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Live discussion: How will the UCLA basketball team fare this year?

October 15, 2012|By Houston Mitchell

College basketball season is on the hortizon, and on today's sports Google+ Hangout, we will be talking with Times reporters David Wharton and Baxter Holmes on the prospects for the UCLA Bruins. The Hangout will start at 11:30 a.m.

As Chris Foster wrote last week, as UCLA began practice for the season, "The elephant in the gym was the on-going NCAA investigation into eligibility of freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson.

Three times a UCLA official told the media, "We will not be speaking about the NCAA review or its impact on this team."

Yet, those are questions that won't go away.

Asked how to keep some of the uncertainties from disrupting the focus of the team, Coach Ben Howland said, "These kids, they're kids. They seem to stay very focused. There is always going to be adversity, there is always going be uncertainty. … You always have to deal with overcoming adversity as a player, as a team."

Muhammad, from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High, and Anderson, from Fairview (N.J.) St. Anthony, have yet to be cleared for competition by the NCAA, though they are with the team. Under rules, both can participate in workouts for 45 days, after which they either have to be cleared or must stop working with the team.

The freshman class, which includes Tony Parker and Jordan Adams, toted high-end expectations to Westwood.

"We have to live up to those," Muhammad said.

Whether Muhammad and Anderson get a chance remains to be seen.

If you have a question for Wharton or Holmes, send it in an email to sportshangout@latimes.com and we will try and answer it during the Hangout.

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