Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bruins Struggle Early Again But Rally For 11th Win

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute led a late second-half rally as UCLA beat Michigan, 69-54, at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

UCLA (11-1) had raced out to an early 8-0 lead shortly after the tip-off but failed to deliver the early knockout punch and instead went into a slumber to allow the Wolverines back into the game.

Michigan reserve center, Zack Gibson hit a three-pointer with just over six minutes remaining in the half to put the Wolverines ahead for the first time, 14-13, and then C.J. Lee 's three-pointer from the corner as time expired gave Michigan a 27-24 lead going into halftime.

UCLA shot just 34.8% from the field and 0-4 on their three-pointers in the first half, as many of the Bruins players lacked any intensity in their play.

The only player to show any fire was freshman Kevin Love who scored 11 of his 17 game-high points in the first half. He was visibly frustrated by his perceived lack of foul calls by officials. In one ensuing play, Love got the ball inside and powered to the basket and missed but then muscled to get to the ball twice more and finally got a foul call. Love also finished with a game-high 16 rebounds.

Michigan (4-8), as expected, used a 1-3-1 zone defense which seemed to baffle the Bruins for most of the game who appeared tentative in attacking it. Rather than aggressively attacking the zone from the high post or off the dribble drive and kicking, they instead threw soft passes over the top of the of the zone which allowed the Wolverine defense to easily recover and defend.

In the second half, the Bruins still struggled on offense, but perhaps after a halftime tongue-lashing by Coach Howland, they came out with a little more intensity on defense. Yet, the Wolverine's demise may have had more to do with their own ineptitude on offense. Michigan finished 6 of 31 (19.4%) from three-point distance in the game, including just 1-13 in the decisive second half.

"We took about 30 3s and we had at least 25 great looks," Beilein said. "If we hit 30 percent of them, and we'll usually do that, it is a different game."

With the score tied 41-41 in the second half, Mbah a Moute and Shipp combined to scored 10 straight points to put the Bruins ahead in the game for good.

UCLA's Russell Westbrook added 12 points on 5-10 shooting and put the clamps on another opponent's best offensive scorer, holding Michigan's Manny Harris to just 3-12 shooting and 11 points.

Point-guard Darren Collison, who is still not playing at 100%, was just 2-8 from the field although he finished with 7 assists.

With just a single non-conference game remaining before Pac-10 play, the Bruins are not yet hitting on all cylinders.

Many times this season, especially at the start of games, the Bruins have lacked intensity in their play. As a result, they've fallen behind early to opponents, necessitating a late rally to win games although their rally fall short against Texas.

When forced into a half court game against a quality opponent, the Bruin offense has faltered and it has looked particularly anemic against zone defenses.

Some have pointed to the need for UCLA to get the ball inside more often to Kevin Love, but the issue seems to go beyond any one individual. A matter of fact against Michigan, although Love only had 8 field goal attempts he did receive the ball enough to go to the foul line 10 times.

No, the early season problem appears to be one of team chemistry.

In past seasons under Coach Howland, the Bruins have always featured go-to individuals on offense but the players on the floor always operated as a team. At this point in the season, the team appears to lack the same level of chemistry of past years. In some ways they still seem to be seeking a team identity.

UCLA will do well this season because they have talented players and Howland coaches a solid brand of defense, and its their defensive intensity that creates most of their offensive opportunities.

It's much to early in the season to hit the fire alarm, however, unless the Bruins come together as a group, they run the risk of not reaching their fullest potential as a team, a season which started with some of the best individual pieces Westwood has seen in years.

(photo credit: AP)


Thursday, December 20, 2007

UCLA vs. Michigan - Game Preview

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

No.8 ranked UCLA (10-1) hits the road to play in an opponent's home arena for the first time this season when they travel to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines (4-7) on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier in the season, the Bruins played Maryland and Michigan State in the CBE Classic but both games were on a neutral court in Kansas City.

UCLA easily disposed of Western Illinois on Tuesday, 77-52, in a game which resembled more a scrimmage than an actual Division I matchup. Freshman Kevin Love was perfect with his shooting going 5 of 5 from both the field and free throw line. He also hauled down a team-high 7 rebounds.

It is the 14th meeting between UCLA and Michigan in basketball. Last season the Bruins cruised to a 92-55 win at Pauley Pavilion. Josh Shipp led the team with 18 points.

Since their last meeting, much has changed in the Michigan basketball program. Coach Tommy Amakar was fired at the end of last season and was replaced with former West Virginia coach John Beilein. In addition, the Wolverines were a senior-laden team last season, and as a result their rotation is comprised primarily of underclassmen this year.

All the changes have resulted in a turbulent start for Michigan which was recently highlighted by a humiliating defeat to Harvard, 62-51, a team which ironically is coached this season by, of course, Tommy Amakar.

Then last Saturday, the Wolverines were upset at home in Crisler Arena by Central Michigan, 78-67. In another ironic twist, the Chippewas are coached by former UCLA assistant Ernie Zeigler, a protege of Ben Howland.

At West Virginia Beilein had beaten the Bruins the past two seasons, and he is attempting to bring the same system he installed at West Virginia to Michigan.

Beilein coaches a highly disciplined motion offense which puts emphasis on crisp passing, screens and backdoor cuts, and solid decision making with the ball.

The transition has been tough for most of the Wolverine players this season considering the fact many of them were not originally recruited for the type of schemes Beilein coaches.

On defense Michigan will employ primarily a 1-3-1 zone. This same zone has given the Bruins problems the past two seasons when they've faced Beilein's West Virginia teams.

However this season, UCLA has Kevin Love who they can position in the high post to decisively attack the 1-3-1 zone with his keen passing skills and solid midrange shot.

This season the Wolverines are averaging 68.5 points a game while shooting 43.4% from the field and 35.8% from beyond the arc. Defensively they are allowing opponents 71.8 points on 44.4% field goal shooting.

Michigan starts a young lineup which includes two freshmen and two sophomores.

Guard Manny Harris (6'5, 170, Fr) is a big part of Michigan's future. UCLA briefly recruited Harris last year before he decided to stay close to home and commit to Michigan. He is the team's leading scorer at 16.1 points although he is shooting just 38.4% from the field and is tied for team-high in rebounds with 4.9 a game. Harris is a quick, athletic player who can develop into an excellent defensive player in the future, he already averages 1.7 steals a game.

Harris will be matched up against Russell Westbrook. Coach Ben Howland has raved all season about Westbrook's defense. His improved technique and strength has made Westbrook the team's best perimeter defender. He has already locked down high-scorers A.J Abrams and Stephen Curry in earlier games. Although he may give up a couple of inches to Harris, Westbrook's experience and strength gives him a decided advantage in this key match-up.

Point-guard Kelvin Grady (5'11, 170, Fr) is averaging 7.1 points and 3.1 assists in 23.1 minutes a game. A solid young player who takes good care of the ball and shoots well from outside, 50% from beyond the arc. Grady is still learning the game at this level and will be deeply challenged by the defensive pressure UCLA's preseason All-American Darren Collison will apply on him.

Collison is still working himself back into shape after sitting out almost a month due to a knee injury. He is averaging 13.6 points and 3.6 assists a game since his return.

The Wolverines start veteran Ron Coleman (6'6, 210, Sr) at the small forward. He is averaging 7.6 points on just 40.8% shooting and is tied with Harris for team-high in rebounds with 4.9. Coleman is the only returning starter from last season's team.

Josh Shipp will match-up against Coleman. In the game against Western Illinois, Shipp struggled to find his range from three-point distance, finishing just 2-8. However on the season, Shipp is shooting over 38% on three-pointers.

Power forward DeShawn Sims (6'8, 225, So) is the team's second-leading scorer at 13.6 points a game. Still a relatively raw talent, Sims is athletic but has struggled with consistency since his freshman season.

UCLA's Luc Ricahrd Mbah a Moute will get the initial call against Sims. Mbah a Moute has played better since his return four games ago to playing primarily the power forward spot. He has averaged 12.5 points and 6.3 rebounds over this span. Mbah a Moute at the four gives UCLA their quickest and best defensive line-up on the floor.

Kevin Love will have an interesting match-up at center against Michigan's Ekpe Udoh (6'10, 240, So) who is an excellent shot-blocker in the middle. Although slight in build and not a big offensive force, Udoh has long arms and quick hops enabling him to alter many shots in the paint. He is averaging over 3.1 blocks per game.

In this game, look for Love to spend a lot of time at the high post to help the Bruins attack Michigan's 1-3-1 zone. When Love does go inside, he may have a few shots blocked by Udoh, but he should be able use his overall size and solid post moves to take advantage of this match-up. The 6'9 Love is leading the Bruins in scoring and rebounding with 16.6 points and 9.7 rebounds a game this season while shooting almost 60% from the field.

Beilein has gone liberally to his bench this season, players such as Zack Gibson (6'10, 220, So), CJ Lee (6'0, 180, Jr) , and Anthony Wright (6'6, 235, Fr) will definitely see action in this game. However, they will be missing red-shirt freshman guard K'Len Morris who was averaging over 10 mintues off the bench but decided to transfer from Michigan earlier this week.

Under Coach John Beilein, Michigan's basketball program is in good hands. With the level of talent on this team and future quality recruits arriving, the Wolverines should improve throughout the season and beyond. But it's a young, inexperienced team at this point, still learning their new coaches' system. No doubt they will have their growing pains along the way.

Date: 12/22, Saturday
Time: 11:00AM PT
Place: Ann Arbor, Crisler Arena
Radio: AM 570

(photo credit: Michigan Athletics)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

UCLA Superlative Statistics 12/19

By Bruin Basketball Report

College basketball fans are familiar with published statistics such
as rebounds, assists, points scored, and field goal and free throw
percentage as a marker of a player's performance and contribution to
his team.

who follow UCLA Bruins basketball and know the value Head Coach Ben Howland
places on hustle, toughness, and performance under pressure will
appreciate a separate set of statistics kept by the Bruin coaching staff, a set of numbers
referred to as "Superlative Statistics".

Charges Taken
1. Alfred Aboya - 8
2. Lorenzo Mata-Real - 4
3. Kevin Love - 2
4. 3 tied - 1
UCLA 17, Opponents 7

Dives For Loose Balls
1. Russell Westbrook - 6
2. Kevin Love - 5
3. Lorenzo Mata-Real - 4
3. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 4
5. Alfred Aboya -3
UCLA 29, Opponents 16

Second Chance Points
1. Kevin Love - 48
2. Lorenzo Mata-Real - 27
3. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 20
4. Josh Shipp - 13
5. Alfred Aboya  - 12
UCLA 135, Opponents 76

Points in the Paint
1. Kevin Love - 86
2. Josh Shipp - 52
3. Russell Westbrook - 46
4. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute  - 38
5. Lorenzo Mata-Real - 30
UCLA 340, Opponents 208

3-PT Plays Attempted/Made (the "old" fashion way)
1. Kevin Love - 12/10
2. Russell Westbrook - 7/4
3. Josh Shipp - 4/3
3. Darren Collison - 4/3
5. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 2/1
UCLA 29/21, Opponents 10/7

FT% Last Four Minutes in Game (more than 2 attempts)
1. Josh Shipp - 6 of 6 (1.000)
2. Mustafa Abdul-Hamid - 3 of 3 (1.000)
3. Russell Westbrook - 5 of 6 (.833)
4. Kevin Schmidt - 3 of 4 (.750)
5  Kevin Love - 4 of 7 (.571)
6. Lorenzo Mata-Real 3 of 6 (.500)
UCLA 23 of 36 (.694), Opponents 14 of 17 (.778)

Control the Tip
1. Alfred Aboya - 5 of 7 (.714)
2. Kevin Love - 1 of 2 (.500)
3. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute 0 of 1 (.000)
UCLA 6 of 10 (.600), Opponents 4 of 10 (.400)

Source: UCLA Athletic Department (12/17/07)

(photo credit: J Rosenfeld)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

UCLA In Romp Over Western Illinois

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Freshman Kevin Love was perfect from the field scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds to lead No.8 ranked UCLA to an easy 77-52 win over Western Illinois before a crowd of 8,189 at Pauley Pavilion.

Love was 5 of 5 from the field, including a three-pointer, and 5 of 5 from the free throw line in just 25 minutes of action.

The Bruins raced out to a 42-19 halftime advantage over the hapless Leathernecks, shooting a sizzling 62% from the field and forcing 12 turnovers on the defensive end.

In the second half, the Bruin team appeared to shift into cruise-control and began settling on too many outside shots while playing too loose on defense as Western Illinois almost matched UCLA's scoring output in the second half, 35-33.

