|UCLA players, including freshman Shabazz Muhammad (15), celebrate after the Bruins' upset of then-No. 7 Missouri. (AP)|
The new year is off to a pretty good start for UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad . Muhammad was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week on Wednesday by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Muhammad tied his season-high with 27 points in the Bruins' Dec. 28 upset of then-No. 7 Missouri. In the 97-94 overtime win, Muhammad scored seven of UCLA's nine points in the extra period, including a 3-pointer with 1:04 left that gave the Bruins the lead for good at 95-93. Two of Muhammad's three 3-pointers in the game came in overtime.
The win over Missouri was UCLA's first over a top-10 ranked nonconference team since November 2007.
Since shedding 13 pounds in mid-December, Muhammad has been on fire. The true freshman has averaged 24.5 points in four games since Dec. 15 and the Bruins have gone 4-0 in that span.
Beside being named national player of the week, Muhammad was also named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday.
If Muhammad can stay hot during Pac-12 play, UCLA (10-3) will have as good a chance as any to win the conference. The Bruins open up Pac-12 play on Thursday when they host Cal (8-4) at Pauley Pavilion.