Shabazz Muhammad Reinstated: What This Means for UCLA Basketball

Hayden DeitrickFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Ineligble player Shabazz Muhammad of the UCLA Bruins sits on the bench during the game with the Indiana State Sycamores at Pauley Pavilion on November 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Shabazz Muhammad has officially been reinstated by the NCAA effective immediately.  

Last week, it was announced that Muhammad had been suspended indefinitely for an unknown recruiting violation.

According to ESPN's Peter Yoon, Muhammad had "received impermissible benefits in the form of travel expenses and lodging during unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina." 

Muhammad will have to repay the estimated $1,600 of benefits received and his three games missed this season will suffice for his suspension.  

This is incredible news for the UCLA Bruins, who have not shined nearly as bright as most expected them to this season.  Having Muhammad miss games now against lack-luster opponents is much more preferable than missing games against top-ranked foes later in the season.

Muhammad will be available as soon as UCLA deems him ready to play.

One thing that UCLA has missed so far this season is a go to scorer that can take over the game.

This was certainly missing in UCLA's near-loss to UC Irvine. 

With Muhammad in the lineup, UCLA will now have a dynamic athlete that defenses will have to pay special attention to. Muhammad has the type of skills and leadership that should help him dictate UCLA's offense.

This announcement could not come at a better time, as UCLA has upcoming games with Georgetown and SDSU.

Muhammad's reinstatement will come as a relief to head coach Ben Howland who is on the hot seat this season after a disappointing run at the helm of the Bruins over the past few years.

Howland brought Muhammad, ESPN's number two ranked recruit in the country, into the system with other top recruit Kyle Anderson to form a dynamic partnership.

While Muhammad slashes and drives to score, Anderson is a more passive scorer.  Anderson has the innate ability to play point forward.  

These two skill sets will mesh really well once the two get a feel for playing with each other.  

If that happens, UCLA will be as dangerous as everyone expects them to be this season.