Friday, November 07, 2008

UCLA's Defense Puts Away Biola in Exhibition Match-up

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

UCLA used a suffocating defense in the second half to put away a stubborn Biola team, 76-42, in the second and last exhibition game of the season.

The Bruins held the Eagles to just 15 points in the final half, keeping them to just 21.9% (7 of 32) shooting.

However the start of the game was quite a different story. Biola came out of the locker room confident and energized while UCLA seemed to be missing a few gears. The Eagles were within easy striking range for most of the first half.

Speedy point guard Marlon King gave Bruin defenders all they could handle to stay in front of him while Eagles big men Rocky Hampton and Josh Miller controlled the painted area.

Biola was deliberate on the offensive end and spread the court effectively to neutralize UCLA's help defense - a strategy used successfully by Bruin opponents in the past. With the court spread, King took his defender, either Darren Collison or Jrue Holiday, off the dribble for a score or an assist to a teammate.

It wasn't until UCLA went on a 10-2 run with under five minutes left in the first half to take a 38-27 lead did the Bruins finally create some distance from their NAIA division challengers.

Darren Collison scored a team-high 14 points and Jrue Holiday and Michael Roll chipped in 11 apiece to lead the UCLA attack. Holiday was 3 of 4 from behind the arc while Roll showed great confidence with his shot finishing 5 of 8 from the field.

UCLA opened the second half with a 12-4 run to go ahead 50-31 and then the Bruin defense took over. The Bruin freshmen were especially effective on the defensive end. Freshmen Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee helped to put the clamps on Marlon King while Drew Gordon and J'mison Morgan stablized the middle when they were both inserted into the lineup.

In the early going so far, albeit just two exhibition games, both Alfred Aboya and James Keefe have not been able to establish an effective presence inside on either offense or defense. On offense, both players are too easily being knocked off the blocks (by NAIA-level players) and on defense have not met the challenge of controlling the paint. Both veteran players will need to step it up as the season progresses, otherwise the Bruins will need one or both of their freshmen, Gordon and Morgan, to develop their own games quickly.

UCLA opens its regular season against Prairie View A&M on Wednesday, November 13 in a first-round game of the 2K Sports Classic. The game begins at 7:00PM in Pauley Pavilion.

BBR Notes: After the Biola game, UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland announced that junior forward Nikola Dragovic had been arrested earlier in the day on "suspicion" of misdeameanor battery against his ex-girlfrined. Howland said no action would be taken until more information on the matter was known.

(photo credit: AP)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

UCLA vs. Biola - Exhibition Game Preview

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA looks to further refine its game when it hosts Biola University on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion in the team's second and last exhibition of the season.

The Bruins easily beat Cal Baptist on Monday, 86-58. senior Josh Shipp scored a game-high 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting and junior Nikola Dragovic chipped in 13. Freshman sensation Jrue Holiday played a solid all-around game recording 12 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 steals.

Against Cal Baptist, the Bruins did most of their damage from the perimeter and did not show much offensive production nor dominate in the low post. Alfred Aboya, James Keefe, J'mison Morgan, and Drew Gordon combined for just 7 of 18 shooting and 16 points, and all of this against a small outmatched Cal Baptist team. One bright spot was J'mison Morgan who did flex his muscles down low grabbing a game-high 9 rebounds.

The Biola Eagles finished 17-14 last season in the Golden State Athletic Conference of NAIA Division I, the same conference as Cal Baptist. Biola is located just down south in La Mirada, California.

The Eagles return three solid senior starters from last year's team.

Forward Rocky Hampton (Sr, 6'9) is the top returning scorer and rebounder. He averaged 12.4 points and 8.2 rebounds. Guards Marlon King (Sr, 5'9) and Danny Campbell (Sr, 6'4) form a formidable duo in the back court.

It will be the first game of the season for Biola.

UCLA opens regular season action next week in the 2K Sports Classic on Wednesday when it faces Praire View A&M in the first round followed by a second round game on Thursday. If the Bruins win both games and a semifinal game the following week then it may set up a potential epic championship game match-up in Madison Square Garden against Duke.

Look for Bruin Basketball Report's (BBR) Annual Season Preview next Monday.

Game Information
UCLA vs. Biola
Date: Friday, Nov. 7, 2008
Time: 7:30PM PT
Place: Pauley Pavilion
TV: None
Internet: CSTV
Radio: None


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)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

UCLA vs. Cal Baptist - Exhibition Game Preview

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA plays its first of two exhibition games of the 2008-09 season when it faces Cal Baptist University tonight at Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins fresh off a third consecutive trip to the Final Four begin the year ranked No.4 in the AP preseason poll. The team returns three seniors and welcomes five impact freshmen this year.

