Friday, April 13, 2007

John Wooden Released From Hospital

By The Associated Press

John Wooden was resting at home today after his hospital release. The
96-year-old former UCLA basketball coach had been hospitalized since

"He is at home and doing well," daughter Nan Muehlhausen said in a statement relased by UCLA.

She said he was thankful for people's thoughts, prayers, cards and notes.

"Dad needs his rest, so we are asking people not to visit or call him on the telephone at this time," she added.

Wooden was taken to the hospital when he began to have symptoms similar
to those from a year ago when he was hospitalized for diverticulitis,
an inflammation of pockets in the colon.

Doctors later believed he had a reaction to a combination of
medications, including one for arthritis, according to his daughter. He
also had an elevated heart rate Thursday.

Wooden coached the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year span
before retiring in 1975 with a 620-147 record in 27 years at UCLA.

(photo credit: AP)


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Duncan Tabbed For "Premier" College Assistant Coaching Job

By Bruin Basketball Report

Scott Duncan has been hired
as an assistant coach at UCLA, Bruin head coach Ben Howland announced today.
Duncan replaces Kerry Keating who left to become the head coach at Santa

Duncan spent the last seven years as an assistant coach at the University of Oregon under Ernie Kent.  Howland requested permission from Kent to approach Duncan about the job at UCLA shortly before Keating announced he was leaving the school.

"When you think of college basketball there is one school you think of, and that is UCLA." Duncan said. "No school compares to UCLA, so when you have an
opportunity to work at the premier school, work for the premier coach
in your profession, its a very difficult thing to turn down."

Recognized as one of the nation's best assistant coaches and top
recruiters, Duncan brings over 25 years of experience as a major college
basketball assistant coach.

"I am very pleased that Scott Duncan has accepted the position of
assistant coach," said UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland. "He comes with a great background in
coaching and is very well respected as an outstanding recruiter. He is
a very experienced coach, an outstanding person and I feel very
fortunate to have him join the Bruin family."

Duncan was recently named the eighth-best assistant coach in the
country by Hoop Scoop, and was recognized as one of the nation's top 25
recruiters by

"A new chapter in my life has opened up and I am very flattered and
excited about the opportunity to work at UCLA." Duncan said. "I am looking forward to
working with Coach Howland, who is considered to be one of the best
coaches in all of basketball. The best thing I can do, whether in
working with the current student-athletes, or in recruiting, is to
devote all of my energy in going towards winning a national
championship. Not very many people in my shoes get that opportunity and
I certainly don't want to waste that."

When asked if he was interested in becoming a head coach in the future, Duncan states its certainly one of his professional pursuits.

"I absolutely want to be a head coach." Duncan, a Columbus Ohio native said.  It is one of the attractive measures of UCLA. If i am deserving of another coaching job in the future, I will now be a part of a system the majority in college basketball consider as the best system in the country."

Duncan hasn't spoken to Howland about his specific role with the team but plans to do whatever is needed to help build a more successful program.

"I'm looking to get plugged into wherever they need me." Duncan said. "Ive been in the business for 26 years and there is nothing as an assistant coach I haven't done."

With Kevin Love arriving in Westwood next season, Duncan was asked how the Ducks struck out on the prized recruit from the state of Oregon.

"I think it goes back to the same reason why I chose to go to UCLA," the savvy 51 year old coach said. "UCLA is the premier school in the country, and it has the premier coach in the country. I'm sure you'll find that's what Kevin was looking for."

"I've never been an "I" guy in recruiting." Duncan said. "I think the most important person in recruiting is the Head Coach - he's the one who closes the deal on all the players. I've always been brought up in recruiting as we 'all get them' and 'we all lose them'.

Duncan  officially joined the Ducks' coaching staff in 2000 after
spending the previous three seasons assisting
Wyoming to its first post-season berth in seven campaigns in 1997-98
before moving to Clemson the following year.  He played a major role in the school signing four of
the nation's top 100 recruits.

Including a two-year stint at
Washington State during the 1995-96 season, Duncan has helped attract
recruiting classes that have been recognized among the top 25 in the
country seven of the last 10 years, including Oregon's 2003 class (No.

