Thursday, November 10, 2005

Easy Bruin Victory Over Cal State Monterey

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

The Bruins completed their two game exhibition schedule with an easy 104-41 victory over Cal State Monterey.

The game was over shortly after the tip-off as the Bruins dominated on both ends of the court against the badly out-manned Otters.

Jordan Farmar, who missed the first exhibition game against Carleton, returned to action and scored 17 points on 3 of 6 shooting from behind the three-point arc; while his back-up at the point, Darren Collison, continued his impressive debut during the exhibition season by scoring 16 points and handing out a game high 10 assists.

During periods of the game, Farmar and Collison were in the backcourt together - a pairing which Coach Ben Howland says he will use often during the regular season.

Howland feels both Farmar and Collison's quickness and shooting will create match-up problems for opponents, and he has confidence in Farmar, who has gained nearly 10 pounds since last year, to be able to handle bigger two-guards defensively.

Arron Afflalo played despite being weakened by a stomach flu which necessitated an early departure to the locker room prior to the end of the first half. Afflalo was given the choice by coaches of not playing in the second half, but he chose to play instead and contributed 16 points and 6 rebounds to the Bruin attack.

Cedric Bozeman and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute were effective again on the boards, as they were in the Carleton game, with each player grabbing 9 rebounds and leading the Bruins to a 53-35 rebounding advantage over the smaller Otters.

After the game, Coach Howland said he had hoped for a more competitive game to help the Bruins prepare for the upcoming regular season. Howland believes the upcoming game against New Mexico St. will give his young team their first real test.

The Bruins play the Aggies on November 15 in the first round of the NIT Preseason Invitation. New Mexico St. is coached by former UNLV and NBA star - Reggie Theus, and play in the WAC.

The Aggies finished last year at 6-24, ninth overall in their conference.

Post game notes: Howland had an injury update on key Bruins. Michael Fey has had two non-contact sessions, and Howland said he would join the team in regular practice drills next week and be ready for the start of the NIT Season Tip-Off tourney.

Freshman Alfred Aboya is making good progress on his knee rehabiliation and could be back with the team in two weeks.

While Josh Shipp is making solid progress as well and is still hopes to join the team at midseason.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

James Keefe signs to play at UCLA

By Bruin Basketball Report

James Keefe, a 6-8, 220-pound forward from Santa Margarita Catholic HS (Rancho Santa Margarita) who is considered one of the nation’s top-rated power forwards entering his senior high school season, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UCLA, Bruin head coach Ben Howland announced Wednesday. Wednesday is the first day of the early signing period that extends until Nov. 16.

Under head coach Jerry DeBusk, Keefe led the Eagles in March to a second consecutive CIF Southern Section Div. III-AA Championship (28-5 overall), averaging 17.0 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots. Santa Margarita Catholic HS advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern California Regionals (Div. III) as Keefe earned State Junior Player of the Year honors and was first-team All-Serra League.

“I’m elated that James is joining our program,” said Howland. “He’s an outstanding player, a great person and an excellent student. James plays hard, is an outstanding rebounder, a good defender and plays very intelligently. His attitude and work ethic are going to help him improve and get better and better year-in and year-out.”

A recent first-team Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West Selection, Keefe is rated the No. 27 high school player in the nation by Bob Gibbons’ All-Star Sports Top 100.

Entering 2005-06, his other preseason prep honors include – Street & Smith All-American (second team), The Sporting News’ No. 36 player in the U. S., No. 37 player in the U. S. (No. 11 power forward in the U. S.) and Athlon Sports No. 38 player in the U. S.

Last summer, Keefe participated in the Gibbons’ Memorial Weekend Tournament, playing for the title-winning Southern California All-Stars. He also played in the adidas All-America Camp in Suwanee, GA and with his high school team in the Reebok Las Vegas Big Time Tournament (an all-tourney choice) in July.

“Keefe puts as much energy and focus into his performance while screening for teammates and playing defense, as he does when the ball is in his possession,” said Frank Burlison, national basketball columnist for, long-time sportswriter for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and a member of the USBWA Hall of Fame. “He’ll need to make fewer adjustments, especially on defense, than almost any other player in the class to be an immediate contributor in college. Keefe has been extremely well-coached by Jerry DeBusk and should make an immediate impact with the Bruins, perhaps even as a starter at some point during his freshman season.”