Veterans Darren Collison, Josh Shipp, and Alfred Aboya give UCLA three seniors and an abundance of leadership in the starting line-up, however, the team's fortunes this season may hinge on the development of the fabulous five incoming freshmen of Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson, Drew Gordon, and J'mison Morgan.

While Holiday, Lee, and Anderson will help to fortify UCLA on the perimeter, with the departures of Kevin Love and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to the NBA over the summer, the Bruins will need considerable contributions from both Gordon and Morgan inside the paint.

On the injury front, center Alfred Aboya and guard Malcom Lee are both probable for tonight's game. Aboya is still recovering from a sprained right ankle and Lee is nursing a strained right groin muscle. Returning junior forward Nikola Dragovic will miss the game with an injured left foot.

UCLA's probable starting five for tonight's game will be Alfred Aboya, James Keefe, Josh Shipp, Jrue Holiday, and Darren Collison

Trekking in from Riverside to serve as sacrificial lambs for the Bruins tonight are the Lancers of Cal Baptist.

Cal Baptist hails from NAIA Division I and plays in the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Lancers reached the Sweet 16 of the NAIA tournament last season and were picked to finish first in their conference this season. They are ranked No.5 overall in the Coaches NAIA preseason poll.

The Lancers are tutored by veteran head coach Tim Collins who starts his seventh season at the helm. The team is 2-0 in early season play leading up to tonight's exhibition game against UCLA.

Cal Baptist is led by returning Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year Mark Roussin (Sr, 6'7, 220). He averaged 17.5 points and 8.1 rebounds last season. Roussin is a tenacious player who has the ability to score inside and out and should give the Bruin interior defense a good test.

The Lancers also have a fine senior point guard in Omar Krayem (6'1, 180). Krayem has averaged 22.5 points and 7.5 assists in the team's first two victories.

UCLA plays its second exhibition game on Friday November 7 against Biola before opening regular season play on November 12 against Prairie View A&M in the opening round of the 2K Sports Class Tournament.

Game Information
UCLA vs. Cal Baptist
Time: 7:30PM PT
Place: Pauley Pavilion
TV: None
Internet: CSTV
Radio: None

(photo credit: Cal Baptist Athletic Department)

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (11/3)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Lute Olson's doctor said Tuesday that the former Arizona basketball coach had a stroke within the last year and he advised him to retire. The comments by Dr. Steven Knope at a news conference called by Olson's family offer the first explanation for Olson's sudden retirement last week, two days after he appeared at the Wildcats' media day. Olson said at the time he was energized and looking forward to his 25th season with Arizona. Knope said an MRI confirmed the stroke in the frontal part of Olson's brain, which left the Hall of Famer with severe depression and impaired judgment. "This is a rather cruel twist of fate," Knope said at a McKale Center news conference attended by two of Olson's daughters, Jodi Brase and Christi Snyder. GoAZCats 10/28

Arizona's loss became Washington's gain Tuesday night as guard Abdul Gaddy of Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, the highest-rated recruit in the state, announced he will sign a letter-of-intent next month to play basketball for the Huskies. The 6-3, 170-pound Gaddy, rated by as the No. 2 point guard in the nation, had previously committed to Arizona. But he reopened his recruitment last week when Arizona coach Lute Olson announced his retirement for health reasons. Gaddy's father, Abdul Gaddy Sr., said Tuesday night his son was worried about the "inconsistencies" of the coaching situation at Arizona, which he said had been his dream school for years. Once Arizona was no longer in the picture, Gaddy again seriously considered UW along with UCLA, which he had also visited. "We came back to the drawing board and (UW) coach (Lorenzo) Romar has always been there," Gaddy Sr. said. "He's followed him since he was a freshman in highs school. And it will be a great opportunity to play in front of family and friends. It was just kind of a no-brainer at the end." Seattle Times 10/28

Abdul Gaddy's commitment will also help Romar with the recruitment of power forward Josh Smith – class of 2010 - and guard Tony Wroten, who might be the best player in the nation in the class of 2011. Gaddy has a relationship with both players. Thomas helped recruit Gaddy to UW. Now, both of them will go to work on Smith and Wroten. Seattle PI 10/29

News that Lute Olson was stepping down as Arizona's basketball coach hit Mike Moser hard. Moser, a senior at Grant who had made a nonbinding commitment to Arizona, awoke Thursday to the realization that his college recruitment would begin anew. "I was shocked. I was blown away," Moser said of Olson's retirement announcement. Adding to the confusion: Moser was scheduled to make a visit to Arizona over the weekend, which he saw through. He attended the Wildcats' football game against USC and got a feel for Tucson and the university. He did not, however, re-commit. "I'm pretty much back on the market," Moser said. "Right now, it's a fairly long list of schools I'm looking at. I plan on shortening the list soon." Oregonian 10/29

