Saturday, December 12, 2009

UCLA Struggles From Outside, Lose Fifth Straight

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

UCLA (2-6) combined porous defense with poor shooting as it was embarrassed at the John R. Wooden Classic, 72-54, by Mississippi State

The Bruins shot just 4 of 20 on three-pointers for a measly 20%.  What compounded this obtuse statistic is that it accounted for almost a third of their shot attempts.

Whoever is telling these young Bruins they are an outside shooting juggernaut is doing them a great injustice

Senior Nikola Dragovic continued his struggles with 0-9 shooting including zero for five from beyond the arc.  For the season he is now shooting under 20%.

Michael Roll was the only bright spot on offense finishing with a team-high 17 points including 3 of 6 on three-pointers, however, he had a tough day with the ball getting picked twice off the dribble by the defense.  

Roll a career role player has been thrust into the role as leader of the team but he has not been getting much help from anyone else.

Freshman Tyler Honeycutt continues to show promise on the floor while he dusts off the rust from his early season injuries.  With Honeycutt on the floor the offense flows better but not even this young freshman may be enough to help the Bruins salvage this season.

On defense UCLA gave up 53% shooting in the first half as Mississippi State ran out to a 21 points lead, 40-19.  Ravern Johnson scored a career-high 29 points for the team.

The Bruins were painfully slow on their defensive rotations getting constantly burned by Johnson from the outside and Jarvis Varnado who slipped to the basket for easy shots as Bruin big men lagged helplessly behind him.  Varnado also intimidated UCLA on the inside with 7 blocks.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (12/7)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.  


Mater Dei boys basketball coach Gary McKnight entered Monday night’s season-opener in the Loara Varsity Tournament needing one victory to tie the CIF-Southern Section record for career coaching victories....Keala King, a transfer from Dominguez of Compton, chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds, while Tyler Lamb added 12 points and five steals. OC Register 11/30

I mean, things might technically get better if only because they can't get worse. And the Pac-10 is awful, so that'll help. But having just spent three days watching the Bruins up close, I'm doubtful Ben Howland will have a nationally relevant team until at least next year, when heralded recruits Josh Smith and Tyler Lamb enroll (and Tyler Honeycutt isn't bothered by injuries). Right now, Howland simply doesn't have the players to be very good, and we can debate why if you want. CBS Sports (Parrish) 12/3

Gary McKnight became the winningest boys' baskettball coach in Southern Section history tonight after Mater Dei defeated Norwalk, 116-53, to give McKnight his 830th victory....Tyler Lamb scored 24 points on nine-for-17 shooting LA Times 12/3

The Monarchs, ranked No. 3 in the Southland by The Times, improved to 4-0 with a 76-63 victory over Los Alamitos in the championship of the Loara tournament. If there was a surprise it was that the score was relatively close and the Griffins actually outscored the Monarchs, 14-8, in the second quarter.... Keala King had 17 points, 18 rebounds and six assists for Mater Dei, which also received 19 points and 10 rebounds from Tyler Lamb. LA Times 12/6


Led by a dominating performance from 6-foot-3 junior guard Josiah Turner, Sacramento High School opened its boys basketball season with an impressive 63-57 win over St. Mary's of Berkeley Saturday night at the Nor Cal Tip Off Classic at Newark Memorial High School.  Turner, considered the top junior class recruit in Northern California, scored 27 points and was named the Player of the Game. Sac Bee 12/1

Someone forgot to pass the memo to Findlay Prep that tonight was supposed to be their first loss of the season, as they exchanged blows with the Christ School for the majority of the game before eventually pulling away for an impressive 80-64 victory....Guards Nick Johnson and Jabari Brown ignited the scoring run netting 17 points and 14 points respectively for the Pilots. Bleacher Report 12/5

The Findlay Prep basketball team got 17 points and 13 rebounds Saturday night from Texas-commit Tristan Thompson in a 78-41 victory against Our Savior New American of New York in the Pilots final game at Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky....Senior Godwin Okonji added nine points and 15 rebounds, while Nick Johnson had 17 points and eight rebounds. Jabari Brown finished with 16 points and five assists. Las Vegas Sun 12/5

Reeves Nelson Has Corneal Abrasion

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA freshman forward Reeves Nelson, who was poked in the eye in the second half of the Bruins' 73-61 loss to No. 1 Kansas on Sunday afternoon, was taken immediately after the game to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. 

Reeves has a corneal abrasion and some swelling in his right eye. He will miss three to four days and will be revaluated after the swelling goes down. 

UCLA's medical staff is optimistic he will be available to play when the Bruins face Mississippi State in the John R. Wooden Classic on Dec. 12 at Honda Center.

Nelson had to leave late in the game on Sunday with his eye injury.  He scored 9 points and grabbed 9 rebounds against Kansas.

UCLA Puts Up Good Fight But Lose To #1 Kansas

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

The Bruins played inspired ball against No.1 Kansas before falling to the Jayhawks, 73-61, on Sunday at Pauley Pavilion.

Although it was UCLA's fourth consecutive loss, putting them at 2-5 for the season, the Bruins showed improvement in their game, and most importantly, displayed some fight and passion on the floor.

UCLA started Malcolm Lee at point-guard, sitting down Jerime Anderson to start the game.  In addition, freshman Reeves Nelson played with the ferocity that has already made him a crowd favorite. 

Faced with playing All-American candidate big man Cole Aldrich and giving up at least four inches, Nelson promptly went around Aldrich for a lay-up to start the game.

The Bruins were competitive the entire game.  

Eliminate some untimely turnovers and missed free throws (57.9%) and UCLA would have been going down the wire with the No.1 ranked team in the nation.

There were definitely UCLA green shoots to be seen on Sunday afternoon in Westwood.

Nelson was indeed a spark plug with 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assorted skin burns.  Other highlights were Michael Roll's 16 points and Nikola Dragovic's 14 points and 7 rebounds.  

Freshman Tyler Honeycutt made his debut and his passing and court-sense just seemed to make the offense operate better.  Although he was rusty from the field (1-6), he did have 6 rebounds and 2 steals in just 19 minutes.

Kansas led by 13 points in the first half, when the Bruins committed 11 turnovers and shot 33 percent, missing several open shots.  From there, the Bruins ended the half on a 12-6 run to close to 35-28. Dragovic and Roll had five points each in the spurt. 

UCLA outscored Kansas 6-3 to start the second half and get to 38-34. Reeves Nelson, starting in place of Gordon, dunked to get the Bruins within seven with 14:40 remaining. He was poked in the right eye and had to leave the game for a few minutes before returning wearing protective goggles. 

"He'll end up in the ER tonight as his eye was swollen shut," Howland said. "He's had a tough week, but he showed a lot of character to get back in the game."

The Bruins closed within seven once more on a 3-pointer by Dragovic at 12:03 before Kansas soon restored its double-digit lead. 

The game was part of the Big 12-Pac-10 Hardwood Series.