"Sometimes you do lose a little bit of focus," said Kevin Love. "It just happens, whether you realize it or not."

For the game, the Bruins finished shooting 52.9% from the field and an impressive 85.7% (18-21) from the foul line.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting and grabbed 5 rebounds while point-guard Darren Collison finished with 12 points.

UCLA held Western Illinois to just 37% shooting in the game and forced a total of 20 turnovers. Surprisingly, Western Illinois matched UCLA on the boards with 30 rebounds including 12 on the offensive end.

"We got off to a good start," head coach Ben Howland said. "We're right on the brink of getting into Pac-10 play. Our season is all going to rest on how we do in Pac-10. It's going to be a heck of a race."

Reserve guard Michael Roll, still trying to regain his shooting touch, was just 2-7 from the field for 5 points in 21 minutes of action. With Pac-10 play starting in a couple of weeks, the Bruins will need Roll's touch from outside to combat the zone defenses they'll likely see in some conference match-ups.

Lorenzo Mata-Real had 4 points and 4 rebound, however, he bruised his right shoulder during the first half and had it iced after the game.

"Hopefully, it's nothing more serious," Howland said.

UCLA will travel to Ann Arbor on Friday to play in a nationally televised match-up against Michigan on Saturday. It will be the Bruins' first road test of the season. The Wolverines (4-7) were beaten by Central Michigan, 78-67, in their last game.

(photo credit: AP)


Monday, December 17, 2007

UCLA vs. Western Illinois - Game Preview

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

The No.8 ranked Bruins host the Leathernecks of Western Illinois in a Tuesday night match-up at Pauley Pavilion.

It will be the second meeting between the two teams.  In their last game in 2004 the Bruins won, 75-60.  Arron Afflalo and Brian Morrison led the Bruins with 13 points apiece.

UCLA (9-1) is coming off an 89-49 shellacking of Idaho State last Saturday. The victory was Ben Howland's 100th as Bruin head coach as Darren Collison tied a career-high scoring 20 points in the mismatch.

Western Illinois isn't expected to provide the Bruins much of a challenge in tonight's game either.

Last season the Leathernecks finished with an overall record of just 7-23 and 3-11 in Summit conference play. They have continued their struggles into this season, compiling a disappointing 3-6 record thus far in 2007-08.

In their last game the Leathernecks lost to conference foe IUPUI, 64-47.

Western Illinois is averaging 61.1 points a game on a meager 38.9% shooting while giving up 69.7 points to opponents. They are being out-rebounded 37.4 to 32.7 a game.

The Leathernecks have just one player averaging in double-figures, senior guard David Jackson (6'4, 190) is scoring 11.6 a game. The team does not start a player taller than 6'7 and their leading rebounder is 6'5 forward David Dubois who averages 7.1 boards a contest.

Western Illinois has been tinkering with a Princeton-type offensive scheme in practices lately and will likely try to slow the pace of the game down.

As for UCLA, Coach Ben Howland is looking for his team to improve in every facet of its game before the start of Pac-10 conference play in early January, including the substitution pattern he employs in games.

"A big thing for me is getting the rotation down so we're playing those eight guys," Howland said at his weekly pressor, "so that guys know when they're coming in and going out. But its been harder with the injuries to Collison and (Michael) Roll to have a consistent eight man rotation up to now."

Although the Bruins easily disposed of Idaho State on Saturday and held the Bengals to just 49 points, Howland still sees room for improvement on defense.

"We did not do a good job of extending screens on defense in that game." Howland said.  "and twice we didn't stop the ball in transition defense and gave up easy layups."

The Bruins, who had been struggling scoring against zone defenses, handled Idaho State's zone efficiently by shooting 50% from the field including a sizzling 42.3% on three-pointers. 

"I think we did well on offense," Howland said. "I was pleased that we had a lot of open shots from the perimeter.  The zone collapsed and we had some very good open looks."

Last Friday night, Howland went to Southgate High School to attend senior Lorenzo Mata's jersey retirement ceremony.  It took almost two hours for him to drive from Westwood to Southgate but the chance to honor his player made the trip worth it.

"Lorenzo is all about team first.  Lorenzo is all about UCLA," Howland said. "I love Lorenzo for a lot of reasons.  He had his two final four rings on that night and has so much pride in being a UCLA Bruin, and his community has so much pride in him. 

