Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dragovic Helps Serbia To U20 European Championship

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA forward Nikola Dragovic grabbed nine rebounds and added six points, including two clutch free throws down the stretch, to help Serbia to an 87-78 win over Spain in the finals of the U20 European Championship.

In eight games, Dragovic averaged 12.1 points on 48.6% shooting and 5.4 rebounds a game.  He also shot a sizzling 45.2% from three-point distance. The Bruin sophomore scored a game-high 21 points in the semifinal game against Italy.

Dragovic is part of a nucleus that has also captured the 2003 U16, 2005 U18 and 2006 U20 championships for Serbia.

don't think anybody can beat us. And we're going to eventually show it
in the senior team as well," said Dragovic.

"I feel absolutely wonderful. It's not every day
you win a title of any championship. The U20 European Championship Men
is just one step below the senior national team. I have so many
emotions and it's hard to talk right now," added Serbian coach Vlada

Dragovic is expected to challenge for significant playing time in Westwood this season. 

The sophomore forward was dealt a setback last year when the NCAA ruled he was ineligible to play in the first ten games of the season. 

In a limited role as a freshman, Dragovic  averaged just 1.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in six games.

(photo credit FIBA)


Monday, July 16, 2007

UCLA To Face Davidson in Wooden Classic

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA will face Davidson College in the 14th annual John R. Wooden Classic on December 8, 2007 at Honda Center.

Davidson, ranked No.23 in preseason polls, is making its first appearance
in the Wooden Classic. The Wildcats are returning all five starters, three of them seniors, and eleven lettermen from last year’s 29-5 club that won its second straight
Southern Conference Tournament.

The Wildcats have appeared in the last two NCAA Tournaments.

The team is lead by high-scoring sophomore guard Stephen Curry (21.5ppg, 40.8% 3PT) who is playing this summer for USA Basketball's U19 team, and senior playmaker Jason Richards (13.5ppg, 7.3apg).

It will be UCLA’s fifth consecutive appearance in the Wooden Classic
(11th overall), the team holds a record of 7-3 in prior contests. Last year the Bruins defeated Texas A&M, 65-62 in the tournament.

The last time these two teams took to the court was in 1975 when UCLA
beat Davidson 91-64 at Pauley Pavilion, the same season Coach Wooden

(photo credit: USA Basketball)


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (7/16)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Malcolm Lee (Team Crawford/Moreno Valley, CA/Committed to UCLA/2008). Lee battled Jennings and Thomas all night long, and still ended up with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting (4-5 3-pt FG). His signature bucket came late in the game to keep it close, when Lee crossed over Thomas and drained an NBA-range three. However, Lee did struggle to play the point effectively, turning the ball over 4 times while dishing out just 3 assists. It will be fun to see Lee and Jennings battle it out in the Pac-10 in 2008-09. Draft Express 7/9

UCLA recruit Malcolm Lee made his way across the court to a seat in the stands. Just rows from where Division I college coaches were still talking about his seamless spin moves, demonstrative dunks and smooth three-pointers, Lee took a moment to put his night in perspective. "My game was good tonight, but I think it really caught people's eyes because it was against Brandon [Jennings]," said Lee. Sports Illustrated 7/10

The Pump-N-Run Elite team, based in Southern California and paced by future UCLA guards Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall) and Jerime Anderson (Anaheim Canyon), along with the likes of junior forward Reeves Nelson (Modesto Christian) and center Jeff Withey (San Diego Horizon, he's committed to Arizona), captured the adidas It Takes 5ive (yeah, that's the way it was spelled) tournament championship in Cincinnati Sunday. Press Telegram 7/10

Malcolm Lee, 6-5 point guard, North (CA), 2008: Lee, a UCLA commit, has tremendous size for a point guard, and uses it to his advantage. Quick with a tight handle, Lee can get dimes or buckets with equal effectiveness, as well as use his length on D and help out on the boards. SLAM 7/10

Malcolm Lee was arguably the best pure scorer at the entire camp, as he showed a Kobe Bryant-like ability to connect from anywhere on the court. He put on a dazzling display of offense in what essentially turned out to be a one-on-one duel with Brandon Jennings, but Lee’s team lost every game. Much of their poor record can be attributed to their lack of size, but a lot of Team Jamal Crawford’s struggles were a result of Lee’s selfish and erratic play. According to one scout, Lee has never met a shot he didn’t like. When Lee wasn’t wasting time dribbling through his legs and going nowhere, he was either hoisting up a wild shot or turning the ball over. At just 170 lbs, Lee proved to be way too skinny to finish in the lane if he decided to dribble that far without shooting. There’s no denying he is a talented prospect, but Ben Howland will have to fine-tune his game in order for Lee to be a successful teammate at the college level. NBADraft.net 7/11


