Monday, November 03, 2008

Jrue Holiday Impressive In Exhibition Game Win

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Freshman phenom Jrue Holiday demonstrated an impressive all-around game recording 12 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and exhibiting a court-awareness quite beyond his years to help lead UCLA to an easy 86-58 win over Cal Baptist in an exhibition game Monday night at Pauley Pavilion.

On offense, Holiday got to the basket at will and helped the offensive flow in the half court with his passing and court-recognition. He was equally impressive on the defensive end, disrupting passing lanes and deflecting balls leading to steals.

Holiday was easily the best player on the court this evening.

The Bruins were in control of the game from the start. UCLA led early 17-6 using a 10-0 run before heading into halftime with an overwhelming 41-17 lead.

Senior Josh Shipp led all scorers with 20 points hitting on 7 of 8 from the field. Forward Nikola Dragovic, playing through a foot injury, hit on 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and finished with 13.

Besides Jrue Holiday, all five of the Bruin freshmen saw plenty of action in the contest. All the freshmen were on the court at the 6:28 mark of the second half.

Guard Jerime Anderson backed up Darren Collison at the point and was effective running the team, pushing the ball and finding the open man, although Coach Howland barked out at Anderson once when he failed to jump stop and instead leaped into the air and almost committed a turnover off a forced pass.

Malcolm Lee also saw action but did not see the ball often on offense, however, his quickness and length was evident on the defensive end as he caused havoc on his opponent with his excellent ball pressure.

Forward Drew Gordon was the first substitute off the bench replacing starting center Alfred Aboya in both halves. Although he got lost a few times on defense and was slow with his hedges, Gordon demonstrated the type of athleticism and quickness that will make him a factor in the defensive paint. Offensively, he is still raw and will need time to develop his post offense.

Center J'mison "Bobo" Morgan is a true low-post center. He grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds, and while starters Alfred Aboya and James Keefe, and for that matter Drew Gordon, struggled to set-up on the blocks on offense, Morgan used his immense 6'10 frame to gain his spot in the post easily to retrieve an entry pass. His offensive moves still need refinement but at least on this night, Morgan was UCLA's most effective low post option on offense. On defense Morgan still needs work as well as he was slow on his rotations and got beat backdoor a few times by his opponent.

All in all, for a first game, it was a good initial display of talent and promise for UCLA.

One concern from the game for the Bruins was the two quick fouls that Alfred Aboya picked up early. For UCLA to be successful this year, Aboya will need to avoid foul trouble, otherwise one of the young freshmen post players will need to step up and play a more prominent role for the team by season's end.

The Bruins next meet Biola on Friday, Nov.7 in its second and final preseason game of the season at Pauley Pavilion.

BBR Notes: Senior guard Darren Collison was named to the Associated Press' preseason All-America Team today. "It is very exciting for Darren and our basketball program," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said. "It is indicative of the respect that Darren has nationally for being one of the best players in the country and is a very well-deserved honor."

(photo credit: UCLA/Jack Rosner)


At Nov 3, 2008, 9:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... and so it begins... NNNEEEEAAAHHHH!!!

At Nov 3, 2008, 10:47:00 PM, Anonymous jw said...

How did Collinson play?

At Nov 3, 2008, 11:37:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

The future looks gr8 with the freshmen. Holiday is smooth. Just a note, his last 4 points came late in the game.
Bobo's offense was just not there and he was slow rotating. Gordon's athleticism really impressed me. The boy has hops. I didn't notice Lee much. He might have been nervous. I began to like Anderson more and more. He's a spark plug.
Keefe and DC, well they get a shrug of the shoulders as neither stood out.
Shipp hit most of his shots and led the scoring.
I was surprised to see Drag and Roll play. Roll is rusty obviously and Drag hit some 3's.
I was watching the game, thinking to myself...If these freshmen continue to improve each game, we can get back to the Final Four.
We will score points, but we need to have an inside presence. Oh, our team is flat out quick. Cal Baptist is a terrible team so we looked really good on d-fense. Heck, our guys are quick...lots of steals and forced turnovers from the traps...
Bring on Biola Friday night lol....

At Nov 4, 2008, 2:36:00 AM, Anonymous stan richman said...

Aboya needs to step it up and get his head in the game. If he continues to foul we will have a giant void in the middle until the freshmen mature. Bobo moves slow on defense, but could be a force underneath.

