Friday, April 20, 2007

Josh Shipp Has Successful Left Hip Surgery

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA sophomore Josh Shipp underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left hip Friday afternoon.

“The surgery went as well as expected and I am happy to have Josh home and recovering,” Deborah Shipp, Josh's mother, said. “We elected to have this surgery as a precautionary measure. It came as a complete surprise to us because Josh played so well this year and his left hip really wasn't bothering him. But when we learned that he had a small tear in his labrum, after consulting with his doctor, we decided to have the procedure done.”

It was the same surgery Shipp had on his right hip on Sept. 28, 2005.  He received a medical red-shirt after playing in just four games during the 2005-06 season.  Shipp returned this year and started in 35 of 36 games while averaging 13.3 points and 3.9 rebounds a game

The surgery was performed by Dr. Carlos A. Guanche at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys.  The procedure repaired a torn labrum (cartilage) and also included a removal of an area of bony overgrowth of the femoral neck. Rehabilitation should take 8-12 weeks and Shipp will spend the first month on crutches.

“The surgery went very well and Josh should be able to begin his rehabilitation next week,” Dr. Guanche said. “It is a very common procedure among elite-level athletes such as Josh. I have performed this surgery on NBA, NFL and NHL athletes and all have returned to their high-level of competition.”

Dr. Guanche is a family physician to the Shipp family. Approximately three years ago, he performed asuccessful arthroscopy hip procedure on Joe Shipp, Josh’s older brother.

“I’m very pleased that the surgery was a successful one and look forward to Josh making a complete recovery,” UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland said. “He has ample time to recover and be ready to go at 100% full strength by the time we start back up again in October."

Shipp was a major reason for the Bruins' success this season.  Against Florida in the championship game, he scored a team-high 18 points.  With the departure of Arron Afflalo to the professional ranks, Shipp will be looked upon next year to carry an additional load on offense. 

(photo credit: AP)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ryan Wright To Transfer From UCLA

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA men’s basketball coach Ben Howland announced today that 6-foot-8-inch sophomore forward/center Ryan Wright will not be returning for next season. Wright, from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada will transfer to play his final years at another school.

Wright will leave UCLA after the spring semester and hasn’t made a decision as to where he will transfer.

"Ryan is an outstanding young man and we appreciate what he has done for this program over the past two years," 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.

"He will stay a part of the team and continue to work out with his coaches as well as his teammates during the spring. He will always be a part of the Bruin family and we appreciate all of his efforts over the past two years."

Wright averaged 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds per game while appearing in 28 of the 36 games without making a start during the 2006-07 season. He played in 150 minutes (5.4 minutes per game) while shooting 58.3 percent (14-for-24) from the field on the year.

"After speaking with my family and thinking about it for a long time, I feel that at this point in my career, the best thing for me to do is to explore other opportunities," Wright said. "The coaching staff has helped me improve as a player and grow as a man and I am thankful to them for that. My teammates made me feel at home and I have a lot of great memories from my time here at UCLA."

(Press Release)


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UCLA Celebrates Successful Season at Awards Banquet

UCLA junior guard, Arron Afflalo,
the Pacific-10 Player of the Year, was given the Coach John R. Wooden
Award as the Bruins' Most Valuable Player Monday at UCLA's annual
Hoopsters Awards/Dinner Banquet held at the Beverly Hilton.

UCLA's first consensus All-American since Ed O'Bannon in 1995,
Afflalo led the Bruins in scoring (16.9 ppg), which ranked third in the
Pac-10 Conference. He helped guide the Bruins to back-to-back Final
Four appearances and back-to-back Pac-10 titles. Afflalo also shared
the Coach John Wooden Award last year with Jordan Farmar.

During the evening's festivities, Afflalo also was given the Irv
Pohlmeyer Memorial Award (Outstanding Defensive Player) for the third
year in a row.

Sophomore guard Darren Collison 
also was a double award winner, receiving the UCLA Alumni Association
Award (Team Assist Leader) after averaging 5.7 apg, which ranked second
in the Pac-10. Collison was also given the Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial
Award (Free Throw Champion) by shooting 81.0 percent (94-for-116) from
the charity stripe.

