Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lee Goes For 29 But Bruins Fall To Irish

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Malcolm Lee scored a career-high 29 points but the Bruins still fall to Notre Dame in South Bend, 84-73.

Lee hit 11 of 17 from the field including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc as he begins to show the promise many expected from him this season.  The sophomore guard also added 4 assists and 2 steals.

However on this day in South Bend, the Bruins were not able to come up big defensively or to get the key stops when needed.

The UCLA defense allowed Notre Dame to shoot 50.8% in the game and 60% in the second half when the Irish broke out to a double-digit lead.

Irish star Luke Harangody started off slowly but finished with 23 points scoring mostly in the second half. 

Whenever the Bruins tried to draw close, the Irish seemed to answer with either a basket from Harangody or a three-point bomb from outside to keep their distance.

UCLA's offense seems to be settling, however, it absolutely runs better when Malcolm Lee is running the point guard spot instead of fellow sophomore Jerime Anderson.

After having a decent game last week against New Mexico, Anderson continued his horrid and uninspiring play with a 0-2 performance against Notre Dame.  As in other games, he has not shown the ability to set the offense nor set-up teammates for good shots.  His hesitancy and lack of confidence is hurting the team's ability to get into a good offensive rhythm.

With only two games remaining before Pac-10 play, UCLA Coach Howland needs to assess his starting line-up, and in particular, the amount of minutes he's giving to Anderson in games.

Freshman Tyler Honeycutt had another solid game although the statistics don't show it.  Honeycutt lets the game come to him on the offensive end.  He makes others around him better by making the right pass, cutting to the right spot.  The offensive flows better when he's on the floor. 

On the defensive end, Honeycutt's 6'8 spider-like presence and smarts gives opponents fits. 

A Honeycutt move to the starting small forward spot along with Michael Roll moving to the two and Lee occupying the majority of the minutes at point guard may be the solution Howland needs to help salvage this season.

Senior Michael Roll finished with 19 points on 5 of 8 from the arc.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Senior James Keefe Out At Least 2-3 Weeks

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA senior forward James Keefe suffered a dislocated left shoulder midway through the first half of the Bruins' 100-68 home win over New Mexico State on Dec. 15. 

Keefe's x-rays were negative today but he is slated to be out 2-3 weeks for strengthening and rehabilitation. 

 It is the same shoulder that Keefe had surgery on in August of 2007 to repair a torn labrum that cost him to miss the first 12 games of the 2007-08 season.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

UCLA Hits Century Mark To Snap Losing Streak

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

UCLA snapped a five-game losing streak with style, crushing New Mexico State, 100-68, at Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins (3-6) woke up from their offensive doldrums shooting 61% from the field. 

Sophomore Malcolm Lee scored a game-high 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field.  He played with confidence and intensity.

A matter of fact, all the Bruin players played with a bit of swagger tonight, and the team and coaching staff may owe guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid for an off the court assist.

After UCLA was embarrassed at the Wooden Classic by Mississippi St last weekend, Abdul-Hamid suggested the entire team review film from past UCLA teams to get a sense of how those teams played with intensity and pride.

It may have worked, and who knows, it may have changed the season around for the Bruins.

One game does not make a season, but on this night, the UCLA Bruins played with the poise and confidence of past Ben Howland teams.

And of course, it started on the defensive end.  The Bruins challenged every shot, poked into passing lanes, and dived for every loose ball.  UCLA forced 20 turnovers and blocked 6 Aggies shots.

Five Bruins scored in double-figures.  

Struggling Jerime Anderson played, well, like a typical UCLA point guard.  He was sharp and cool under pressure and he delivered the right passes at the right time.  Anderson finished with 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting and had 7 assists.

Michael Roll added 14 points and freshman Reeves Nelson added 16 big points and 8 rebounds off the bench.

Freshman Tyler Honeycutt continues to show he will be a special player in Westwood.  Although just coming back from early season injuries, he's the glue on the team.  Honeycutt is smooth and makes the offense just flow better with his smart play and hustle.

UCLA has a long way to go before anyone can say the season has turned around.  But...tonight was a good start.

Note: Senior James Keefe injured his surgically repaired left shoulder in the first half.  He did not return to the game. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (12/14)

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday. 


Although they were without two starters, Jack Haley Jr. (ankle) and Chris Kaiser (andle), the Griffins gave Mater Dei fits all night before a fourth-quarter run lifted the Monarchs to a 76-63 victory and the tournament title. Mater Dei improved to 4-0; Los Alamitos is 3-1....Tyler Lamb had an 11-point quarter to put Mater Dei up 21-10 after one. Mater Dei had four players finish in double figures, led by Lamb's 19 points. OC Varsity 12/5

Who was the most important early signer in boys' basketball? It might seem like an impossible question to answer, but we'll take a stab at it. It's Kentwood (Covington, Wash.) big man Josh Smith, the nation's top-ranked center in the ESPNU 100. Smith could help UCLA rebound from a rocky period ever since the Bruins made three consecutive Final Fours between 2006-08. The burly 6-foot-10 star's letter of intent became bigger when former Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) big man Drew Gordon checked out of UCLA six games into this season. Smith didn't have the greatest summer, so his development this year will be key for the Bruins, who were thin up front even before Gordon's departure. ESPN 12/7

