Saturday, January 02, 2010

UCLA Out-played, Out-quicked, Out-hustled At Home by Arizona

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Championship banners ring the rafters at Pauley Pavilion.  

Past and present Bruins take pride whenever they enter this venerable basketball shrine on the UCLA campus.  

On this Saturday morning  no evidence of it could be found on either the court or arena as UCLA bowed to Arizona, 77-63, in a barely half-filled Pauley Pavilion and an even worse showing by the UCLA student section.

On the court, visiting teams used to despise playing against Ben Howland's UCLA teams in past years.  

Opponents would complain about rough play, fatigue, nicks and bruises after two halves against UCLA's defense.  If you wanted to cut through the UCLA interior defense, you were certain to feel like a pinball as you would be sent careening by a few elbows and solid body checks.

This is true no more.  At least so far this season.

Arizona's Kyle Fogg scored a career-high 25 points and  Jamelle Horne added 17 as the Wildcats had their way both on the inside and outside against the Bruin defense as they easily sliced their way through the Bruins interior defense without a hint of resistance. 

UCLA (6-8, 1-1) had no player who could stop Arizona's guards from dribble penetration nor prevent the Widlcats easy layups off flares or backdoor cuts, and although the Wildcats have no true center in its starting line-up, they easily manhandled the Bruins on the boards.

Arizona (7-7, 1-1) had 38 rebounds, 7 more than UCLA, including 12 off the offensive glass,  Wildcats' Derrick Williams, with his quick hops, resembled a human pogo stick as he grabbed 9 rebounds, and along with forward Jamelle Horne, out quicked the Bruin bigs to all the loose balls.

The Wildcats took the game right to UCLA's heart from the start and never looked back.  They were the more athletic team, the quicker team, and the aggressor.

Add it up, and you have game in which the Wildcats led by as much as 20 points - 15 at halftime, and then coasted to an easy victory over its meek rivals in Westwood.

UCLA shot dreadfully from the field, shooting under 21% and missing all seven of its three-point shots in the first half.  It was a combination of an aggressive Arizona defense, and quite simply poor shot selection by the Bruins.

Malcolm Lee and Michael Roll each scored 15 points while Nikola Dragovic resumed his poor outside shooting finishing with 11 points but 0-5 on three-pointers.

Reeves Nelson, the only Bruin this year who has shown any evidence of toughness on this team, was taken out early by the Wildcats when he had three early lay-ups easily blocked.  He never seemed to recover.

Jerime Anderson had 4 points in 25 minutes.  Anderson's lack of speed and playmaking ability at the point was prominent throughout the contest, even though his opponent Nic Wise was having an off game.  While Anderson did not have a horrible game, he did not contribute much to the overall effort either.

While the Wildcats scraped and hit its way to a well-deserved win, the Bruins barely punched back.

SOS call to Lorenzo Mata-Real or Alfred Aboya or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.  

There is a toughness factor lacking on this team.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bruins Zone Out Sun Devils, Win Pac-10 Opener

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

UCLA faithful were witness to a first in the Coach Ben Howland era - the Bruins played zone defense.

With UCLA struggling with its perimeter man-to-man defense and unable to effectively prevent dribble penetration in pre-conference games, Howland had mentioned his team might employ a zone this season.

Well, he waited until New Year's eve against Arizona State.

Effectively mixing a 2-3 zone with its standard man-to-man defense, the Bruins jumped out to an early 16 point lead and then held on to a 72-70 win over the Sun Devils in its Pac-10 opener.

Senior Nikola Dragovic found his shooting touch and tied career highs with six 3-pointers and 23 points.  The 6'9 Serbian had entered the game shooting just 22% from the three-point arc.

With Dragovic hitting from the perimeter, his teammates found their rhythm as well. Fellow sharpshooter Michael Roll was 4 of 4 from three-point land and finished with 12 points.  

While UCLA (6-7, 1-0) was mixing up its defense to hold Arizona State to 44% shooting in the first half, the Bruins were sizzling at a 83% opening half clip to open a 42-31 halftime lead.

Not surprisingly though the Bruins shooting cooled down in the second half as the Sun Devils mounted a comeback.  With senior leader Derek Glasser on the bench, Arizona State cut the lead to just one point, 60-59, with less than 4 minutes remaining.

But then the Bruins scored 8 straight points to push the lead back to 9 with just over 2 minutes. 

However, Arizona State then started putting UCLA at the line and the Bruins continued their struggles with free-throws and almost lost the game, missing 5 of its last 9 free throws.

In the winding seconds of the game and UCLA up by just two points, after two missed free throws by Reeves Nelson, the Sun Devils had a chance to win the game on a three-pointer but Jerren Shipp's long distance attempt was blocked by Jerime Anderson as time expired.

Anderson played a solid game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists while only committing 2 turnovers.  Malcolm Lee had 16 points and Reeves Nelson 10 points as all five Bruins finished in double figures.

Senior James Keefe returned from a shoulder injury and played a productive 12 points, grabbing 3 rebounds.

UCLA now takes on Arizona on Saturday, January 2, in an early 10:00 AM game at Pauley Pavilion.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (12/28)

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday. 


