Saturday, July 22, 2006

Nikola Dragovic To Join Bruins Next Season

By Bruin Basketball Report

Bruins lose one Serbian recruit but gain another.

Multiple basketball recruiting services are reporting Nikola Dragovic from Serbia-Montenergo has qualified academically and will join the UCLA basketball team this upcoming season.

Last November, Marko Spica, a fellow Serbian player, had committed to UCLA for the 2006-07 season. However, after multiple attempts to achieve a qualifying SAT score for admission to UCLA, it appears Spica will be playing basketball elsewhere next season.

Nikola Dragovic is a 6'8 215 lb forward with impressive offensive skills from the wing.

Dragovic handles the ball well on the perimter and has outstanding shooting range, providing the Bruins with another threat from three-point distance. He is aggressive around the rim and can finish strong in traffic.

On the other end of the court , Dragovic will need time to improve his defensive skills and to gain strength in his lanky body, although reportedly, he has a 6'11 wingspan to work from.

Under head coach Ben Howland, a player earns playing time with their defense, and patience from all will be required as Dragovic improves this facet of his game.

The 18 year-old Serbian played for the Avada Ada Belgrade club team of Serbia-Montenegro. He is currently playing for the Serbia-Montenegro under-20 national team which recently reached the finals of the European Championships.

In seven games of the European championship, Dragovic is averaging 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 49% from the field including 38% on three-pointers.

Dragovic joins an already solid 2006 recruiting class of James Keefe and Russell Westbrook in Westwood.

An official announcement from the university is forthcoming.


Bozeman Completes Summer League Play

By Bruin Basketball Report

Former Bruin Cedric Bozeman scored 11 points and handed out 3 assists to help lead the Atlanta Hawks to victory over the Philadelphia Sixers in the team's final game of the Rocky Mountain Revue (RMR) summer league in Salt Lake City.

With the Hawks' summer roster lacking a true point-guard, Bozeman started all six games, playing primarily in the backcourt, averaging 7.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 23 minutes per game.

While he only shot 43.6% from the field, he did hit on 44% (4-9) from three-point distance and 80% from the free throw line.

Marvin Williams, Atlanta's first-round draft selection from last season, led the Hawks' summer team in scoring with 23.2 point per game. After an unremarkable rookie season, Williams vowed to be more aggressive, and displayed his new fiery brand of play at RMR getting to the free throw line 66 times in only five games while making 88% of his shots from the stripe.

The Hawks first-round selection this year, Shelden Williams, averaged 8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while their second-round selection Solomon Jones averaged just 2.8 points in 17 minutes of play per game.

The Atlanta Hawks training camp opens on October 3rd. It is not yet known whether Bozeman will receive an invitation to the Hawks' camp. Stay tuned.


(photo credit:

Friday, July 21, 2006

Howland Signs Long-Term Contract With Bruins

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA head basketball coach Ben Howland agreed on a new seven-year contract, athletic director Dan Guerrero announced today.

The new contract, which runs through the 2012-13 season, includes guaranteed compensation of $1.15 million for the 2006-07 season and escalates to $1.6 million for the 2012-13 season. It also includes the incentive package from his previous contract that has a maximum value of $235,000.

Howland's original contract, signed prior to the 2003-04 season, paid Howland $900,000 plus incentives and had built-in $10,000 annual increases.

The new contract was recently approved by the Regents of the University of California.

"Ben is one of the top coaches in all of college basketball," said Guerrero. "In a short time, he has returned UCLA to elite status and we expect to remain there for the foreseeable future."

"Reaching the championship game in just his third year was an outstanding achievement, and he is building a program that will be strong for years to come."

In 2005-06, UCLA won 32 games, tying a school-record, en route to the NCAA championship game against Florida. The Bruins won 12 straight to reach the final game, winning their first Pac-10 title since 1997 and their first Pac-10 Tournament title since 1987

"As I said on the day that Dan Guerrero hired me, UCLA is my dream job," said Howland, 49. "I grew up a Bruin basketball fan. I am honored to be the head coach at this fine institution, and I am thankful to Dan for the faith he has shown in me."

"Reaching the title game last year was tremendous, but our goal is to contend for the NCAA title on a regular basis. Our team is looking forward to the challenges ahead."

Contract details for UCLA head football coach Karl Dorrell were also announced today. Dorrel agreed on a new five-year contract.

