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Luther Muhammad looks to make an impact in his Sun Devils debut

After sitting out the 2020-2021 season due to injury, Muhammad made his debut with ASU men's basketball Monday

Luther Muhammad

ASU redshirt junior guard Luther Muhammad (1) prepares to pass the ball to a teammate while playing against University of Saint Katherine on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. ASU beat University of Saint Katherine 108-41.

Redshirt junior Luther Muhammad, a 6-foot-3 transfer from Ohio State University, will make his debut for ASU after sitting out last season due to a shoulder injury.

Coming out of Hudson Catholic Regional High School, Muhammad played a total of 109 games and averaged 14.9 points, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He shot over 50% from the field and 82% from the free throw line in his high school career.

Muhammad was a four-star recruit in the 2018 class and had 18 scholarship offers from schools such as Ohio State University, Xavier University, Butler University and Seton Hall University.

Muhammad started in 56 games in two years with Ohio State. He averaged seven points and 2.3 rebounds.

"I wanted to go to a big school and get the full college experience," Muhammad said of Ohio State. "They have great academics and an amazing sociology program." 

In early 2020, Ohio State suspended Muhammad and then-sophomore teammate Duane Washington Jr. for one game due to "failure to meet program standards and expectations."

When asked if this event played a role in his decision to transfer, Muhammad said it "had nothing to do with it."

"I got a lot of love for Ohio State and its fans and their school," Muhammad said. "I just thought their style of play didn't really fit the style of play I wanted to play."

Now in his second year with the Sun Devils after spending his first out with an injury, Muhammad will look to begin a new chapter in Tempe.

"In practice, he's another voice, it's not the coaches constantly demanding, hoping and trying to urge guys to compete and play hard," head coach Bobby Hurley said. "When we're not concentrating or we're not executing, then Luther's really one of the main guys that are going to be vocal about that."

Hurley has developed a strong recruiting pipeline out of Ohio State. Muhammad is the fourth player to transfer from OSU since 2018-19.

"He's going to yell, but he's going to let you play and make mistakes," Muhammad said. "He's going to coach you up on it and increase your IQ. That's what makes him different."

Muhammad will join fellow transfers sophomore guard Jay Heath from Boston College, graduate student Marreon Jackson from the University of Toledo, sophomore guard DJ Horne from Illinois State University, and fellow Buckeye transfer junior Alonzo Gaffney on the team.

"Everyone has that dog mindset," Jackson said. "Doing whatever needs to be done."

Muhammad used his time on the bench next to Hurley last year to develop a different perspective, one that will help him this year.

"Being out with the injury, that was the longest I’ve been out," Muhammad said. "That was frustrating and different, it was also a learning experience because it gave me the opportunity to see the game from a different perspective from a coach's view or a fan view, I got to see what players don't always see on the court, and it opened up and expanded my IQ."

Muhammad will make his debut in an exhibition game on Monday against the University of Saint Katherine.

"I know my team is very excited to be back out there and playing and competing and getting better every day," Muhammad said. "Most of all, I'm very excited. It feels great to be back out there playing and competing and getting better every day."

Muhammad has two years of eligibility left after the NCAA granted fall and winter sports athletes an extra year of eligibility, whether they competed in the 2020-21 season or not.

"I don't really think about the future. I'm thinking about the now, thinking about what I've got to do at the moment and I'm doing it," Muhammad said. "I'm going to get a degree. That's one of the most important things other than reaching the highest level I can reach playing basketball and my goals and what I want to do in life."

The Sun Devils are set to begin the 2021-22 basketball season on Nov. 9 against the University of Portland at 5:00 p.m. MST in Tempe. 

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Aayush Gupta

sports reporter

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