Sunday, November 27, 2005

More Senior Leadership Could Help Team

By Bruin Basketball Report

Senior leadership - an intangible this UCLA Bruin team could use more of as the season progresses.

The Bruins currently have four seniors on the team; three who play significant roles on the team, Michael Fey, Ryan Hollins, and Cedric Bozeman (Janou Rubin is the 4th). Of the seniors, Cedric Bozeman would be the most natural one to step up and be the team leader.

Bozeman has earned the respect of his teammates by rehabilatating from injury to play in a fifth year at UCLA where he has played under two different head coaches and was a three year starter at point guard where he led the Pac 10 in assists just over a season ago.

However, Bozeman appears to have defaulted the leaderhsip role to Wooden Award nominee sophomore Jordan Farmar.

Farmar is clearly the best offensive player on the team, the most vocal, and has a natural leadership spot from the point guard position. But a team leader is more than just the best player or most vocal - he is the player who is most respected on the team. As a fifth senior who has seen it all at UCLA, Bozeman is the most solid choice.

Don't get me wrong - I love Jordan Farmar and his game - he is the best PG we've had since Earl, but every big-time team could use steady mature senior leadership to solidify the team. Dijon was the senior guy last year and it was one of the biggest keys to the 1995 championship run (i.e Edny/O'Bannon).

Head coach Ben Howland has made a mistake in not leveraging Bozeman's leadership potential on the team.

Howland annointed Farmar the starting PG and leader on "offense", but he needs to encourage Bozeman to take a larger leadership role on a team whose key players in the rotation are four sophomores and four freshmen.

Former UCLA star and now radio commentator, Don McLean, has noted how calming an influence Bozeman's play has been from the forward position and how it has been a huge positive for the team.

Aside from Bozeman's excellent on ball defense and passing, leadership is the best asset he could bring to this team.



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