Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Battling Leukemia

By Bruin Basketball Report

Former UCLA great and NBA Hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is being treated for a rare form of leukemia, and the basketball great said his prognosis is encouraging.

The NBA's all-time leading scorer had chronic myeloid leukemia diagnosed last December.

"Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) is the ultimate competitor and with the fight he has, he'll beat this thing," said UCLA head men's basketball coach Ben Howland. Everyone in the UCLA family is praying and pulling for him."

The 62-year-old Abdul-Jabbar said his doctor didn't give any guarantees, but informed him: "You have a very good chance to live your life out and not have to make any drastic changes to your lifestyle." Abdul-Jabbar is taking an oral medication for the disease. He is a paid spokesman for the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which makes a drug that treats the illness.

Citing the way Los Angeles Lakers teammate Magic Johnson brought awareness to HIV, Abdul-Jabbar said he wants to do the same for his form of blood cancer, which can be fatal if left untreated.

Roll Returns To Help Bruins Defeat Humboldt St.

By Bruin Basketball Report

Senior Michael Roll scored a team-leading 17 points and sophomore Drew Gordon registered 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to lead the UCLA men's basketball team past Humboldt State, 74-57, in an exhibition game in Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday night.

Roll finished the game shooting 6-for-12 from the field and made two of his five 3-point attempts.

Four players scored in double figures for UCLA. Along with Roll and Gordon, senior Nikola Dragovic added 13 points, and sophomore Malcolm Lee chipped in with 11 points.

Humboldt State was led by Brian Morris' 19 points and 16 rebounds. Kyle Baxter recorded 15 points for the visiting Lumberjacks.

UCLA never trailed in the exhibition contest, opening a 31-21 advantage with 6:23 to play in the first half. The Bruins entered the locker room at halftime owning a 41-34 cushion after having shot at a 54.5 percent clip (18-for-33) in the first half.

UCLA never led by fewer than seven points in the second half and opened its largest lead of the game - 17 points - in the game's final 10 seconds.

The Bruins scored 18 points off Humboldt State's 19 turnovers.

UCLA returns to action in its season opener against Cal State Fullerton on Monday, Nov. 16. Game time is 9 p.m. (PT) in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA's season opener will be televised live, nationally, by ESPN.

(UCLA Athletics)

Monday, November 09, 2009

UCLA Catches Big One, Josh Smith Commits

By Bruin Basketball Report

Kentwood HS center Josh Smith called UCLA Coach Ben Howland to give him his verbal commitment to play at UCLA next season.

The 6'9 270 lb post man had been deciding between UCLA and Washington.  He can not sign officially with the Bruins until the early signing period which begins on Wednesday, November 11.

The senior had indicated earlier this week the desire to announce his decision so that he could focus on his senior season without distractions.  Smith is rated either the #1 or #2 top high school center prospect in most recruitment rankings.

Smith said the allure of playing for a legendary program like UCLA was too appealing.  He also expressed high regard for Coach Howland's penchant for discipline and execution from his players and teams.  He understands the style of play at UCLA will help him prepare for the next level.

Josh Smith now joins Mater Dei guard Tyler Lamb in UCLA's 2010 recruitment class.

(photo credit: Seattle Times)

Anderson and Roll Return To Play Against Humboldt St.

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA Coach Ben Howland announced today both sophomore Jerime Anderson and senior Michael Roll will start tomorrow in the team's final exhibition game against Humboldt State.

Both players have practiced since last week and are ready to join in the action, although Howland cautioned both players may play limited minutes due to their overall conditioning.

Coach Howland confirmed freshman Tyler Honeycutt will be out at 3-4 weeks due to the stress reaction on his right tibia.  He felt Honeycutt had made great progress on the team in past practices and had already become one of the team's best passers.

With Honeycutt's injury, Howland indicated senior Nikola Dragovic may see more minutes at the small forward spot than anticipated.  Its a spot Dragovic has played most of his career at UCLA.

Freshman Brendan Lane is doubtful for tomorrow's game.  Although Lane resumed practice last week, he woke up this morning with flu-like symptoms.