There was more bad news for Josh Smith in the fourth quarter. With a little more than 5 ½ minutes to play, he landed awkwardly on his right leg. He limped off the floor and didn't return. "I felt something crack," Smith said. "Then it just felt awkward after that. They checked me out and said I might have strained my patellar tendon. I'm probably going to get an MRI tomorrow." Seattle Times 12/8

Josh Smith will revist his doctor tomorrow to see and hear about results of the x-ray and MRI the Kentwood basketball star had on his right knee yesterday. Earlier today, Kentwood coach Michael Angelidis said he expects the 6-foot-10 Smith, who has signed with UCLA, to be out "about a week," but there is no firm timeline, according to his mother, Tracey Smith, who had the opportunity to return my phone calls late this afternoon. "I don't want to speculate," Tracey said. Apparently, Josh was scheduled to see his doctor again next week, but his mother said she was able to get him an appointment tomorrow. She did not confirm that the injury, suffered in Tuesday's loss to top-ranked Federal Way, is indeed a partially torn patellar tendon, as reported by Angelidis. "He's doing fine," she said. "He hurt his knee. It's being evaluated...He doesn't need surgery. It's not an ACL." Seattle Times 12/10

Despite a report out of the Pacific Northwest, it appears that Bruin recruit Josh Smith has only a minor knee injury. "No surgery or anything like that," his father said this morning. "He's going to wear a brace for a while." Smith got hurt in a Kentwood High game earlier this week and it was reported that he may have a partially torn patellar tendon. His father characterized the injury as "more like a bruise." LA Times 12/10


A wondrous playmaker and scorer who’s a wizard with the ball in his hands, Ray McCallum is one of the top recruits in the country for the class of 2010. He’s narrowed his choices down to four schools. Three of them are Arizona, UCLA and Florida, which are traditional powerhouses that will allow McCallum to play on big national television stages and against elite competition just about all the time. McCallum wouldn’t be able to enjoy those luxuries as much at his other choice, Detroit Mercy, although the Titans have something the other three don’t. His father, Ray McCallum, Sr., is the head coach at Detroit Mercy. Since he was a kid, the younger McCallum has followed his dad to practices, wherever he’s coached, gaining insight into the game many don’t have. Daily Tribune 12/8

Unfortunately, Lew Wallace junior sensation Branden Dawson cannot be stuffed in a safe deposit box at the bank or guarded 24-7 by an ADT security system. He also can't hide in coach Renaldo Thomas' basement after school and between basketball games. This kid is like the hottest Christmas toy. Everybody wants him. College and private school recruiters. Street agents. Rules? What rules? "They already tried that. They've been lurking," Thomas said. Dawson is smart enough to know this all comes with being rated among the nation's top 25 prospects in his class and can be thankful he's got Thomas as a big-brother figure. NWI Times 12/9

Representatives from Duke University were at the Midland High gym Tuesday to check out Trey Zeigler. And the 6-foot-5 senior guard from Mount Pleasant didn't disappoint. Despite missing a handful of dunks and free throws, Zeigler still poured in 30 points to lead the Oilers to a 69-46 win over Midland in both teams' boys' basketball season opener. Our Midland 12/9

According to a report on's pay site, San Diego (Calif.) Hoover High 6-11 center Angelo Chol, a 2011 recruit, removed Washington from the top of his list, but still counts the Huskies among several suitors. Chol named UW his top school last summer, but in a recent interview with Scout, he said: "My high school coach had a talk with me though and explained that I need to explore my options. I thought about it and thought that he was right and that I better explore my options. ... "I like Washington still. Without a doubt I would feel comfortable going there. I like Coach Romar. He's a good person, I feel like I can trust him."  Norvel Pelle, a 6-8 junior forward at Price High in Los Angeles told Scout he's visited UW and UCLA and he has offers from nearly every school in the Pac-10. Seattle Times 12/10

Detroit Country Day 79, Berkley 33: Ray McCallum had 23 points, and Amir Williams had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Country Day (2-0).  Detroit Free Press 12/12

Trey Zeigler scored his teams first 10 points as Mt Pleasant only trailed by 2 points at the end of the first quarter 12-10.  But in a surprise move the 5’7 Jones took on the challenge of guarding Zeigler, the speed of Jones was too much for Zeigler to handle as the 6’5 forward only scored 3 points while Jones played defense against him. Trey Zeigler finished the game with 21 points. MLive 12/12 

It's pretty obvious why 6-6 Wallace junior Branden Dawson has offers from Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue, UCLA and Xavier. Though he's considered a guard, Dawson makes things happen around the basket. He's relentless on the boards and tough in the open court. Dawson finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds, including a follow dunk midway through the fourth quarter that gave Wallace a lead it wouldn't relinquish. IU coach Tom Crean was in attendance. Indy Star 12/13

In the end, it was Country Day’s ability to speed up the game that killed Holly. With people like Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo in attendance, Country Day’s Ray McCallum put together a thrilling show, leading all scorers with 19 points. He helped spark an early 8-0 Country Day run with a steal and a slam for a 6-0 edge, and later hit a three-pointer that put Country Day up 15-5 early.  Tri-County Times 12/13