UCLA had been projected as a top-10 or even top-five team after signing the nation's top-ranked recruiting class, but NCAA investigations into the eligibility of two of those players and early season injuries have cast some doubts over the Bruins' season.
Shabazz Muhammad, the 6-6 guard who was UCLA's top recruit, is out at least two to four weeks because of a strained shoulder and could be out longer pending the results of an NCAA investigation into whether or not he received improper benefits. Kyle Anderson, a 6-9 guard, is the subject of a separate NCAA amateurism review. There is no timetable for the NCAA to rule on the eligibility of either player.
Junior guard Tyler Lamb had surgery to repair cartilage in his knee and the earliest he would return to action is early November. Junior forward David Wear missed practice this week with a sprained ankle and is expected to return Monday.
Indiana, a potential opponent for UCLA in the Legends Classic Thanksgiving week in New York, tops the AP rankings. Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan round out the top five. Pac-12 foe Arizona is No. 12, the only other conference school ranked.
Other top-25 teams on UCLA's schedule this season include No. 15 Missouri and No. 20 San Diego State. The Bruins also have games against Texas, Georgetown and Stanford, which were among the schools also receiving votes in the rankings.