Two starting sophomores - Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - shared the Bruin Hoopsters J.D. Morgan Memorial Award (Outstanding
Team Play). Shipp finished second on the team in scoring (13.3 ppg) and
in assists (2.6 apg) while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was fourth in scoring (8.2 ppg) and second in steals (1.7 spg). He was
also the third and final Bruin to take home two awards on the evening,
earning the Gerald A. Finerman Award (Team Rebounding Leader) after
averaging 7.4 rebounds per game (259 rebounds).

Bruin freshman Russell Westbrook
won the Seymour Armond Memorial Award (Most Valuable Freshman) after
averaging 3.4 points per game and shooting 45.7 percent (48-for-105)
from the field and 40.9 percent (9-for-22) from three-point range in
his first collegiate campaign.

Junior center Lorenzo Mata was given the Bruin Bench Basketball Award for Most Improvement in
All-Around Play and Mental Attitude. He averaged 6.6 points and 5.4
rebounds per game while leading UCLA in blocks with 42 (1.2 bpg) and
was one of only four Bruins (Afflalo, Westbrook and Michael Roll were the other three) to play in all 36 games on the year.

Sophomore forward/center Alfred Aboya
was given the Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake Memorial Award for Competitive
Spirit, Inspiration and Unselfish Contributions. He averaged 4.1 points
and 4.2 rebounds per game in his second season with UCLA.

Two Bruins, sophomore forward/center Ryan Wright and freshman guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, shared the UCLA Faculty Athletic Representative Award (Academic Achievement and Team Contribution).

2007 UCLA Men's Basketball/Bruin Hoopsters Annual Awards/Dinner Banquet Award Winners
Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial Award/Free Throw Champion: Darren Collison.

Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake Memorial Award/Competitive Spirit, Inspiration and Unselfish Contributions:  Alfred Aboya

Bruin Hoopsters J.D. Morgan Memorial Award/Outstanding Team Play: Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

UCLA Faculty Athletic Representative Award/Academic Achievement and Team Contribution: Mustafa Abdul-Hamid and Ryan Wright.

Seymour Armond Memorial Award/Most Valuable Freshman: Russell Westbrook

Bruin Bench Basketball Award/Most Improvement in All-Around Play and Mental Attitude: Lorenzo Mata

Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Award/Outstanding Defensive Player: Arron Afflalo

UCLA Alumni Association Award/Team Assist Leader: Darren Collison

Gerald A. Finerman Award/Team Rebounding Leader: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Coach John Wooden Award/Most Valuable Player: Arron Afflalo

(UCLA Press Release)


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/16)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Unlike the 2006 game when USA Basketball fell behind early and had to mount a comeback, the 2007 team led from start-to-finish, racing to a quick 7-0 lead following a 3-pointer by forward Kevin Love (Lake Oswego, Ore/Lake Oswego). The UCLA-bound Love finished with 13 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. US Olympic Team 4/9

Kevin Love is getting more love.This time, it's as the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Love, who is headed for UCLA next season, added to his accomplishments Tuesday morning in a ceremony at Lake Oswego High School. Love is also a McDonald's All-American, the nation's Naismith player of the year and The Oregonian's player of the year. USA Today 4/10

Malcolm Lee, the 6-4 junior point guard from Riverside (Calif.) North, gets a slight edge as the top West Coast player in attendance. His length, quickness and deep range make him a very exciting prospect at the next level. Lee has the ball-handling ability to play the one, but his shot is getting good enough that he may play significant minutes at the two. As an illustration of just how much we think of Lee as a prospect, we think he’s a better prospect at the same age than Arron Afflalo. BamaMag 4/12

Draped in red, white and blue USA practice uniforms, Kevin Love and Kyle Singler flash hand signals, playfully taunt each other and pose for pictures as a photographer snaps away....More than 2,000 miles from home and four weeks removed from competing in one of the most memorable state championship games in Oregon history, two of the best prep players in the nation revealed that their friendship had survived a topsy-turvy senior season and was stronger than ever. The Oregonian 4/15


Jrue Holiday, a 6-foot-3 junior guard at North Hollywood Campbell Hall, was named as the state boys basketball player of the year by Gatorade. Holiday averaged 22.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 steals as Campbell Hall (33-1) won the CIF State Division IV championship with a 70-34 win over Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman last month. North County Times 4/9