Graduating with an undergraduate degree in physical education
and economics from the College of Wooster, Ohio, in 1978, the
three-year letterman began his coaching career as a part-time assistant
at Cleveland State in 1978-79. Two years later, he
joined New Mexico for a 10-year tenure.
Duncan also spent time at Fresno State and then four years
at Northern Illinois (1991-92 through 1994-95).

(photo credit: Oregon Athletics)


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Afflalo To Forego Senior Year For NBA

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA junior guard Arron Afflalo announced today at a press conference in front of UCLA staff, teammates, coaches, friends and family that he has decided to forego his senior year and enter the NBA draft.

"I am here again to announce that I will be entering this upcoming (NBA) draft," Afflalo told the packed press room. "I called this press conference alongside Coach (Ben Howland), not too give reason so much, but to give thanks. It has been a wonderful three years. I have great teammates and I'm going to miss them a lot. But at this point and time, I feel it is time for me to move on."

Afflalo led the Bruins in scoring each of the past two years while guiding UCLA to back-to-back Pacific-10 Conference championships and back-to-back Final Four appearances.

"Hopefully the community will support me and understand my decision and understand that is was well thought out," added Afflalo, the 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year. "My coach is behind me 100 percent and my father, my mother and my teammates as well."

As a junior in 2007, the Associated Press First Team All-American averaged 16.9 points per game (third in the Pac-10), 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while averaging 2.4 made three-pointers per contest (also third in the Pac-10).

He leaves UCLA ranking 17th on the career charts in scoring (1,540 points, 14.8 ppg) and second all-time in three-point field goals made (209) and attempted (560).

"I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to coach Arron," Coach Howland said. "He was the first recruit that committed when I got the job here and I'll never forget that. I'll always be very thankful and appreciative to Arron. He will always be a Bruin and I'm excited about the relationship that we have developed over the last four years."

Coach Howland went on to add that he believes Afflalo will be a first round draft pick and will go on to have a fruitful career in the NBA.

"He brings a lot of things to the table," Howland continued. "He is UCLA's first consensus All-American since Ed O'Bannon in 1995 and had a tremendous year. But more importantly, he is all about helping his team win and being a great teammate, one that is unselfish and plays both ends of the floor. And those are things that coaches are looking for at the next level. I believe he will have a long and successful career in the NBA."

BBR congratulates Arron Afflalo on a fabulous collegiate career at UCLA.  His heart and will to win have been the hallmark of the Bruin teams he's helped lead to two Final Fours. 

We thank Afflalo for his contributions in returning the program to elite status.  He will forever be remembered as one of the best players to ever put on a UCLA basketball uniform.

(photo credit: Jack Rosenfeld/AP/BBR)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wooden Hospitalized But Doing Well

By Bruin Basketball Report

Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden was hospitalized for treatment of a possible recurrence of diverticulitis. He was admitted to a Los Angeles-area hospital Sunday because of bleeding
in the colon.

He's absolutely doing fine,'' daughter Nancy Muehlhausen said. "He's laughing and cracking jokes. He looks good.''

Wooden had four blood transfusions since Sunday. Doctors
could keep Wooden in the hospital for a couple of more days, but
Muehlhausen said her father was doing well.

"Dad is in good spirits,'' she said. "He lost a lot of blood but has gained his strength back thanks to the transfusions.''

Wooden was hospitalized for three days in April 2006 for
diverticulitis, a condition in which inflammations occur in pockets in
the colon. It can lead to serious infection if contents from the
intestine leak into the abdomen.

Doctors now feel he suffered from a reaction to a combination of medications, including one for arthritis, Muehlhausen said.

Patients with mild diverticulitis are usually treated with
antibiotics and placed on a liquid or high-fiber diet. In severe cases,
surgery may be required to remove the diseased part of the colon.

Wooden was scheduled to speak Wednesday to the Kansas State University athletic department but had to cancel.

(photo credit: AP)


Howland, Afflalo To Meet Today

By Diane Pucin
Los Angeles Times

[reprinted with permission]

UCLA basketball coach to discuss player's pro prospects as he considers plans for next year's Bruins.

The NCAA semifinal loss to Florida nine days in his rearview mirror,
Coach Ben Howland spoke Monday about what he expected from his
returning UCLA basketball players and his new recruits next season but
remained quiet about how much of his senior-less team would return to
try for a third consecutive Final Four appearance.

Danny Afflalo, father of junior All-American Arron Afflalo, said he and
Arron planned to meet with Howland today to discuss Arron's plans.

Afflalo, the Pacific 10 Conference player of the year, explored his NBA
prospects last spring, declaring his intention for draft eligibility
and attending some evaluation camps before withdrawing his name and
returning to lead UCLA back to the Final Four.

According to NCAA rules, if Afflalo declares for the draft for a second
time by the April 29 deadline, he will not be able to return to UCLA.

Howland said he would meet with the Afflalos and "try to do a lot of
research as to where [Arron] would go in the draft, assuming that is
part of the decision."

Danny Afflalo said Arron might have an announcement this afternoon, after meeting with Howland.

Sophomores Darren Collison and Josh Shipp, who also have been listed as
possible early draftees, can declare their eligibility, explore their
options, then return to school, as long as they don't hire agents.

Neither Shipp nor Collison has indicated whether he would declare for
the draft and use the chance to hear what NBA coaches think, or save
that option for next year.

Afflalo is listed as a late first-round pick on one NBA draft website and as a second-round pick on another.

Collison, who was listed as a possible No. 15 first-round pick last week on one site, is now unlisted on both.

"Those draft sites, I don't put a lot of stock in that," Howland said.
"I have a lot more confidence in what NBA general managers think and
the GMs have a service the NBA provides."

Howland also touched on some other topics:

He said he was in "no hurry" to replace assistant coach Kerry
Keating, who was named head coach at Santa Clara last week. Howland
said he was looking for someone "with experience, who's been around,
who is obviously a very good recruiter, but someone who understands all
the other aspects — scheduling, coaching — there are a lot of things."

He hoped that freshmen James Keefe, a forward, and Russell
Westbrook, a guard, would be spending significant time in the weight
room. He said he was happy that both were there the day after UCLA
returned from Atlanta last week and that he expected Westbrook to get
more time at the shooting guard position next year if Afflalo left for
the NBA.

Sophomore forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute struggled with knee
tendinitis more than he'd indicated, Howland said, adding that he hoped
Mbah a Moute would develop a more reliable jump shot. He said Mbah a
Moute probably would play more small forward next season.

According to Howland, top recruit Kevin Love will strengthen
UCLA's offense not only because of his outlet passing ability but also
because of his rebounding.

"We only out-boarded our opponents by 2.5 a game," Howland said.
"That's not very good. Our opportunity to fastbreak and to get
second-shot chances comes with better rebounding. Ideally, we should
out-rebound teams by seven, eight, nine a game."

(photo credit: AP)


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/9)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


The big guns were blazing for the West Tuesday night in the 43rd
Annual Roundball Classic All-Star Game in its 144-123 romp at The
United Center in Chicago....The West tri-MVP's were Kevin Love with 21 points (10-17 FG), a game-high 16 rebounds and six blocks ESPN 4/5

Fairfax's Chace Stanback, who committed to UCLA, was named the top
player in Div. I; Campbell Hall of North Hollywood's Jrue Holiday
earned the distinction in Div. III; and Buckley of Sherman Oaks' Richie
Polan took home the award in Div. IV. LA Daily News  4/7

For Kevin Love,
it was a memorable ending. And for the United States, it was evidence
that rugged defense and teamwork have returned to the guys in red,
white and blue. The United States Junior National Team continued its dominance of
the Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday night, easily defeating the World
Select Team 100-80 at the FedEx Forum....Love finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists despite
playing just 18 minutes and fouling out in the fourth quarter. The Oregonian 4/7

Holiday's running mate in the backcourt Jerime Anderson also played very good basketball on Sunday. In the finals, he scored 19 points which included three three-pointers and dished out five assists. He did a fine job navigating the high-ball screen and took care of the ball while making sharp decisions throughout the game. Gator Bait 4/9


Mitty's Drew Gordon displayed more of his athletic prowess by throwing
the discus 175 feet, 8 inches to finish third at Stanford. A week earlier, the
6-foot-9 junior led the Monarchs into the state basketball finals. San Francisco Chronicle 4/3

