Larry Drew II hit the game-winning jump shot.
Muhammed, who was vehemently calling for the ball, did not get it. Instead, Drew II kept the ball and made the game-winning elbow jumper.
After, the UCLA bench is seen jumping up and down, cheering, pig-piling, etc. in jubilation. Not Muhammed though. He is seen walking right past the celebration with not really any outward display of emotion.
Now never mind that Muhammed had 22 points and eight rebounds, which were highs for UCLA in each category. That is not the issue.
The issue was his body language and his apparent lack of enthusiasm for the win and his teammate’s success. The game tape does not lie and the media has somewhat jumped on Muhammed’s reaction and it definitely does not bode well for him.
However, people must be cautious to race to conclusions. Muhammed is a teenager who is at UCLA to grow as a student-athlete and person. He may have made a mistake.
Without Muhammed’s personal explanation as to why he reacted that way, nobody in the media should attack him.
Now as far as head coach Ben Howland and the coaching staff and the rest of the Bruins players, that is another story. Howland needs to meet with Muhammed and discuss with him what he was thinking in that moment and use it as a teaching point.
Hopefully, for Muhammed’s sake, it was not as it appeared and he has a logical explanation as to what he was doing.
If not the chatter will continue that he is just another selfish one-and-done superstar who did not get his way.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo