Saturday, November 28, 2009

UCLA Comes Up Short Against Butler

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Box Score

UCLA rebounded from an embarrassing loss the night before but still came up short as the Butler Bulldogs edged the Bruins 69-67.

The Bulldogs Gordon Hayward made two free throws with 0.6 seconds to play, giving No. 12 Butler a victory over UCLA in the 76 Classic on Friday night. 

The Bruins came out determined in this game to prevent another lackadaisical effort.  They got their inside game rolling with set plays to Drew Gordon early.  Dragovic also got into the action and finished with a team-high 14 points.

But the Bruins are a team in rebuilding, it may take until the start of the Pac-10 season for them to learn their identity this season.  

It will definitely help to get top incoming frosh Tyler Honeycutt back into the line-up.  His ability to score and move the ball around will help this team tremendously especially against zone defenses, something the Bruins struggle mightily against now.

Freshman post man Reeves Nelson had a solid game powering to 9 points on 4 of 7 shooting in just 16 minutes.  It wouldn't be surprising to see his minutes increase as the season progresses and his game, especially on the defensive end, improves.

Malcolm Lee added 11 points and four assists.  Point guard Jerime Anderson hit key shots down the stretch, including a three-pointer with six seconds remaining.  He finished with 7 points and 4 assists but had 6 turnovers.

UCLA plays against Long Beach St. in their final contest of the 76 Classic tourney. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Poor Backcourt Play Leads To Big Loss For Bruins

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Box Score

UCLA suffered its biggest loss of the Coach Ben Howland era with a 79-47 thumping by the Portland Pilots in the first round of the 76 Classic in Anaheim. 

Its early in the season and these are young Brubears in training, but the poor effort and execution on both ends of the court by UCLA was enough to send a cold chill all the way back to Westwood on this Thanksgiving evening. 

The problem for the Bruins, and it will likely continue for the remainder of the season, is the lack of quality and depth in the backcourt. 

In years past, the Bruins had a steady hand at point guard, a player who could steer the ship under the heavy hand of Coach Ben Howland. 

A point guard who could break down a defender, and or entire defense, to make a play for the UCLA offense. 

This year for the first time since Jordan Farmar's freshman year, UCLA has not found anyone to man the helm.

While Darren Collison is flashing rookie brilliance in the NBA as an understudy to Chris Paul in New Orleans, the Bruins have tried Jerime Anderson, Malcolm Lee, and even Mustafa Abdul-Hamid at the point. 

None of them have stepped forward yet, and none perhaps may have the facilities to do so.
And this is the challenge facing Ben Howland.  He lacks options in the backcourt.

The college game, unlike the NBA, is dominated at the point-guard spot. Even more so at UCLA, without quality play at the point this team will struggle mightily the rest of the season. 

The incoming 2009 freshman class is excellent and with more experience it will flourish, but the class lacks a quality point-guard, and with Jrue Holiday leaving early for the pros, it has left the Bruin backcourt cupboard bare. 

Portland has to be given credit. They are a veteran team with lights-out shooting from beyond the arc, and will make a strong run to the tournament. 

Entering the game having made 52.1 percent of their 3-point attempts, the Pilots continued making long-distance shots. Portland sank 11 of 19 3-pointers and shot 54.2 percent overall. 

Portland, coming off a seven-point win over Oregon, never trailed againt UCLA in this game. 

Malcolm Lee had 14 points but on 4-12 shooting from the field. 

UCLA shot 32.7 percent and 21.7 percent on 3-pointers. Just as abysmally the Bruins converted just 6 of 14 free throws.

The Bruins (2-2) will play No. 12 Butler in a consolation game Friday. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

UCLA vs. Portland - Game Preview

By Bruin Basketball Report

After dropping its opener against Cal State Fullerton, UCLA (2-1) tries to build upon two straight wins when it begins play tonight in the 76 Classic tournament in Anaheim against the Portland Pilots (3-0) at approximately 8:00 PM.  The game will be televised on ESPN2.

The 76 Tournament fields, many consider, one of the toughest early season line-ups.

The field includes eight teams: Butler, Clemson, Long Beach State, Minnesota, Portland, Texas A&M, UCLA and West Virginia. 

Seven of the eight teams reached the postseason in 2008-09, including six in the NCAA Tournament: UCLA and Texas A&M advanced to the second round, while Butler, Clemson, Minnesota and West Virginia were also in the field. 

No eight-team, regular-season tournament has ever had more than seven postseason teams from the previous year.  Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format.

The two teams that remain undefeated throughout the 76 tournament will face off in a championship match Sunday, Nov. 29

The Bruins recorded a 19-point victory over Pepperdine on Monday with easily their best performance of the young season.  Sophomore center Drew Gordon scored 18 points and grabbed 9 rebounds and senior Michael Roll added 17 in the win.

Point guard Jerime Anderson, who suffered severe leg cramps during the contest, was still sore the following day but is expected to play tonight.