Tomorrow's game on Nov. 10 against the Humboldt State Lumberjacks starts at 7:30 PM at Pauley Pavilion.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (11/09)

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday 


Tyler Lamb
, one of three Mater Dei players selected to the first team, was third in the balloting with 330 points and six top prospect designations.
Lamb - who is expected to sign a national letter of intent with UCLA on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA's fall signing week - is one of 10 players from Southern California who landed on the 15-member BIW first team. Press Telegram 11/7


Harrison Barnes recaps his trip to UCLA last weekend:  After practice I had dinner with the assistants and the players, and my mom had dinner with Coach (Ben) Howland and his family. Then I went out with the players and had a chance to enjoy some of the social aspects of the university. Since it was Halloween there were a lot more things going on, especially at some of the frat houses. My hosts were Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt, and they were cool guys. Dime Magazine 11/6

It was equal parts Iowa State men’s exhibition basketball and Harrison Barnes love fest Friday night at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat North Carolina-Pembroke 106-54 on a night Barnes, who some call the No. 1 high school recruit in the country, made his unofficial recruiting visit. He sat in the front row behind the basket closest to the Iowa State bench. Next to him was Ames High School teammate Doug McDermott, the son of Cyclone coach Greg McDermott and a Northern Iowa recruit. Barnes wore a warmup suit with “Jordan” on the back, and didn’t turn down anyone requesting an autograph. Des Moines Register 11/6

The very best of the Best in the West is once again located in the Pacific Northwest.
Six-foot-eight Terrence Jones of Jefferson High in Portland topped the results of the voting from among 64 coaches and scouts who cast ballots for the latest edition of the Press-Telegram's yearly survey on the best college prospects among the current crop of seniors in the western portion of the country. Press Telegram 11/7

This weekend, the Bruins are entertaining Terrence Jones, a 6-foot-7 forward from Jefferson High in Portland, Ore. Jones has a reputation for being a versatile player, able to operate from three-point range as well as down low with his back to the basket.  The Bruins are thought to be competing against Washington, Oregon, Oklahoma and Kentucky. LA Times 11/7

Now that Kentwood's football season is over (the Conquerors were eliminated by Issaquah last night), it shouldn't be long before Joshua Smith announces whether he plans to continue his basketball career at Washington or UCLA. But he's apparently not ready yet. I saw Smith this morning at the West Central District 4A volleyball tournament at Kentwood -- the 6-foot-10 senior is here supporting the K-dub team that still has a chance to qualify for state. I asked him when he was going to announce his decision, and he said he didn't know. I asked him if he's made his decision and he said no.  Seattle Times 11/7

Let the anticipation build. Fans of Duke, North Carolina and four other schools that remain finalists for the services of top-ranked recruit Harrison Barnes of Ames, Iowa, will learn his decision Friday. Shirley Barnes, the player's mother, said in an e-mail that Barnes will announce his school choice Friday. No decision has been made on a possible broadcast of the announcement. Barnes spent the final weekend before his announcement on an unofficial visit to his hometown school, Iowa State, his mother said. Shirley Barnes works in the music department at Iowa State. A 6-foot-6 forward, Barnes is rated the top recruit in the nation by scout.com. In alphabetical order, his finalists are Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and UCLA. News and Observer 11/8

Michigan point guard Ray McCallum is expected to select his college basketball choice Wednesday — Arizona, Oklahoma, UCLA, Florida or Detroit Mercy. It is a monumental decision as it relates to the point-guard-needy Wildcats. I wonder: Why wouldn't he stay home and play for his father, also named Ray, in Detroit? Some of it could be that Detroit is a midmajor or less.  Arizona Star 11/8

The Division I early signing period starts Wednesday, Nov. 11. That's for the lucky few, but two of the state's best are skipping it, Mount Pleasant's Trey Zeigler and Country Day's Ray McCallum. But that's by choice. For most other prospects, they'll be playing through their senior seasons trying to prove themselves college worthy. And they may supply a hidden bounty. MLive 11/4


Freshman Tyler Honeycutt Out 3-4 Weeks

By Bruin Basketball Report

Freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt will be out 3-4 weeks with a stress reaction in his right tibia, UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland announced today. 

The injury happened yesterday in practice and an MRI late Saturday night confirmed the injury. 

Honeycutt played 21 minutes in the first exhibition game against Concordia and was easily the best freshman on the court for UCLA.

The Bruins conclude their exhibition schedule with a home contest against Humboldt State on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. before opening up the regular season with Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 16 at 9:00 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.