Thursday, August 09, 2007

Keefe Injures Shoulder, Out 4 To 5 Months

By Bruin Basketball Report

Bruin sophomore forward James Keefe will undergo surgery tomorrow morning to repair a torn labrum (cartilage) in his left shoulder, the UCLA athletic department announced today. Team physician, Dr. Sharon Hame will perform the surgery.

Keefe injured his shoulder recently during a summer basketball workout, an MRI test conducted earlier today revealed the torn cartilage.

Recovery from surgery and required rehabilitation could take up to four to five months which means the former Santa Margarita HS star may not return to action until November or December.  The Bruins open the 2007-08 regular season against Portland on November 9th.

“James had a great spring and summer and I was very enthused with his improvement during the off-season,” UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. “Although this is a tough setback for him, I’m confident that he will handle it well and be ready to go in December.”

After a somewhat unspectacular freshman year Keefe underwent intensive weight training over the summer to bulk up on his thin 220 lb frame to ready himself for a more major role on the squad this season.

Keefe averaged just 1.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 6.8 minutes a game last season while playing in 32 of 36 contests.  He was solid against Florida in the Final Four semifinal game hauling down 6 rebounds in 15 minutes of play

“This is disappointing because I’ve been working hard this spring and summer in workouts getting my body stronger,” Keefe said. “I was really looking forward to my sophomore season, so this is a big disappointment for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to recover quickly and be back at full strength by the time Pac-10 play starts.”

With the transfer of Ryan Wright from the program earlier this summer, Keefe's injury  leaves UCLA with just Lorenzo Mata, Alfred Aboya, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and incoming freshman Kevin Love along the front line.

(photo credit: Jack Rosenfeld)


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Matt Barnes Signs One Year Contract With Warriors

By Bruin Basketball Report

After four seasons living on the fringe of NBA rosters, former UCLA Bruin Matt Barnes finally got his big pay day after signing a one-year $3 million contract to remain with the Golden St. Warriors.

Barnes made the team last season as a free-agent signee from preseason camp but it was his energetic play that sparked the Warriors to an upset victory over the top seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the Western conference NBA playoffs.

The athletic forward scored 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists in the deciding game 6 against Dallas after starting a majority of the series.

Although Barnes had anticipated more lucrative multi-year contract offers from NBA teams this summer after a sterling postseason, he was still ecstatic with the outcome and looked forward to proving himself worthy of a larger contract after next season.

"Golden State gave me an opportunity and I love the whole situation," Barnes said. "I've still got a lot to
prove. Every day I'm getting better. A one-year deal gives
me a chance to prove myself again."

Last season Barnes averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and shot 36.6% from beyond the arc, but it was the intangibles he brought onto the court that the Warriors are depending on again in the upcoming year.   

"I thought he had a great year and fit into what we were doing," Warrior coach Don Nelson said. "I thought some of his leadership qualities came out this year."


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (8/6)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


At the moment one of UCLA's most prominent alums, Jaleel "Urkel" White, is talking up Kevin Love and chatting with him about the upcoming season. The previous night Love was holding court in the VIP room of The Highlands nightclub in Hollywood, chatting up partygoers who wanted to take pictures with the instantly recognizable big man. His comfort level around celebrities in these plush settings almost
resembles that of a certain USC Trojan that once ruled this town. Sports Illustrated 7/30

is dominating," he said of the Lake Oswego graduate who was the
leading vote getter on the Press-Telegram's Best in the West team last
November. "He outlets the ball better than anyone I've seen since Bill Walton."In fact, Palmer thinks comparisons between the future and former Bruins are apt.As
an assistant coach at Pasadena High in 1970, he watched as Walton
scored 50 points for La Mesa Helix High against the Bulldogs in a
Covina Tournament game."He (Love) probably impressed me as much as any high school big man that I've seen since Walton," he said. Press-Telegram 7/31

Malcolm Lee 6'3 PG Moreno Valley, CA. (Inland Reebok)
Thin frame but a "PHAT" game. Can get anywhere he wants to on the floor, tricky handle with a variety of slick crossovers and hesitation moves, can finish with either hand and a excellent mid-range game. With his ability to get any shot he wants, he shouldn’t settle for the deep 3, but at times he does, but still a legitimate big time prospect heading to UCLA. Averaged 21.8ppg.
NBA 7/31

