Yesterday evening, in the satisfactory debut game of all-universe recruit Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA lost its first game of the season, to an over-achieving Georgetown team.
The Bruins were led again by the shooting of Jordan Adams, and brought down by the erratic play of Kyle Anderson and the lack of effort and enthusiasm on the part of Joshua Smith. Anderson failed to score in 33 minutes, but did give several hints that he could become a very effective point guard. Smith was a deceptive two of three shooting, with four points and three boards in 12 minutes, but at a key point late in the game, he had an open path to the basket from two feet, chose to shoot from where he stood, and badly missed. He also missed his only two free throws at a key moment. Also, for whatever reason, Coach Howland chose not to play Tony Parker, who was coming off the best performance he’s had so far. Muhammad showed the effects of his injured shoulder and non-activity, but also flashed glimpses of his great ability, as he put in 15 points in 25 minutes.
But, besides losing to Georgetown in a game dominated by Hoyas Ollie Porter, Jr. and Markel Starks, the single most irritating aspect of the broadcast was the whinny, prejudiced call of commentator Dick Vitale, who could not stop his constant lament of how UCLA players got off easy in their recent NCAA investigations compared to his beloved Indiana U.
NCAA investigations cleared Anderson and resulted in a three game suspension for Muhammad. With Indiana, the NCAA found violations involving recruits Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin, and imposed nine game suspensions on each. Well, Vitale kept on arguing throughout much of the game that it was unfair in similar circumstances for the Indiana players to receive what he described as three times the penalty as the Bruins’ Muhammad.
Well, Dick there is a very distinct difference between the two situations. As far as any violations involving Anderson and Muhammad, UCLA had absolutely, positively NO involvement. The rules violations in which they were involved were committed by OTHER schools, specifically his also-beloved Duke, and North Carolina, in their unsuccessful recruitment attempts. Conversely, Dick, the offenses that the Indiana recruits were guilty of were in accepting benefits from an Indiana booster who was successful in influencing the two of them to come to his school, Indiana.
Indiana U was the benefactor of the illegal activity and they, under NCAA rules, regulations, and precedent, deserved to be sanctioned. UCLA had no involvement in ANY violations and did not deserve to receive any punishment.
Got that straight, Dick?
Now it’s time for the consolidation game against Georgia.