Renardo Sidney (Team Iverson/Artesia/Lakewood, CA/2009) continued his stellar play, following up his 26 point effort in the afternoon with a 20 point effort in game two. Watching him, it looked as though he was working on his game as he played rather than playing to win. He was trying a variety of moves on the post, using the glass, and really concentrating on his low post game. Very interesting. Unlike game one, though, Sidney seemed disinterested in rebounding, collecting just two boards and shying away from contact at all costs. Draft Express 7/9

Renardo Sidney came as advertised. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound man-child from Artesia (Calif.) High School dominated the first game of the day, scoring 26 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. His overwhelming performance carried Team Allen Iverson to a 69-64 win over Team Baron Davis. Widely regarded as the top junior in the nation, Sidney can simply do anything and everything on the court. He was active around the basket, made a pair of threes, took defenders off the dribble and pushed the ball up-floor in transition. Sidney was a bit out of control on a few occasions, resulting in two turnovers but his overall performance, was simply brilliant. Evening Bulletin 7/9

2009 wing Jordan Hamilton provided Samuels a lot of scoring support in the winning effort. Hamilton knocked down jumpers like usual, but also picked up points on quick floaters on drives to the basket and opportunistic points in rebounding/scramble situations. His activity on the boards was a significant contributing factor to the win. Scarlet Nation 7/10

Ralph Sampson: Yes, as in “Jr.” something that’s obvious as soon as you see his face. He’s not quite as thin as his dad was, and he’s probably not gonna dominate in college like his dad did at UVA, but the 6-11 Georgia product figures to be a pretty good college player. SLAM 7/10

It is easy to see why high-major programs love the long term potential of J'Mison Morgan. Naturally strong, blessed with soft hands and a big Texas-sized body, the South Oak Cliff product is one of the best centers in the nation because he knows what he is, what his strengths are and just how effective he can be. Not really the quickest or most explosive, Morgan sets up shop and utilizes his big body for position and boxes out everybody that flies at him. After a scary moment on Sunday with a knee injury, Morgan was steady on Monday and returned back to form. Rivals 7/10

Renardo Sidney, 6-10 power forward, Artesia (CA), 2009: I compare Sidney, who many believe to be the top prospect in his class, to Derrick Coleman. Like DC, he’s talented enough to dominate in the post, handle the rock, rack up the assists and step out to hit jumpers, but he also likes to float on the perimeter a bit too much. SLAM 7/10

Arizona-bound point guard Brandon Jennings of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and 6-10, 240-pound junior Renardo Sidney of Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.), two highly ranked players in their classes, agreed with Rbk U's revamped curriculum. "They say the overseas player is more fundamentally sound. That's why we're doing more stations with dribbling, passing and shooting," said Jennings. "I'm always working on the fundamentals and not playing street ball." Sidney, whose suitors include Florida, UCLA, Ohio State and Texas, said "the drills (made) a huge difference in my game." USA Today 7/10

Character concerns may be an issue with Renardo Sidney, as he easily grew frustrated at times and picked up the only technical of the entire camp. Though he scored with ease in almost every game, Sidney’s play could be described as somewhat selfish. He reminds me of Zach Randolph in the sense that he always wants the ball in his hands and will stand on the perimeter and launch unnecessary jumpshots when he should be down on the block. With that being said, Sidney’s overall talent level, size, and athletic ability far outweigh any question marks about his character. He established himself as the best player in camp and the consensus #1 prospect for the class of 2009. Right now, UCLA and USC lead the race to get this likely one-and-done prospect. NBADraft.net 7/11

“It’s hard in the summer,” he said. “They play different than they do with their high school teams. But you can tell if they’re athletic, if they can slide well and defend, if they can rebound, if they can shoot the basketball.” J'Mison Morgan, who according to his mother, Bianca, is 6 feet 11 1/2 and 250 pounds, said he’s narrowed his college choices to Kansas, Georgetown, Alabama, Baylor and Texas. He is the 39th overall prospect in the class of 2008, according to Rivals.com, and the seventh-ranked center. Kansas City Star 7/15

(photo credit: USA Basketball, USA Today)