Times reporters Baxter Holmes and David Wharton discussed the upcoming UCLA basketball season in a Google+ Hangout moderated by Mike James on Monday morning. You can watch the entire discussion above, but here are some highlights:
One of the big stories of the season will be the ongoing investigation of Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Thompson.
Holmes says that Muhammad and Anderson still have not been cleared for competition. The NCAA is examining the eligibility of both players.
Muhammad, who is ranked at or near the top among all freshmen, has faced the most speculation. There are questions about money his family received from Benjamin Lincoln, the brother of an assistant at his high school, that helped pay for unofficial recruiting visits.
With point guard Anderson, the NCAA reportedly is examining a connection to Thad Foucher, an agent who works with Arn Tellem for the L.A.-based Wasserman Media Group. Casey Wasserman, the company's founder, is a prominent UCLA booster.
Wharton says UCLA doesn't understand why this investiagtion is taking so long. None of the principal have been given any indication as to when the investigation will end.
Wharton points out that Muhammad reminds him of LeBron James in terms of physical presence, but he needs to work on his shot. Anderson is called "Slo-Mo" because he always seems to be taking it easy. But he always knows where he should be, has good court sense and knows how to get open.
One guy who doesn't get talked about a lot is Jordan Adams, who might be the best shooter on the team. He will help stretch out the defenses.
Next, we will have a special Tuesday version of "NFL Slam With Mark and Sam," starring Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and former radio personality Mark Thompson. If you have a question for Mark or Sam, send it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and answer it during the Hangout.