Drew Gordon 6'9 PF San Jose, CA. (Oakland Soldiers)
The long-armed active big man was at it again this summer. Blocking shots, sweeping the glass and firing pin-point outlet passes. Still not an offensive juggernaut, but a bigtime addition for the UCLA program. Very competitive, appeared shell shocked when the Soldiers were eliminated. NBA 7/31

There is no Greg Oden, Kevin Durant or anything close to either of them
in the Class of 2008. In fact, no one has really stepped up and earned
the top spot in the senior class. We'd give the nod to UCLA-bound Jrue
, but a case can be made for several players — including Samardo
Samuels (Louisville), Greg Monroe, Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest),
Tyreke Evans, Ed Davis and even Demar DeRozan. Fox Sports 8/1

"I had a great summer to prove myself," said Jerime Anderson, 17, on
Tuesday night, resting at home in Anaheim before his Friday flight to
the adidas Basketball Experience in New Orleans. "A lot of people were
questioning why UCLA would want me and whether I was really that good.
Now, I don't think there's any doubt." Now Bruins coach Ben
Howland looks like a genius again. He was the first to jump on Anderson
last fall, when only Cal had offered a scholarship and USC, Gonzaga,
Illinois and Connecticut had yet to make their pitches to the 6-foot-2,
170-pounder. OC Register 8/1


While competing at the Price Chopper Invitational in
Shawnee this weekend, KU Basketball recruit J'Mison Morgan from Dallas
South Oak Cliff High School talked to FOX 4 Sports about the schools
he's interested in signing with. Morgan hopes to narrow his choices
within the next week (video). Fox 4 Sports 7/30

Although players such as J'Mison Morgan receive ample chances to showcase
their talent, it doesn’t guarantee a college choice is imminent. Morgan
sees coaches everywhere he turns at these events, yet none of them know
exactly where they stand with him. “I’m still open,” says Morgan,
who mentioned KU, Texas, Georgetown, UCLA, Alabama, LSU and Baylor.
“Summer ball is an important time for me, but I don’t have to sign
right now.” Kansas City Star 7/30

Michael Snaer
: This 6-foot-3 SG from Rancho Verde high school is
already a 4-star player, but I expect to see his stock climb higher
after Vegas. I saw him twice and he has the complete package. He was
virtually unstoppable on the floor in transition and plays Division I
level defense already. He plays alongside UCLA committed superstar
Malcom Lee, but in the game I saw Snaer was every bit as good
offensively and better defensively. Kentucky is on his list but my
impression is that he will stay close to home in California. But
remember this name because things do change and this player is special. Texas Prep 7/30

Renardo Sidney 6'10 Jr. Lakewood, CA. (LA Dream Team)
Super talent. A big man that plays like a small forward. Nice handle, decent stroke, can can finish at the rim but his play at times. But...he's really uninspired and plays with a TOTAL lack of emotion. Was getting outplayed and outworked by lesser caliber players. He has fallen in love with his ability to play with his handle and shoot the 3. With his size and strength he should easily score more in the paint. A right-handed version of Derrick Coleman. Would love to see him play with more passion and aggressiveness. NBA 7/31

Ralph Sampson III
: Of all the Georgia Stars, it might be Sampson who is playing the best. He is being aggressive and physical down low on defense, and is also hitting his shots on offense. On Monday he did a great job of blocking shots against smaller defenders, and also held the ball high when he got it and converted in traffic. Rivals 7/31

Good news for Wahoo basketball fans. John Brandenburg, a 6-foot-11 center from St. Louis, has narrowed his college choices to Virginia and Stanford. The four-star prospect, who is expected to announce his final decision in September, will visit UVa on the weekend of the Cavaliers’ first home football game against Duke. Daily Progress 8/1

The Ohio State men's basketball team appears to be in good shape with a couple of highly ranked potential recruits.
At least twice during the July evaluation period, 2009 prospect Renardo Sidney, a 6-foot-9 forward from Lakewood, Calif., by way of Mississippi, was quoted as saying the Buckeyes were at the top of his list of suitors.
"I have a lot of schools recruiting me, but I really like Ohio State. That's who I'm leaning toward," Sidney said.  Columbus Dispatch 8/2

(photo credit: SI)