Senior forward Nikola Dragovic was reinstated yesterday and will come off the bench to give UCLA some additional offensive firepower.

Portland is a veteran squad and shoots well from beyond the arc at over a 54% clip this season.

This is just the fourth meeting between the
Portland Pilots and UCLA with the Bruins winning
all three previous meetings in Pauley Pavilion.  The last time the two teams met was in 2002.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

UCLA Bruins 2010-11 Basketball Roster

BBR Home > Team Information: Roster

No.NamePos.Ht.Wt.YearHometown (Last School)
5Jerime AndersonGuard6'2181JRAnaheim, CA (Canyon)
15Blake ArnetGuard6'0185JRLaguna Niguel, CA (Mater Dei)
12Matt CarlinoGuard6'1172FRScottsdale, AZ (Bloomington South)
13Matt DeMarcusGuard6'3203JRSolvang, CA (Santa Ynez Valley Union)
14Jack HaleyGuard6'4185FRSeal Beach, CA (Los Alamitos)
23Tyler HoneycuttForward6'8183SOLos Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
11Lazeric JonesGuard6'0187JRChicago, IL (John A. Logan College)
1Tyler LambGuard6'4205FRSanta Ana, CA (Mater Dei)
21Brendan LaneForward6'9220SORocklin, CA (Rocklin)
3Malcolm LeeGuard6'4195JRMoreno Valley, CA (John W. North)
22Reeves NelsonForward6'8235SOModesto, CA (Modesto Christian)
10Alex SchrempfForward6'5227SOSeattle, WA (Bellevue)
34Joshua SmithCenter6'10305FRKent, WA (Kentwood)
0Anthony StoverCenter6'9229RS FRPasadena, CA (Winward)
4Tyler TrapaniGuard6'0190JRSimi Valley, CA (Simi Valley)
20David WearForward6'10225RS SOHuntington Beach, CA (Mater Dei)
24Travis WearForward6'10220RS SOHuntington Beach, CA (Mater Dei)

Dragovic Reinstated To Join Team

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland said forward Nikola Dragovic has been been reinstated after serving a two-game suspension for his arrest in an assault case.

Dragovic practiced with the team on Wednesday and will play in Thursday's 76 Classic opener in Anaheim against Portland. 

"Based on the information we have right now and what we know about the situation, I sat down with Dan Guerrero and we've been discussing this," Howland said. "We just felt like he's been suspended for the two games, and based on what we know right now, it would be the right decision to let him play." 

Dragovic hasn't practiced with the Bruins since he was suspended last Friday. He missed games against Cal State Bakersfield and Pepperdine. 

Howland said Dragovic will come off the bench and that senior James Keefe will remain in the starting line-up at power forward. 

On Monday Dragovic's lawyer, Jon Artz, said his client would plead not guilty after being arrested last week on a felony warrant which alleges Dragovic knocked a man into a glass case during a concert in Hollywood.
Artz said the other man was the aggressor, was drinking heavily and had slapped Dragovic's roommate. He claims Dragovic attempted to leave, but was followed by the man, who said he had a knife and threatened to kill Dragovic. 

Dragovic voluntarily filed a report with campus police a week after the incident, and believed the incident had been written off as a minor scuffle. HIs arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 21 at the criminal courts building  in Los Angeles.

Monday, November 23, 2009

UCLA Gets Defensive In Win Against Pepperdine

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

The offense is still a work in progress but the Bruins showed signs tonight of being a bona fide Ben Howland UCLA team with a strong defensive effort as they downed Pepperdine 71-52 at Pauley Pavilion.

The young Bruins showed the high level of intensity on the defensive end it will need to compete against opponents this year.  While UCLA perimeter players were moving their feet and harassing ballhandlers, the interior big men were bumping bodies and taking charges. 

UCLA held Pepperdine to just 41% shooting in the game.

On the offensive end, while the team is still developing an identify, it did manage to spread the scoring around as four Bruin players finished in double figures.

Sophomore Drew Gordon led all UCLA scorers with 18 points and also pulled down 9 rebounds. Michael Roll had 17 points on 5-9 from beyond the arc.  Malcolm Lee scored 13 points and Mustafa Abdul-Hamid added 10 points in 27 minutes in place of starting guard Jermie Anderson who suffered leg cramps during the game.

UCLA (2-1) next plays in the 76 Classic tournament in Anaheim with a match-up against Portland on Thursday, November 26.

Dragovic's Lawyer Speaks Out On Case, "Presumed Innocent"

By Bruin Basketball Report

Forward Nikola Dragovic's attorney, Jon Artz, spoke on behalf of his client early this evening. 

Artz reminded reporters and the public to remember people accused of crimes are "presumed innocent" until proven otherwise.

Dragovic was involved in a late night scuffle after a concert at the Henry Fonda theater on October 24.  According to prosecutor's statement this morning, Dragovic pushed the alleged victim into a glass display case which shattered.

Artz stated his client would plead not guilty to the charge of felony assault at the scheduled arraignment on December 21.  