Junior guard Jrue Holiday from North Hollywood Campbell Hall has been selected the Gatorade player of the year in California for boys' basketball. The
6-foot-3 Holiday led Campbell Hall to a 33-1 record and the state
Division IV championship, averaging 22.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 6.5
assists. A Times All-Star, Holiday scored 38 points in an overtime victory over
La Cañada in the Southern Section Division III-AA championship game. LA Times 4/5

Players got a one game tuneup at the one of the spring's most
prestigious events, The Real Deal on the Hill, before the college
coaches roll in on Saturday to evaluate the action....
The Pump N Run squad with Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson (commit), Victor Davila, Nelson Reeves, Travis Wear and David Wear appear to be one of the favorites to win this event. They cruised out to a 50-24 lead at half in their opening game.
Holiday looked impressive as usual. Anderson did a fine job distributing the ball, and Travis Wear stood out. Irish Illustrated 4/7

For the Pump N Run, Jrue Holiday was impressive as the top prospect on the court, but he failed to take
the game over in the second half. He did finish with 18 points as he
led his team in scoring, assists and steals and was one of his team's
top rebounders along withn Reeves Nelson.
Holiday got into the lane at will against the Southeast Elite defense,
but forced a few too many shots at the rim instead of pulling up for
the mid-range jumper. Jackets Online 4/8

Renardo Sidney looks extremely impressive with his new travel team LA Dream Team,
which is coached by his father. Over the high school season Sidney has
conditioned his body and is playing inspired basketball. Besides the
fact that he scored from all over the court, perhaps the most telling
sign of Sidney's development is the way he organized his teammates and
communicated on defense. Jackets Online 4/8

Jordan Hamilton put up 21 points and six rebounds in a Lamar Odom-I Can All Stars' win
over the Arkansas Hawks. Known as a sharpshooter, Hamilton hit a couple
threes but was more impressive handling the ball in the open court and
finishing at the rim....Hamilton has interest from USC, Florida, Arizona State, Texas, Oregon, Arizona, North Carolina and NC State. Jackets Online 4/8

Travis Wear and David Wear
reiterated that they will attend the same college. Right now they are
most interested in UCLA (offer), North Carolina (offer), Arizona
(offer), Washington and Stanford. Jackets Online 4/8

Drew Gordon (Mitty): His per-game averages won't wow
you  --  13.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.6 blocks - but just about everything
else does. With remarkable athleticism, speed and leaping ability, the 6-9 junior led
Mitty to a 29-6 season, The Chronicle's top ranking and its first Northern
California championship. "He does so many things that don't show up in a box score," Mitty coach
Brian Eagleson said. San Francisco Chronicle 4/8

Renardo Sidney
is a stud inside for the L.A. Dream Team.  He played just less than half the game this afternoon, but scored an unofficial 19 points.  He can flat out get to the glass in a hurry on both ends of the court. He has interest from UCLA, Ohio State, and LSU at this point, but look for that list to grow! CSTV 4/8

Jrue Holiday 6-foot-3 guard had some bright spots in his pool play leading his team to the championship bracket.  But his twin teammates 6-foot-9 bookend forwards David Wear and Travis Wear were equally impressive when we watched.  They still need to get stronger, but boy are they skilled. CSTV 4/8

The No. 2 ranked prospect in the Rivals150 for the class of 2008, Jrue Holiday had a game-high 20 points. A terrific all around player, Holiday controlled the point guard position down the stretch of both the semifinal and final game of the tournament. In the finals, he chipped in three assists and three rebounds. Gator Bait 4/9

For the LA Dream Team Renardo Sidney was so impressive throughout the tournament that he received a "second place" MVP even though he didn't play his best basketball in the final game. It still wasn't that shabby of a game as he scored 17 points and collected six rebounds. But Sidney just didn't provide the energetic, dominating game that his team needed from him to win the championship game. Gator Bait 4/9

Travis Wear and David Wear, who were both coming off impressive offensive games against the Atlanta Celtics in the semifinals, just made a dent in the stats during the finals, but more impressive was their defensive effort against Sidney. Gator Bait 4/9

(photo credit: LA Times/Robert Lachman)