Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ryan Wright Transfers to Oklahoma

By Bruin Basketball Report

Sophomore post player Ryan Wright  has decided to transfer to the University of Oklahoma.  He will sit out next season and be eligible to play in 2008-09.

"I've made my decision and I feel that Oklahoma is the best place for me," Wright said.

Wright played sparingly at UCLA last season, averaging 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds in 5.4 minutes of action per game.  With the addition of Kevin Love to the squad next season and the emergence of Lorenzo Mata, minutes would have been few for the former star from Mississauga, Ontario.

Although the 6'8, 240lb Wright arrived at UCLA two years ago as the most highly touted recruit among a five member class, which included Darren Collison, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alfred Aboya, and Michael Roll, he was never able to assert himself on either side of the court. 

It wasn't from a lack of effort on Wright's part, he reported to camp last season in excellent condition after a summer of intense work-outs and was ready to make an impact on the team.  But  despite all his efforts and willingness to learn, Wright never found his comfort zone on the court with the Bruins.

"Ryan is an outstanding young man and we appreciate what he has done
for this program over the past two years," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said. "He worked
hard everyday, showed great improvement and was an important part of
our run to back-to-back Final Four appearances. We wish him nothing but
the best."



At May 22, 2007, 3:20:00 PM, Anonymous clyde said...

Ditto to what Howland said. I certainly wish him the best. It is still odd for somebody that was so highly recruited and apparently worked very hard but it never translated to the hardcourt.
Anybody have any insight as to why?
Just curious. Tis a mystery to me.

At May 23, 2007, 4:04:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

We had to take what we could get when Wright was recruited, now our standards are much higher due to all of the success! Let's keep it real, Ryan was not that good. Let's turn the page. Ben Howland (The Westwood Savior) is signing NBA talent these days and another banner is on the way soon.

At May 23, 2007, 5:24:00 AM, Anonymous John said...

Well said and I couldn't agree more...

At May 23, 2007, 6:24:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Dynasty begins when next championship is hung, this year or next year...
Can't wait for Love to swat Mayo-naise

At May 24, 2007, 4:05:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

I keep reading positive things about Reeves Nelson for the class of 2009. I know it is a while away, but what is your take on their direction in that year. There are quite a few top local prospects and Howland will have at least 4 scholarships to give out. I assume Renardo is a priority, but getting a 5 star back court player should as well.... Please give us your insight and as usual thanks for a great blog.

At May 24, 2007, 6:52:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Sidney and Wear twins are definite targets, but with 4-5 scholarships there is room for wings and other backcourt player. Reeves Nelson is an intriguing prospect.
The 6'6 athletic sophomore is an outstanding leaper, great in transition, and a decent outside shooter, but what makes him intriguing is that he combines it with a power game. He effectively gets to the basket and finishes strong, and is an excellent rebounder for his size.
Think a young "Thunder" Dan Majerlie.

At May 25, 2007, 3:41:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Although Ryan dominated HS competition in Canada, he never quite caught up to the D1 competition in the US.
Wright has the athleticism, size, and skill to play at an elite D1 school - the fact Oklahoma, Purdue and others were pursuing him as a transfer confirms it. At UCLA, he never gained the confidence in his game nor did he receive enough minutes to build it. In retrospect, perhaps UCLA was the wrong place for him. When you play on a team with elite teammates, playing for a chance at the championship every year, you either perform or you sit. Ryan's game needed some maturing and more experience.
Interestingly, Ryan was a much better practice player than in games. In practice, he was more relaxed and allowed the game to come to him. In games, he played too quickly and rushed, perhaps knowing those were the few minutes he had to prove himself.
Don't be surprised if Ryan has an excellent college career at Oklahoma.

At Jun 20, 2007, 1:58:00 PM, Anonymous westcoastfan said...

Ryan's isn't the first nor will he be the last highly recruited player not to "make it" at his first school. It also works out the other way when "unknowns" simply blossom under the right circumstances.


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