Dragovic's lawyer said the UCLA forward was acting in self-defense as well as in defense of his friend who had accompanied him to the concert.  

Artz said there was an argument between the alleged victim and Dragovic and his friend after the concert.  Dragovic and his friend attempted to leave the scene and walked to another floor of the building, however, they were pursued by the alleged victim.  

Dragovic claims the alleged victim then pushed his friend and threatened both of them repeatedly which led to the altercation between Dragovic and the alleged victim.

While Dragovic will not play in tonight's game due to a suspension by Coach Ben Howland, Artz, a UCLA alum, feels his client should be able to play this season, although he understands its not his place or role to advise the UCLA Athletic Department on this matter.

Artz asked people to remember the Duke Lacrosse case, and to recall how everyone jumped to conclusions about the players only to learn later that the charges were false.

UCLA vs. Pepperdine - Game Preview

By Bruin Basketball Report

The young Bruins picked up their first win of the of 2009-10 season last Friday by beating Cal State Bakersfield, 75-64.  

After learning they would be without its only returning starter from last season, Nikloa Dragovic, UCLA fell behind early against the underdog Roadrunners from Bakersfield.  

But the Bruin team pulled together and found some consistency in their efforts on both ends of the court for the victory.

Senior James Keefe, starting in place of Dragovic, scored 10 points and helped bring some stability to the front line.

Dragovic has been suspended for at least tonight's game against Pepperdine by UCLA Coach  Ben Howland.  The school is still evaluating the circumstances around Dragovic's felony charge for assault in an incident that occurred last month.

Freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt is still out for at least 1-2 more weeks with a stress reaction in his right tibia.

This is the 20th meeting all-time against Pepperdine with UCLA leading the series 15-4. UCLA won the last meeting, an 85-83 win at home, during the 2004-05 season.

Tip off at Pauley Pavilion is at 8:00 PM.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bruin Basketball Recruiting: Prospects

BBR Home > Bruin Basketball Recruiting: Prospects







High School





DeAndre Daniels



IMG Academy HS (Woodland Hills, CA)


Robert Upshaw




Edison HS (Fresno, CA)


Brandon Ashley




Bishop O'Dowd HS (Oakland, CA)


Rosco Allen




Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas, NV)


Kyle Anderson




Patterson Catholic HS (Patterson, NJ)


Shabazz Muhammad




Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas, NV)


Jordan Tebbutt




Tualatin HS (Tualatin, OR)


Xavier Johnson




Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, CA)


Anrio Adams




Franklin HS (Seattle, WA)


L.J. Rose




Second Baptist HS (Houston, TX)


Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (11/23)

By Bruin Basketball Report


UCLA head coach Ben Howland announced today the signing of Tyler Lamb and Josh Smith to National Letters of Intent to attend UCLA in the fall of 2010. The Bruins’ early signing class consists of Lamb, a 6-foot-4-inch, 195-pound guard out of Santa Ana, Calif., and Mater Dei High School and Smith, a 6-foot-10-inch, 280-pound center from Kent, Wash., and Kentwood High School.  Bruin Basketball Report 11/18

Recruits (See List of Prospects)

Trey Zeigler, the shooting guard that UCLA is recruiting out of Michigan, said today that the Bruins rank among the top teams on his list but that he will wait until spring before announcing a decision. Oklahoma and Michigan are among the other schools on the 6-foot-5 prospect's list. His father, Ernie, is the coach at Central Michigan and a former assistant under Ben Howland at UCLA and Pittsburgh. LA Times 11/16

Some of the best Western-based high school seniors who, apparently, aren't going to sign "early" include forward Terrence Jones (Portland Jefferson), who finished atop the Best in the West ratings; guard Jordin Mayes (Westchester), another BIW selection; and guards Deonta Burton (Centennial), Anthony Holliday (Norwalk), Kendall Williams (Los Osos) and LaBradford Franklin (Murrieta Great Oaks). Press Telegram 11/18

For whatever reason, the relationship between Portland Jefferson (Ore.) standout forward Terrence Jones and Arizona became non-existent after Jones did not immediately agree to an official visit to Tucson. Tucson Citizen 11/19

We can tell you that the Beavers are in the thick of it with two other big-time class of 2011 recruits - 6-11, 279 center Kyle Caudill (former Arizona State commit) of Brea Olinda (Calif.) HS, and 6-7, 185 SF Sam Thompson, a teammate of Starks at Whitney Young.  Caudill averaged 16.3 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks as a 15-year-old sophomore at Brea Olinda.  Oregon Live 11/19

Branden Dawson spent most of his freshman season watching everyone else play basketball. Academically ineligible, his name was off the roster, an omission that didn't sit well with the soft-spoken swing player. That wake-up call caused Dawson to intensify his academic pursuits. When he earned his way back onto the team at Lew Wallace, his coach, Renaldo Thomas, gave him the only jersey not being used -- No. 13. That was the number Thomas wore at Roosevelt in the early 1980s. NWI Times 11/20