UCLA didn't have Shabazz Muhammad in uniform. A couple of other freshmen stepped up to fill the star recruit's place in the Bruins' season opener.
Jordan Adams scored 21 points in his college debut, fellow newcomer Kyle Anderson had 10 points and 10 rebounds and the 13th-ranked Bruins defeated Indiana State 86-59 on Friday night shortly after finding out Muhammad was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
Adams, the school's first-ever signee out of vaunted Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, was 7 of 12 from the floor and had eight rebounds off the bench for the Bruins (1-0). Travis Wear added 17 points and his twin brother David Wear had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
"A real important win for us starting out here in new Pauley Pavilion," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "You could see our team was very hyped up at the beginning. We were playing very fast and missed some shots."
The long-awaited decision about Muhammad overshadowed the first game in new Pauley Pavilion, which opened after an 18-month, $132 million renovation. He watched the game from the bench dressed in a blue UCLA sweat suit along with a crowd of 13,513 — 287 short of a sellout.
In the closing minutes, fans chanted "Free Shabazz."
"He's handling it extremely well, the best he possibly could," said Anderson, who was ruled eligible after his own NCAA investigation for alleged recruiting violations. "He's keeping his composure and working hard waiting for the day he can get back out there."
Howland said Muhammad was available to play the opener, having practiced Thursday for the first time since straining his shoulder on Oct. 25. The coach found out three hours before tipoff that Muhammad wouldn't be in uniform. However, Howland said he would continue to practice with the team.
"I feel terrible for Shabazz because he is a great kid," he said. "We were very optimistic he was going to be cleared today. We're hopeful it's going to be something that is worked out in the near future."
Justin Gant led the Sycamores (0-1) with 11 points, including scoring the first points in the renovated building on a 3-pointer.
"It's a pretty cool thing to do," he said.
Indiana State was chosen to help re-open the arena because the Terre Haute, Ind., school is the only university besides UCLA where the late John Wooden coached.
"Wherever John Wooden's been, everybody knows he's been there," Sycamores guard Jake Odum said. "It's like Larry Bird in Indiana. Everybody knows he played at Indiana State. It's an honor to play at a college he coached at."
Both teams shot poorly to start the game, combining to miss their first eight shots. Eventually, the Bruins settled down and ran off eight straight points late in the half to lead 36-27 at the break.
Adams came on strong in the second half, hitting two 3-pointers and another basket that stretched UCLA's lead to 56-36 midway through the half. His 21 points were the most by a freshman since Reeves Nelson, kicked off the team last season after multiple suspensions, had the same total on Dec. 27, 2009.
"It was exciting to play my first game," he said. "Let the fans who really haven't seen me play get a taste of my game."
The Sycamores cut their deficit to 63-52 on a 16-7 run, including two 3-pointers by Lucas Eitel and another by Khristian Smith, with 7:25 remaining. Manny Arop added 10 points for Indiana State, which hasn't won a season opener on the road since 1970 against Purdue, a streak of 14 losses in openers.
"We're young," Odum said. "When adversity hits, sometimes we don't step up to the challenge. That's what happened a little bit."
The Wear twins combined to run off nine straight points and extend the Bruins' lead to 72-55 as they ended the game on a 23-7 run.
"It's exciting to be back here at home," David Wear said. "It fired us up, the lights, the smoke. None of us were expecting all that."
Shortly before the game, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said the NCAA had ruled Muhammad ineligible for violating amateurism rules. The NCAA gave no timetable for Muhammad's ineligibility and Guerrero said only that he is "ineligible at this time."
"We are extremely disappointed that the NCAA has made this determination," Guerrero said, adding that UCLA believes "the decision is incorrect and unjust to Shabazz."
He said the school will pursue its options to challenge the ruling.
The NCAA said that Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member schools. He chose UCLA over Kentucky and Duke last spring.
Muhammad tweeted, "Cool shirts some fans made and will wear tonight if I don't play in the game!!!!" Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea played the national anthem wearing a "Free Shabazz Muhammad" T-shirt, a sentiment echoed on signs held up by fans.
Former Bruins stars Reggie Miller, Marques Johnson, Ed O'Bannon, Rod Foster, Don McLean and Lucius Allen, who scored the first points when Pauley opened in 1965, were introduced in a pre-game ceremony. A video highlighted historic moments in the arena's history with comments from Wooden.