Shabazz Muhammad glad that Ben Howland is returning to UCLA

The father of Shabazz Muhammad, widely considered the top prep basketball recruit nationally, said his son is pleased that UCLA Coach Ben Howland will be coaching the Bruins next season.

Howland’s job was thought to be less than secure after a volatile season, but UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero announced Tuesday that Howland would return next season.

“We’re happy for Ben, happy for the program,” Muhammad’s father Ron Holmes told The Times in a phone interview. “I think he’s going to do a good job and that he’ll get the program back on track.”

Muhammad, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound star from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, has UCLA as one of his final schools, Holmes said, along with, in alphabetical order, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Nevada Las Vegas.


UCLA has come under much criticism after a subpar season, including a Sports Illustrated article this month that portrayed the program as being out of control under Howland.

“We understand that there are a lot of issues with a lot of programs and that was brought to light with UCLA,” Holmes said.

Holmes said he and Muhammad have had personal discussions with Howland about these issues and that, without going into specifics, they feel comfortable with what he had to say.

Muhammad is expected to sign a letter of intent with his chosen school on April 11, the first day of the spring signing period.

In early April, he’s expected to take an official visit to UCLA.


Ben Howland to remain UCLA’s basketball coachBen Howland reiterates his love for UCLA, says team will improve

Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament moving to Las Vegas