At Nov 4, 2008, 3:41:00 AM, Anonymous DW said...

S l o w down..... It's our first exhibition game. DC and crew sat out most the contest. No need for them to play, they know what to do by now. This was a showcase for the Fab5 and some time for guys like Drago and Roll to test out their limbs.
Aboya will have his best year. No question about that. I think he will be very strong as a senior that has 4 years of Ben-Ball experience. He'll have to watch his fouling, but we have options behind him.

At Nov 4, 2008, 4:45:00 AM, Anonymous Adogg said...

I was impressed by three players: Shipp
more mature mentally and physically looks leaner. Hopefully he won't fall into another late season slump.
Jrue Holiday: does everything very impressed. He made some mistakes, but when he fixes those i think he'll be one of the best guards in the country
Dragovic: Kept hearing about his injury. He looks way better, more mature, confident
kind of impressed with keefe he's developing nicely. bobo though a little slow has enormous game changing upside

At Nov 4, 2008, 7:40:00 AM, Anonymous george said...

was at the game and have a little different take than some of the other posters:
DC: looked awesome. granted, playing against an inferior opponent but he looked quicker stronger and sharper to me than at any time last year. even with his limited minutes was the definite general of the team.
Drag was the big surprise hitting at least four three's and sharp on defense.
When Josh hit the first of his threes (and the first jump shot of the night) I yelled to my son, "He's back and we're in the final four!"
Of course Holliday was impressive, but we already knew that.
Gordon and Bobo will be the essence of BBall with a little more time and work.
All and all, an optimistic start to a season of potential!!

At Nov 4, 2008, 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Rome 06' said...

Are there any websites with highlights of these exib games? Thanks guys

At Nov 4, 2008, 2:42:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Although it is just one game and early in the season against a lesser opponent, it is refreshing to see UCLA having a player able to do pretty much everything.
UCLA has been going for such a long time without a person abling to play great defense, shoot well, pass well, and drive well. Holiday is just amazing on how he can dominate in so many ways.
It only will get better when LEE gets stronger and more experienced. Good times this year for UCLA again.
I hope the Bruins play much faster this year as that has been where we got burned last few years.
I believe although we are still currently missing low post scoring, it will come around and will be decent enough to be a threat. More importantly is to make sure our post defensive play is strong with rebound, rebound, and more rebound.
It is going to be great to have a go to playmaker that can score very well and pretty much at will.

At Nov 5, 2008, 5:47:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

I actually had a chance to sit on the floor for this game! Got to high five the boys as they were coming out and going into the locker room! Wow, what a treat to be so close to the cheerleaders! Uh...never mind...that's for another time. Here's what I saw...
DC looked like he was in midseason form on defense. Simply awesome. Stole more than a few and looked mighty quick doing so. I still think he dribbles a little too much.
Jerime Anderson needs some work from the foul line. Looked uncomfortable with only a little rotation on the ball. Looked comfortable running the show though.
Jrue looked very good. A really smart player that can create his own shot. Went one on three a couple of times and was still able to get a shot up before being fouled. Anybody else think he and DC look alike?
Drew and Lee looked liked they were trying too hard. Either that or they were really nervous. Lee has to bulk up some, looks really thin. Gordon looks like a stud, but has to box out better. Had a fantastic one handed rebound.
Roll looked larger than last year, but is still having problems hitting his shot. Dragovic look pretty good from the stripe, confident and ready to shoot at a moment's notice. I don't think he's ever met a shot he didn't like. But, as long as he's hitting, it's perfectly fine!
Bobo looked more comfortable inside than I expected. Had a great two handed block. With a little more time, he's going to be even more of a defensive force in the middle. Needs work on offense though.
Aboya was Aboya, getting into silly fouls. Keefe looked ok, not much on either side of the ball.
The one that really looked good was Shipp. He looked determined to hit his shots. That's a good sign going into the year. We need him and everyone else to get back to the promised land.
All in all, they looked ok for the first game out. The one player from CBU that impressed was Roussin. Plays inside and out with a lot of passion.
Can't take too much from the first game, but it was great to see the five freshmen out there on the court at the same time.
Special hats off to Hamid for hitting a late 2 pointer! When was the last time that happened?!!
And now, back to the cheerleaders....ha ha!

At Nov 5, 2008, 7:57:00 AM, Anonymous willis said...

UCLA's strength is clearly their guards (perimeter players). Their weakness is clearly their inside game. However, the entire nation lacks any significant number of quality inside players. 2008-09 will be a year with very limited numbers of guality big men. I don't think I can remember a year in a long time with this few quality big men. Hansbrough of UNC, Griffin of Oklahoma, Harangody of Notre Dame, Brockman of UW and Thabeet of UConn are the only quality big men in the nation. Of these, only Thabeet is a true 5. Bottom line, UCLA's front line is better than most with Aboya, Keefe, Morgan, Gordon, and now Dragovic playing the 4. UCLA's front line is clearly as good or better than any in the Pac-10. UCLA's front line is easily strong enough to help them get to a 4th consecutive Final 4. No one in the nation, not even UNC, can match up with their Collison, Shipp and Holiday perimeter. When Collison and Holiday clamp down defensively it'll be the equivalent in the college game of what Jordan and Pippen used to do for the NBA Bulls during their great run.

At Nov 5, 2008, 9:25:00 AM, Anonymous Rose Bowler said...

Love all the optimistic view points, but come on guys, this is Cal Baptist. Reading thru the lines, I did not really hear anyone mention "Domination" to the degree we should have against an opponent like that.
Granted we have a lot of new players, but to even dream of the Final Four this year, we will be playing against some tough, seasoned competitors along the way.
I am afraid of ASU with Hardin and Pendergrass, and then you can never count the Trojans out, especially with DeRozan on the outside and Gibson on the inside.
Let's see how we do in the next half a dozen games because December 4th is coming up gang..........TEXAS!

At Nov 5, 2008, 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Robwash said...

DB: I agree..great post.

At Nov 5, 2008, 12:25:00 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

It's true, no one expressed the opinion that we dominated Cal Baptist the way we should, and I would have to agree with that interpretation having watched the game. That being said, a large majority of the time was spent with the freshman class playing together. Shipp logged 19 minutes, DC logged 21, Holiday 23. Put the three of them in for 30+ of 40 minutes and the game score changes dramatically. That is actually one thing I would have liked to see more of, individual members of the frosh class playing with Shipp, DC, and Aboya building some chemistry. I felt there was a little too much time spent with 3 or 4 freshman on the court.
Any criticism I could ever come up with aside, I have faith in Howland and am looking forward to seeing the fab 5 develop and contribute heavily to another great season! See you all in Pauley on Friday!

At Nov 6, 2008, 4:34:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

BBR- Sounds like Coach is going hard after Moser. Any chance?
Also, what's the deal with Snaer?

At Nov 6, 2008, 9:32:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Some well stated comments by the following are much appreciated. With your insight it made me feel like I was almost at the game myself. Thanks fellow Bruins:
D.W. - Get our Freshman and injured vets some good playing time.
Stan Richman - About Aboya getting/keeping his head in the game
George - DC analogy of looking quicker stronger and sharper than at any time last year and Drago being sharp on D
Adogg - Dragovic looks way better, more mature, confident
KDL1984 - DC looked like he was in midseason form on defense. Jerime Anderson needs some work from the foul line.
Jrue looked very good. A really smart player that can create his own shot. Drew and Lee looked liked they were trying too hard. Either that or they were really nervous.
BruinFan - Overall viewpoint, telling it like it is!!!
Rose Bowler - Good reminder about upcoming Texas (at Texas). We'd better be prepared as playing a bunch of creampuff games leading into that game won't help.

At Nov 6, 2008, 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous willis said...

We don't have to wait until December 4 @ Texas to see the Bruins challenged. UCLA should run into Duke at Madison Square Garden on November 21 if the seeds play out the way the organizers of the 2K Sports Classic have it set up!

At Nov 6, 2008, 1:30:00 PM, Anonymous miltk said...

aren't lee and anderson still off from nursing groin pulls?
nice to see fresh faces who are better than the vets. makes for better competition and talent upgrade.

At Nov 6, 2008, 3:25:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Howland and his staff are putting on a full-court press to get Moser. He would be an excellent addition to the '09 class. Moser is talented and aggressive, a Howland-type player, and he could easily play both the 2 and 3 spot.
As for Snaer, it looks like me may just wait until the late signing period.


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