Time: 7:30PM PT
Place: Pauley Pavilion
TV: None
Radio: AM 1150

BBR Notes:   Alfred Aboya will graduate at the end of this summer and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will likely graduate after the first or second quarter of the following year. With the success of Aboya and Mbah a Moute as student athletes, Howland said he definitely wants to continue recruiting from the nation of Cameroon.  "We definitely want to recruit another kid from Cameroon," Howland said. "The people there know who Luc and Alfred are - they both played on the national team and they're both having a good experience here."

(photo credit: Western Illinois Athletics)


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (12/17)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Jrue Holiday scored 40 points and paced his Campbell Hall team to a 66-61 win over Rancho Verde. Holiday scored any time he wanted to score inside the paint with the dribble drive. If he didn't score, he made it to the foul line, where he was a perfect 11 for 11 from the charity stripe. The nation's No. 3 ranked player in the nation makes it look easy when he gets into the paint. His power, burst of speed and athleticism around the rim just made him impossible to stay in front of. Holiday shot 13 of 22 from the floor, grabbed seven rebounds, had four steals, three blocks and two assists in the win. There were times, however, when he was just too careless with the ball and tried to force the issue. Holiday finished with eight turnovers and gave Rancho Verde a chance to climb back into the game in the fourth quarter. Rivals 12/11

UCLA bound guard Malcolm Lee struggled in his first game of the tournament, scoring just 12 points and missed a number of tough shots and free throws. His extra gear and burst to the basket is incredible, though. Rivals 12/11

The Monarchs (3-0) jumped to a 12-1 start with three-point baskets by Collin Chiverton and Chris Weber, and a two-handed putback slam by UCLA recruit Drew Gordon. In all, Gordon had 20 points, 11 rebounds, seven blocks, three assists, three steals and five dunks. Mercury News 12/12

Burlison: The performance of Jrue Holiday (40 points and something approaching double figures in rebounds and steals) to help Campbell Hall knock off Rancho Verde on Monday night in the TOC was the best individual effort I've watched this season. And there isn't a close second. Press-Telegram 12/12

Malcolm Lee just needed his own time to shine. The UCLA bound guard was outstanding in a tough defeat on Wednesday afternoon. The jet-quick 6-foot-4 guard scored 36 of his team's 54 points against St. Mary's out of Phoenix. Lee made it be known early that he would be a force to be reckoned with. He scored all seven of his team's seven first quarter points and 15 of the team's first half 18 points. There were several times when it appeared as if Lee was on an island by himself. He made tremendous passes to teammates at the basket. However, his team struggled with the easy buckets and missed on point blank shots. His speed and long strides to the basket are hard to stop as he makes his way to the basket. Lee scored with a pull-up jumper from three and handled big, physical guards that stepped into him on defense. Rivals 12/13

UCLA-bound forward Jrue Holiday from Campbell Hall of North Hollywood won Round 1 against USC-bound guard Demar DeRozan from Compton High in the Vikings' 84-70 victory. Holiday scored 32 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and pleased the crowd with several acrobatic dunks. "It was just another game for our team," Holiday said of his matchup with DeRozan. "There is no rivalry for the two of us. This is just high school. College is a different level. I never thought of this as a one-on-one game between me and Demar. Our team is just trying to get better, have fun and win state." Holiday was probably one of the few who wasn't thinking thinking about the matchup with DeRozan, but others did. LA Daily News 12/14

Los Osos 65, Diamond Ranch 54: Kendall Williams scored 20 points with seven assists and eight rebounds and Chinedu Amajoyi had 18 points for the Grizzlies (6-4) to beat the Panthers (6-3) in a ninth-place game. The Sun 12/15

Westchester, which has only lost to another L.A. City club (Taft, in the finals of the Comets' tournament on Dec. 8, 67-60), bottled up the Jrue Holiday-led Vikings' offense Saturday night. The UCLA-bound Holiday, spectacular both offensively and defensively in previous nights' victories over Compton and Santa Margarita, never got untracked on the offense end against multiple defenders, most notably Bellfield and junior point guard Dominique O'Connor. Holiday scored 18 points but hit just 6 of 15 shots and committed eight turnovers. Press Telegram 12/16