No. 1 Mater Dei 101, Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Montebello 30: Five Mater Dei players reached double figures, led by Gary Franklin, Katin Reinhardt and Keala King with 14 apiece. Tyler Lamb added 13. OC Varsity 12/26

According to ESPN, UCLA has received a commitment from junior college point guard Lazeric Jones to play next season in Westwood. The 6'2 200 lb powerfully built point guard is considered by many to be the top junior college point guard in the nation.  He currently plays for John A. Logan Junior College in Illinois. Bruin Basketball Report 12/27


Angelo Chol, 6-foot-8, 200 pounds, is a rebounding monster, averaging 12.3 a game. He also scores 17.1 a game, most of them through put-backs. The Wildcats already have a commitment from Class of 2011 power forward Sidiki Johnson of Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict’s Prep, but Miller and Richardson have realized that Chol is too good of a talent to pass on. Practically every Pac-10 program is recruiting him in addition to UConn, North Carolina and Kansas, among others. Tucson Citizen 12/22

Alpharetta Milton 71, Baltimore-St. Frances 68: Dai-Jon Parker and Julian Royal, each a top 30-ranked junior, scored 20 points apiece to lead Milton. Naples News 12/23

Former Bloomington North standout Ray McCallum had 34 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as Detroit Country Day defeated Fort Wayne Bishop Luers 93-77 in the finale of the five-game Michael Clarke Duncan "You Can Do Anything" IPSAC/Midwest Basketball Challenge. "I've been looking forward to this game for a while," said McCallum, a 6-1 senior who is considering scholarship offers from Arizona, Detroit, Florida and UCLA. Indy Star 12/23

Terrence Jones as the face of Jefferson (Portland, Ore.)? The senior never would've believed it three years ago. But that's what Jefferson boys' basketball coach Pat Strickland now calls Jones, both for how he carries himself off the court and how he carries the Democrats on it. Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) forward Terrence Jones averaged over 24 points last season on his way to a state championship. Jones wasn't exactly heading in that direction as a freshman. School was just a nuisance in the way of his basketball dreams, and he treated it as such.  RISE 12/23

Talley not only had the play of the night, he out-performed the 6-5 Trey Zeigler, who finished with 26 points. “We know he’s an elite player in the country,” Talley said of Zeigler. “We knew he could take over at anytime. We knew we had to execute our plays.” Ranked as the No. 26 player in the country on, Zeigler is deciding between schools like Duke, UCLA, Oklahoma, Michigan and Michigan State as to where he will play collegiately next year. News Herald 12/23

Alpharetta (Ga.)-Milton 57, Los Angeles-Westchester 54 (OT): Julian Royal scored 23 points, including two key free throws with 11 seconds to go in overtime, to lead Milton. The Eagles, who finished a Georgia runner-up last year, took fifth in their first tournament appearance. Naples News 12/23

Bruin Basketball Recruiting: Lazeric Jones

BBR Home > Bruin Basketball Recruiting: Lazeric Jones

Lazeric Jones

PG | 6'2 | 200

Status: Committed to UCLA 12/27/09
Class: 2010
Hometown: Carterville, Illinois
School: John A. Logan Junior College
Position Rank (aggregate): NR
Schools of Interest: UCLA, Arizona, Wisconsin, Tennessee


JC Point Guard Commits To UCLA



JC Point Guard Commits To UCLA

By Bruin Basketball Report 

According to ESPN, UCLA has received a commitment from junior college point guard Lazeric Jones to play next season in Westwood.

The 6'2 200 lb powerfully built point guard is considered by many to be the top junior college point guard in the nation.  He currently plays for John A. Logan Junior College in Illinois.

Lazeric Jones is averaging 12.6 points on 52% FG shooting and 5.0 assists in 11 games this season.  Last year he averaged 9 points, 3.0 assists, and 3.1 steals per contest in 25 games.  He also shoots 85% from the free throw line.  

Jones gives the Bruins desperately needed depth at point guard, a key position at which they've struggled to find consistency this year from sophomore Jerime Anderson.

Jones played on the same high school team at Simeon Career Academy as Derrick Rose.

In addition to UCLA, Jones was being pursued by other Division I basketball programs including Arizona, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.

UCLA Downs Delaware State in Final Tune-up To Pac-10

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Freshman Reeves Nelson scored a career-high 21 points to lead UCLA to a 66-49 victory over Delaware State.

UCLA had trouble shaking off their over-matched opponent at the start, as the Bruins had difficulty hitting from outside, but then they started going inside to Nelson.  The 6'8 post over-powered Delaware State's interior and finished shooting 7 of 8 from the field.

Nikola Dragovic added 11 points but he still struggled from outside, missing 0-3 from beyond the arc.  He was more effective off cuts to the basket and in the post.  If Dragovic's outside touch continues to be AWOL, they could certainly use his size and ability to post on the inside in upcoming contests.

Tyler Honeycutt had perhaps the best game of his freshman season, finishing 5 of 7 from the field for 11 points and dished out 2 assists in 27 minutes of play.  

UCLA needs Honeycutt to play big minutes when they open conference action, his heady play on both ends of the court gives the Bruins a playmaker they sorely miss this year.

Another Bruin freshman, Brendan Lane, played a solid game especially at the high post.  In one instance from the top of the circle he hit a cutting Bobo Morgan for a slam dunk, and then later Lane stepped out to hit a three-point shot.

Sophomore forward Jerime Anderson's subpar play continued today.  Although he had 6 assists, Anderson also had 6 turnovers, including a pick off the dribble in the backcourt by his defender.  He continued with his indecision on the offensive end, costing the Bruins a number of easy scoring opportunities.

The Bruins outrebounded Delaware State 35-25 on the boards.  UCLA shot 52% from the field but only 3 of 12 from beyond the arc.

With the win the Bruins head into Pac-10 play with a 5-7 record.  They face Arizona State in its Pac-10 opener on Thursday at Pauley Pavilion.