Brandon Jennings, not surprisingly, "de-committed" from USC. The 6-2 Jennings "committed" to the Trojans last November, but I immediately got an e-mail from a source very close to Jennings who told me that Connecticut or Arizona would still be in the mix. Team Reebok was led by one of the California's most underrated (although not for long) juniors in 6-6 Tyreese Breshers from Los Angeles Price.  Press Telegram 4/10

Brendon Lavender, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Mesa Mountain View, attracted an offer from UA coach Lute Olson on Sunday after playing in the Las Vegas Easter Classic. Saying it was a “dream come true” to get an offer to play for the Wildcats, Lavender said he is trying to work around his club team’s practice schedule and take an unofficial visit to Arizona this weekend. If things go well, Lavender said, he could commit on the spot, though he also said he wanted to stay patient and possibly take other recruiting trips. Ranked No. 79 overall by Scout and 101 by Rivals, Lavender said he has had interest from ASU, USC, Washington State, UCLA and Utah. Arizona Daily Star 4/10

Brendon Lavender was one of the biggest surprises from the event. He was stellar for the Arizona Magic and earned an offer from the Arizona Wildcats. The opportunity to play for the in-state school might be too hard to pass up. "I am most likely going to commit," Lavender told "I am going to see the campus and talk to family and just be patient with it but I feel good. I am going to see the campus as soon as possible. I am talking to my dad right now and we're going to go down there this weekend." Gator Bait 4/10

Arizona has also scheduled San Jose forward Drew Gordon for an unofficial visit this weekend. While Gordon is a much-higher ranked recruit, the Wildcats face stiff competition to get him. Arizona Daily Star 4/10

The most impressive aspect of Jrue Holiday's play was his work at point guard during crunch time in close games. has always recognized his ability to run the point, but in Arkansas we had the opportunity to watch Holiday take the ball and break down the press when his team needed it most. Along with his smooth handle, he has overwhelming power for a point guard. Double teams melted away in front of him, and he either found shooters in rhythm or attacked the basket with authority. 4/10

While in Los Angeles, Renardo Sidney has continued to improve his conditioning. In Arkansas this past weekend, he looked like a man playing against boys on many occasions. He attacked the rim in transition, scored in the post, made 3-pointers and handled the ball well. Along with his improvement physically, Sidney was playing with more mental intensity as well. 4/10

Built like a brick but also possessing strong athleticism, Reeves Nelson is a throwback-type player who competes on every possession.... He has the strength and mobility to guard the three and the four positions. Offensively he can score with his back to the basket, but is most dangerous in the half court when he faces the basket and attacks off the dribble. Very strong with the basketball, Nelson can power through traffic and dunk in a crowd. 4/10

Branch West rode the play of power forward Tyreese Breshers, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Price High School in California. The three-star forward is coming on at the right time and should see his recruitment expand over the next couple of weeks. Gator Bait 4/10

Drew Gordon, a 6-9, 237-pound forward from San Jose, Calif., could be an ideal fit in the Wildcats' frontcourt, which will lose Kirk Walters after next season. The Wildcats are up against the nation's elite for his services — Gordon said he has visited Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, Washington and Cal so far unofficially — but the fact that he's spending his own money to visit Tucson is a positive sign for UA (recruits can't take official paid visits until their senior years begin). It also can't hurt that the Wildcats have playing time to sell him, a factor Gordon said he is weighing. "I want to see how the players mesh together and how I'd fit in with the team," Gordon said Wednesday. "I'm definitely going to be expecting to play the first year." Arizona Star 4/12

Percy "Romeo" Miller is putting his career on hold for a while. The 6-foot music star/actor and son of Master P was one of three players that committed to Floyd and the Trojans on Friday. Demar Derozan and Angelo Johnson, a pair of's Top 100 players in the Class of 2008, joined Miller in giving a pledge to USC....The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Derozan is one of the best players on the west coast and ranks 46th nationally in's rankings of the top junior players in the country.  "It's a good program, a building program and it's been a school I've loved for a while," Derozan said. "They've been interested in me for a while."  Fox Sports 4/13

(photo credit: Vern Uyetake / The Lake Oswego Review)