In the middle of his school schedule today, Mike Moser picked up the phone on my first try. That surprised me a bit. I figured he’d be either busy or fatigued by a phone ringing off the hook from folks telling him about Oregon, USC, UCLA, Louisville, Oregon State, Syracuse or any number of other schools that are now recruiting him again. All of those places want Moser to pick them quickly, sign a letter-of-intent and therefore lock himself out of ever going back to Arizona if the Wildcats pick a coach he likes next spring. Some of those schools might try that age-old trick — threatening to pull their offers off the table if he doesn’t sign now — but Moser indicated he probably won’t bite. “They’re all really pressuring me to sign early,” Moser said. “But I’m just going to wait. Wait to the spring.” Arizona Daily Star 10/29

Xavier Henry, a 6-6 guard from Putnam City (Okla.) High, likely will make his college decision sometime next week, his dad, Carl, told Xavier is recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident last week. He will meet with family members next Wednesday, then perhaps announce late next week on ESPNU. LJ World 10/30

Durand Scott is saying his list of potential schools remains at three. While sources close to Scott say he has trimmed his list to UConn and Miami, Scott said Thursday that Pittsburgh is still in the mix, too. "All the other schools had something about them that I didn't like, so that's why they're eliminated," Scott said. "None of [the remaining] schools have things I don't like." Scott, a 6-5 guard from Rice High in New York, played high school ball with UConn freshman Kemba Walker. He attended the Connecticut Elite Camp each of the last two summers at Gampel Pavilion and made an official visit to UConn in September. Hartford Courant 10/30

From the beginning, however, Renardo Sidney represented a different sort of high school star, in part because, strictly speaking, he wasn’t a high-school star. He didn’t even join a high-school team until his sophomore year, and caused a minor stir when he told The Washington Post that high-school ball is “not that important.” Of course, for Sidney, it wasn’t, but that’s not something a young player is supposed to say out loud. Instead, to the dismay of many scowling traditionalists, Sidney was almost wholly a product of the summer. He made his name in the demimonde of summer basketball: what the sneakers companies call grass-roots basketball and what most everyone else calls, in slightly misleading shorthand, A.A.U. basketball. (Many, but not all, of the events fall under the purview of the Amateur Athletic Union, a nonprofit that promotes and oversees amateur sports.) What they’re talking about is the ecosystem of shoe-company-sponsored summer traveling teams, shoe-company-sponsored summer tournaments and shoe-company-sponsored summer camps. It is a vast, roiling Dodge City of the hoops landscape, lying as it does outside the reach of high-school coaches and the regulatory arm of the N.C.A.A. — an unsavory world, in the popular imagination, of street agents and shoe boxes full of cash and chest-thumping 16-year-olds with Adidas stripes branded like bar codes on their foreheads. And largely for that reason, summer ball has become a catch-all symbol of basketball indulgence, blamed for everything from the death of the bounce pass to the corruption of America’s youth to the occasional failures of the grown men who represent USA Basketball on the international stage. It is something like basketball’s bad conscience. And it was in this system that Sidney thrived. “He blew up in A.A.U. basketball,” says Renardo Sr., who, until his contract expired recently, earned about $20,000 a year as a Reebok “consultant,” a job that mostly entailed shepherding his son to Reebok-sponsored events. NY Times 10/31

(photo credit: Oregonian, New York Times)

UCLA 2008-09 Season Preview

The Bruins fresh off a third consecutive trip to the Final Four start the year ranked No.4 in the AP preseason poll. The team returns three seniors and welcome five impact freshmen to the team this year.

Veterans Darren Collison, Josh Shipp, and Alfred Aboya give UCLA three seniors in the starting line-up, however, the team's fortunes this year may hinge on the development of the fabulous five incoming freshmen class of Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson, Drew Gordon, and J'mison Morgan.

While Holiday, Lee, and Anderson help to fortify UCLA on the perimeter, with the departure of Kevin Love and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute the Bruins will need considerable contributions from both Gordon and Morgan inside the paint.

Bruin Basketball Recruiting: Mike Moser

BBR Home > Bruin Basketball Recruiting: Mike Moser

Mike Moser
SG | 6'7 | 185

Status: Signed National Letter of Intent with UCLA 11/19/08
Class: 2009
Hometown: Portland, OR
School: Grant HS
Position Rank (aggregate): SG #10
Schools of Interest: UCLA, Oregon, Oregon St, USC, Arizona


Moser Decides UCLA is the Place 11/19/08



(photo credit: Oregonian)