Dorrel's new contract includes guaranteed compensation of $850,000 plus a new incentive package with a maximum of $505,000 and runs through the 2010 season. In addition, Dorrell can earn and additional $500,000 if he fulfills the entire five years of the agreement.


ProCity Notebook: Schedule of Remaining Games

By Bruin Basketball Report

The Nike ProCity Summer League continues to attract large crowds to West Los Angeles College, in particular to games involving UCLA players.

Summer league games are scheduled every weekend until August 12th when the championship game will be played.

ProCity Teams with UCLA Players
Franchise Boys - Michael Roll and Lorenzo Mata (due to return)
Hanks CTS - Alfred Aboya and Josh Shipp
Sinclair Bruins - James Keefe, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Russell

Arron Afflalo had been playing for Big Time, but he is injured and will miss all remaining games.

Schedule of Remaining Games Involving UCLA Players
(*Game dates and times are subject to change)

July 22 Sat @ 12:30PM - Franchise Boys vs. Hoop Family
July 22 Sat @ 3:30PM - Hanks CTS vs. Big Time

July 23 Sun @ 2:00PM - Hanks CTS vs. Sinclair Bruins
July 23 Sun @ 3:30PM - Franchise Boys vs. Salvatori Spirit

July 29 Sat @ 2:00PM - Sinclair Bruins vs. Big Time
July 29 Sat @ 3:30PM - Franchise Boys vs. Hoosier Days
July 29 Sat @ 5:00PM - Hanks CTS vs. Salvatori Spirit

July 30 Sun @ 3:30PM - Sinclair Bruins vs. BTI

August 5 Sat 12:00 and 1:30PM - Playoffs TBA

August 6 Sun 12:00 and 1:30PM - Playoffs TBA

August 10/11 Thu/Fri - Semifinals TBA

August 12 Sat - Championship Game TBA


Thursday, July 20, 2006

SPL Notebook: Farmar Passes Summer Test

By Bruin Basketball Report

Former UCLA Bruin Jordan Farmar finished his final Summer Pro League (SPL) game with a flourish in a 111-108 Lakers loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Matched primarily against former Villanova-star Kyle Lowry, Farmar scored 23 points on 7 of 15 shooting including 2 of 4 on three-pointers. He also handed out 3 assists while demonstrating again his comfort level within the triangle offense.

"I was just trying to run the offense and take what was given to me, and try to be aggressive," Farmar said.

In eight SPL games, Farmar averaged 16.1 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 52% from the field.

Famar has demonstrated surprisingly good quickness, getting to the rim and finishing. He has also shown an excellent midrange game.

He has been a vocal leader throughout league play, directing players to the right spots on the floor and exalting them to finish strong down the stretch in close games.

Lakers' SPL Coach Kurt Rambis could not be more complimentary about the team's first-round selection this year. "Jordan has been tremendous," Rambis said. "He picked up the triangle offense. He's a gym rat and a nasty competitor."

Despite high praise and a solid showing in the SPL, Farmar has room for improvement and much to prove to his new team as an incoming collegiate player.

The rookie point-guard still needs to improve his outside shot, he was only 6 of 23 on three-pointers for just 26% during the SPL. Hitting from the outside will be key for Farmar if he expects to play significant minutes at the point in Phil Jackson's triangle offensive scheme.

Although Farmar has been doing a better job fighting and getting on top of screens, its clear he needs to get stronger physically in order to compete in the NBA, especially on the defensive end.

Farmar expects to do a lot of weight lifting between now and the Laker's' training camp which begins October in Maui. "Once this is over, I have to get to work," Farmar said. "When you get in there with the big men, you've got to box out and rebound."

Last week, the Lakers signed 6'1 free-agent guard Shammond Williams, the former Tar Heel had been playing in Europe the last two years. Williams is an outstanding outside shooter but a marginal defender and more of a shoot-first point guard.

Unless the Lakers make further moves in their roster, they still won't have a clear picture at the point-guard position going into training camp. Last season's point-guards Sasha Vujacic and Smush Parker did not provide consistent play.

With the impression Farmar left on Laker coaches at SPL, he certainly has the chance to contribute signficant minutes this season with the Lakers, but much will depend if he continues to improve his game during the offseason.

Michael Fey, another former Bruin on the Lakers' SPL team, played in 6 of the 8 summer games and averaged 5 points and 1.7 rebounds in 14 minutes per contest.

Although Fey is not expected to be invited to the Lakers training camp later in October, he does expect to play professionally, either in the NBDL or overseas next season.


(photo credit: PopcornMachine/LakersgroundNet)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Afflalo Injures Left Foot, Out 6-8 Weeks

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA 6-5 junior guard Arron Afflalo, the Bruins' leading scorer from last season and a first-team All-Pacific-10 selection, has a left foot stress reaction, Bruin head coach Ben Howland announced Wednesday.

According to Howland, Afflalo has been experiencing pain in his left foot and an MRI revealed the injury. Afflalo is currently in a walking boot. Recovery for an injury of this type is normally six-to-eight weeks.

A co-captain, Afflalo led the team in scoring 18 times and had 11 contests of 20 or more points, including a career-high 27 at Arizona last January. He scored in double figures in 34 of 39 games.

"Arron will do everything necessary to rehab and protect (his left foot)," Howland said. "He is being treated and monitored by our sports medicine staff and we expect a full recovery."

After working out for several NBA teams during the offseason , Afflalo decided to remove his name from consideration in the NBA 2006 draft to return to UCLA.

The junior guard has been playing on the weekends in the Nike L.A. ProCity Summer League at West Los Angeles College.


Howland and Dorrell Getting Pay Raises

By Brian Dohn
L.A. Daily News

After successful seasons in which UCLA football and men's basketball teams exceeded expectations, the head coaches of both teams are poised to have raises approved today during The Regents of the University of California meeting in San Francisco.

Football coach Karl Dorrell's salary will move from a guaranteed $600,000 to slightly less than $1million per season, if he remains at UCLA for the next six years, sources said.

Ben Howland, who was guaranteed $930,000 last season, will see his guaranteed salary bumped significantly above $1 million annually as men's basketball coach, sources added. Both contracts will also increase the potential incentive earnings of Dorrell and Howland.

"Other than confirming it's on the Regents' agenda, it's not appropriate to comment until after the Regents take action," UCLA spokesperson Marc Dellins said.

In his third season, Howland led UCLA to the national championship game, al- though the Bruins fell to Florida in their bid to win an NCAA-record 12th title. It was quite the turnaround from Howland's first season, when the Bruins finished 11-17.

The Bruins assistant basketball coaches were also told they would be receiving raises, sources said, which is in line with what took place within the football staff.

During the offseason, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero increased the total salaries of football's assistant coaches nearly 22 percent.

The salary increases are a change in philosophy from UCLA's long-standing reputation of paying coaches poorly.

Dorrell guided the Bruins to a 10-2 mark, including a defeat of Northwestern in the Sun Bowl, and matched the school record for wins in a season.

Last season he ranked ninth in the Pacific-10 Conference in guaranteed salary. The new deal will move him into the middle of the Pac-10's head coaches.

(reprinted with permission)


Monday, July 17, 2006

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (7/17)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


With Rose on the sidelines, Alex Legion stepped up – even spending a good amount of time as the point guard with the ball in his hands. Legion will be the first one to admit he hasn’t been playing well of late and while he won’t divulge it, the word is that a sprained ankle limited his play in April when he struggled. ``I see it,” Legion said of his sub-par play back in April. “I didn’t play really good in the spring and I’m not making any excuses.” BRO 7/8

Kevin Love, C – Three losses in a row for the big man, but it’s not his fault. He’s still doing his work in the post and on the glass, but there’s a chemistry problem on the team. The one area where Love isn’t quite as effective as usual is passing, but he’s scoring domainating in every other facet. BRO 7/8

Kevin Love vs. DeAndre Jordan: The two best interior players at the camp went at it Saturday afternoon, and although Love got the best of the battle, Jordan played quite well also.
Love, who is leading the camp in both rebounding and scoring went for 25 points and 14 rebounds. His strength was too much for Jordan inside and then he also went outside and hit shots. GatorBait 7/8

Alex Legion came off a strong scoring outing against O.J. Mayo on Friday night but had trouble making shots on Saturday. He went a combined 7 of 24 on the day. A very strong one-on-one scorer, Legion is not nearly as good at involving his teammates in the action. GatorBait 7/8

David Wear and Travis Wear, 2009 – When Taylor King leaves Mater Dei for Duke, the 6-foot-9 twins are going to step right in to the big wing that can flat out shoot the ball role. Heck, they might even do that this year. The Californians have played well at Nike and have shown just enough to make the high-majors from coast to coast to think "We gotta get those guys" but not publicly say it. The talent is there and the Wears seem to know how much better they are going to get. Travis said he and his brother are "a done deal" to play together in college. It looks like UCLA and Arizona are the major players in the early stages. Hickory Husker 7/8

Another time, Tucker used his strength to get position inside, but Drew Gordon reacted quickly and swatted his shot. A minute or so later, Gordon glided down the right sideline, slipped behind the defense and rose to catch an alley-oop pass above the rim. Gracefully, almost easily, he dunked. Not bad for a guy who already had practiced three hours that day and was catching a cross-country flight at dawn the next morning. And not bad for a 15-year-old. Inside Bay Area 7/9

Kyle Singler was a tad out of synch – he never got into any sort of shooting rhythm – but did enough to remind those who have watched him multiple times why he is the best “combo-forward” in this class. He’s got the savvy (at both ends of the floor) of a 30-year-old who has been collecting NBA paychecks for eight or nine years. Phog.Net 7/9

Kyle Singler, 2007 – It was a brief appearance for the Oregon native and he showed flashes of why so many people love his game. He's a lot like Thaddeus Young from the 2006 class when it comes to versatility. Except Singler is a better passer and Young is a better athlete. Singler can do so much, hurting teams inside, outside and offensively and defensively. He'll compete with anybody. Dante Green tried to beat Singler to the basket for a dunk but missed. On the next possession, Singler looked for Green and threw his body on him on the blocks. BlueDemonsNation 7/10

Sonny Vaccaro believes there are loopholes in the NBA rules. One is for the American stars to establish dual citizenship. An American with dual citizenship could theoretically become eligible before the end of the year. "If in fact they're letting the Europeans play earlier than our kids, then I said, 'OK, we'll apply for dual citizenship,'" Vaccaro said. "I know it's far-fetched, but on a legal matter with a few kids it could've been done." New 7/10

Put Drew Gordon's name near the top of UConn's list of rising juniors. Of course, the 6-9 forward from San Jose, Calif., is at the top of plenty of other schools' lists as well. And the coaches who didn't know about him before surely do after his eye-catching performance at ABCD Camp."I hope to narrow it down sometime by the middle of this year," Gordon said. "I like change, I like different kind of weather, new experiences, so East Coast, West Coast ... both are fine." Journal Enquirer 7/10

Kevin Love, C: 19.1 points (1), 9.3 rebounds (1), 1.6 assists, 1.1 turnovers, 0.4 steals, 0.6 blocks, 63 percent shooting, 47 percent three point shooting. Supremely productive and consistent, Love played the best ball of anyone at the camp. He scored consistently with his jump hook in the post, muscled opponents for offensive rebounding opportunities and stepped out for open looks behind the arc. Physically strong, intelligent, competitive and highly skilled, Love was on another level than all the other post players in the camp. Love is so advanced right now, it is difficult to see how he can get much better. As players get stronger at the next two levels, it will become more difficult for Love to operate around the basket. The NBA pick and pop game, however, is custom made for him. GatorBait 7/11

Corperryale Harris, a 6-foot-5 guard from Detroit Redford, made an oral commitment to Michigan on Monday. Harris, who led Redford to the Detroit Public School League title and the Class A semifinals, averaged 25.7 points last season as a junior and was selected to The Detroit News Dream Team. DetNews 7/11

Kyle Singler's monster first half helped the Portland Elite Legends basketball team to a victory over Boo Williams on the opening day of the 24-team Peach Jam. Mail Tribune 7/13

Shoe camps mark highlight of summer preps season: ABCD also countered Nike with its own contender for No. 1 in the junior class, point guard Brandon Jennings. Headed to famed Oak Hill Academy this fall, Jennings long has been a national name, and in the past two months he has elevated his game to a level that clearly surpasses that of the other junior point guards. USA Today 7/13

"Kevin Love justified what I've been saying all along: You've got to go with the guy who's playing the best," Coleman said. "Even though I think [North College Hill point guard O.J.] Mayo is the best pro prospect right now, he's not playing consistently at the level that Kevin has been playing. As a matter of fact, no one is." CSTV 7/13

Kyle Singler is averaging 19.8 points on 26-for-36 shooting from the field over the first two days of the four-day tournament (Nike Peach Jam Invitational). In four games, he has pulled down 26 rebounds to go with six assists, two steals and two blocks. Entering today's action he ranks sixth overall in points and eighth in rebounds. Mail Tribune 7/13

And that's why Salisbury, the mother of a South Medford High girls basketball player, continues to insist that if Nike gives athletic shoes — valued at as much as $150 — to the Panther boys program, then it should present an equal amount to the Panther girls team. Nike, the Beaverton-based apparel and shoe giant, has been handing shoes and other athletic gear to the South Medford boys team since the rise of Kyle Singler, the team's star player who is regarded as one of the nation's top recruits. Mail Tribune 7/13

What's causing a stir, however, is that one of the most coveted recruits in the west, senior-to-be James Harden, a 6-foot-4 wing, could very well follow his high school coach to ASU.This possibility has raised some eyebrows because of how this scenario — an assistant being brought in who has ties to a big-time recruit — has played out at other schools in the past. AZCentral 7/13

Corperryale Harris' rise up the rankings has coincided with a slip by former U-M commitment Alex Legion, who transferred from Birmingham Detroit Country Day to Oak Hill (Va.) Academy for this fall. Legion sits just five overall spots ahead of Harris, a virtual dead heat in recruiting rankings. Legion is reportedly considering schools outside the state of Michigan. Harris said he won't decommit. "Every decision I made in my life was a good decision," Harris said. Detroit Free Press 7/13

Kyle Singler, who is considering KU, Duke, Arizona, UCLA and Washington, had 29 points and 11 boards in the Portland Legends’ victory over Boo Williams. “I’m not playing football this year, so I’m probably going to take my official visits in that time,” Singler told, referring to September visits. “I’m looking forward to that. I’ll probably make my decision within that month or so. As far as order of visits: “I’m definitely going back to Duke and hitting up Kansas and Arizona and possibly UCLA and Washington,” Singler said. Lawrence Journal-World 7/13


Sunday, July 16, 2006

ProCity Notebook: Shipp Sizzles, Mata Sighting

By Bruin Basketball Report

In a Nike Procity League game Saturday, Josh Shipp showed how tough an offensive force he will be next season for the UCLA Bruins.

Shipp scored 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting for Hanks CTS in a losing cause against the Franchise Boys, 77-76.

The UCLA forward displayed a variety of offensive moves, hitting his first shot of the game from just inside the three-point line, and then displayed NBA-level moves, getting into the paint while taking hits from defenders but still managing to finish.

Down 42-29 at halftime, Shipp and fellow UCLA teammate Alfred Aboya brought their team back tying the contest midway through the third quarter.

Aboya scored 6 point and grabbed 5 rebounds. Spending most of his time on the court setting hard screens for teammates and chasing down loose balls, all his scores came off rebounds or broken plays.

UCLA's Michael Roll, playing for the Franchise Boys, had an effective game scoring 10 points on 3 of 6 shooting off the bench.

Roll still has difficulty creating his own shot when guarded on the perimeter, and was more effective moving without the ball and getting his baskets off cuts.

Center Lorenzo Mata, who is also on the Franchise Boys roster, warmed up with the team before the game but did not play.

Mata is still rehabilitating from his June knee surgery and is still walking with a slight limp. He plans to start playing for his summer league team in the next couple of weeks.


SPL Notebook: Former Bruins Battle Grizzlies

By Jack Rosenfeld, guest contributor
Bruin Basketball Report

In front of over 5,000 spectators at the Pyrmaid in Long Beach, the Los Angeles Lakers Summer Pro League (SPL) squad lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, 88-73.

It was hot inside and outside the gym, and both teams played as if it were the dog days of summer.

Farmar finished the game with 10 points on 4 of 10 shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. Farmar scored only two first half points.

In the first half, Farmar looked to pass first and run the triangle offense, but as it happens in summer league games, his teammates would not return the gesture.

Farmar came on strong in the second half, running the fast break and controlling the offense from the point.

Laker second-year player Andrew Bynum struggled scoring just 7 points and racking up 7 fouls - a player can not foul out of summer league games. He also added 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Former Bruin Michael Fey played a little over 6 minutes and contributed only 2 fouls to the stat sheet. He was clearly outmatched by his opponent - especially Memphis' Andreas Glyniad, and at least in this game Fey struggled to compete at this level.


(photo credit: Jack Rosenfeld)