Michael Snaer, one of the top juniors in the field at the TOC, showed why he's so well regarded amongst the locals. The 6-foot-5 guard from Rancho Verde High School scored 13 of his 21 points in the first half against Holiday and Campbell Hall, scoring on a trio of triples from the top of the key. The big guard has great size for his position and a knack for scoring at the rim. The top 75 national recruit would have liked to of had this one back, as his production trailed off in the second half but he never shied away from his match-up against Holiday and proved his worth as an offensive threat. Rivals 12/11

Modesto Christian 64, Tam 48: The difference: Although the Red-tailed Hawks didn't back down from the Crusaders, in the end it was just too much Reeves Nelson, who led Modesto Christian with 29 points. From the coach: "They moved the ball real well and (Nelson) is really overpowering," Tam's Mike Evans said. Marin Independent 12/12

Christ School 69, Shannon Forest 42: Mason Plumlee had a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) to key the Greenies on Tuesday. Brother Miles Plumlee led Christ School (8-0) with 16 points, while Lakeem Jackson added 11 points and five assists. Citizen-Times 12/12

"We got beat up," the Golden Valley boys basketball coach said of Wednesday's first-round loss at the Hoover Holiday Invitational. Charunn Jones knocked down four 3-pointers and Greg Smith had 12 points as Fresno Edison cruised to a 66-47 win. Merced Sun-Star 12/13

In the third-place game, Jordan Hamilton scored 33 points to lead Dominguez (3-1) to an 83-72 victory over Bishop Montgomery (5-3). Hamilton, a transfer from Dorsey, scored 101 points in the four tourney games. LA Wave 12/13

Oakmont lost 58-45 to regionally ranked Rocklin and their highly recruited 6-foot-10-inch center Brendan Lane. But Oakmont's post, 6-foot-6, 240-pound Milos Milosevic, had the crowd buzzing after scoring 15 points and blocking eight shots, three of them coming against Lane. Milosevic also provided the night's best highlight, when after receiving a long inbound pass, the foreign exchange student from Montenegro ripped down a vicious left-handed dunk Lane was productive as well, scoring 12 points and blocking seven shots of his own, but he was clearly bothered by Oakmont's big man. Roseville PT 12/14

In fact, the Monarchs have won every game by at least 18 points thanks to David and Travis Wear. The 6-10 junior twins are each playing great with David leading the team in scoring, averaging 20.3 points a game while Travis (18.8) is right behind him. Press Telegram 12/14

Christ School 83, Carolina Day 54: Christ School remained unbeaten this season (9-0) with a runaway win. Mason Plumlee led the Greenies with 13 points and 17 rebounds. Citizen Times 12/15

Milton Jennings, who said he is drawing recruiting interest from Georgetown, UCLA and North Carolina, among others, wowed the crowd with five first-half dunks -- two on alley-oop passes -- but it was Steed who hurt the Bobcats most by slashing into the lane and blowing them away with his quickness. "We could put our fastest guy on him, and by the time he goes from one free-throw line to the other, he's five steps behind and you can forget about it," Finlen said. Island Packet 12/15

DCD 40, BERKLEY 37: It took a second-half rally Tuesday for Detroit Country Day to thwart the upset bid put forth by visiting Berkley. Trailing by a 20-16 count at the break, head coach Kurt Keener's club withstood a stern challenge by the Bears over the final two frames and outscored their opponents 24-17. Junior Dashonte Riley and senior Darnell Brown each bagged 10 points to lead the winning effort. Riley also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked six shots. Hometown Life 12/16

(photo credit: SI)


Lorenzo Mata-Real High School Jersey #42 Retired

By Bruin Basketball Report

Accompanied by his family and UCLA Coach Ben Howland, senior center Lorenzo Mata-Real had his jersey #42 retired by Southgate High School during a halftime ceremony of Friday night's game against Eastern League rival South East.

As a senior at Southgate, Mata-Real averaged 25 points and 18 rebounds and made the LA Times' All-Star squad. South Gate went 18-8 overall and finished undefeated in the Eastern League.

Mata-Real was part of Coach Howland's first recruiting class at UCLA in 2004 which included; Mata-Real, Josh Shipp, Jordan Farmar (Lakers), and Arron Afflalo (Pistons).

Video of Mata-Real's ceremony at Southgate High School: