Ben Howland thinks Shabazz Muhammad will be cleared to play for UCLA.

“I’m very optimistic about Shabazz,” Howland told reporters Thursday. “I can’t tell you how long or when, I don’t know that. But again, these are great kids and I’m very confident that things are going to work out and very optimistic.”

If Muhammad is deemed eligible, the Bruins figure to start him along with Kyle Anderson, Larry Drew II, Travis Wear and Josh Smith in Howland's new up-tempo offense.

"We're trying to play faster, push the ball and take advantage of the fact we have depth and speed," Howland said.