April 25th, 2007, 08:35 PM #1
UCLA basketball offseason thread
Thought I'd fire up this topic, since it didn't really fit into a preexisting thread, and there are a few things going on these days that I thought were worth discussing:
1) new assistant coach
2) Ryan Wright transferring
3) 2007 recruit Alex Legion signs with UK
4) Collison and Mbah-a-Moute officially staying
5) Afflalo officially going
6) 2008 recruiting class getting interesting
7) projected lineup for 2007 - who's the 2?
8) Shipp hurt again
It's all interesting to me, so someone pick a topic or two and let's run with it.
April 25th, 2007, 09:02 PM #2
Also, if you have any information from premo bro...feel free to post.
April 25th, 2007, 10:53 PM #3
According to the La Times, Shipp should be ready for next season.
Great news that Collison and Mbah a Moute are staying. However, with Kevin Love coming in, does Moute become a substitue in the long run?
What is going on with 2008 recruiting? How interesting is it getting?
April 25th, 2007, 11:28 PM #4
Originally Posted by Wolvie
April 26th, 2007, 12:53 AM #5
With my mom being a UCLA alum and employee I consider myself a closet UCLA fan. So allow me to jump into this conversation.
Originally Posted by Wolvie
The lineup matter is something I've been thinking about. I like the idea of playing Westbrook at SG with Collison. . Westbrook showed some flashes of strong play last year. He's definitely an athlete, probably one of the better ones on the team as well as having above average speed and quickness. I like the form on his jump shot, the only real knock of playing him at 2 is his size but I don't think Shipp has the foot speed to play 2 and he's not really the greatest shooter from long range.
Having a defensive presence behind him in Kevin Love gives Howland some freedom. With the way UCLA plays man to man defense, I think it behooves them to play Westbrook at the 2 as they like to switch on screens and double and trap. All Westbrook and Collison for that matter have to do is guard there man 20 feet and in, their quickness allows them to play very tight on their men to deny the jump shot and catch and shoot. If the opposing guard somehow gets a step, there's the great equalizer in Love. Maybe I'm expecting too much from Love but I do think he'll make a huge difference this upcoming season.
When Collison needs a blow, Westbrook can slide over to PG with Roll coming in to play some 2 guard. I'd expect Shipp to start at 3 and a healthy(hopefully) Luc-Richard to be at the 4. That gives UCLA some great depth in the front court with Mata, Aboya, and Keefe(whose game I really like) coming off the bench.
Hopefully this semi lengthy post gets this thread off to a good start and we can get some good discussion.
April 26th, 2007, 05:33 AM #6
It looks like the hotter topics are the 2008 class and the line-up issues next year.
In terms of the line-up, it's an interesting call at the 2-spot. Howland has said very recently that Shipp will be in the mix, maybe not as the starter there necessarily, but getting minutes there. This strikes me as odd for a few reasons. One, Shipp will barely be ready for the season opener. Two, Shipp hasn't seen much time there in the past. Three, Shipp wasn't fast enough to defend other guards BEFORE the injuries, and now he's just positively slow. Now, granted, Shipp is a very nice offensive player (at times), and there is an impressive shortage of guards in the program for 2007. As it stands, there are only three true guards (excluding walk-ons) - Collison, Roll, and Westbrook - amongst the 11 scholarship players. In the short-term at least, Alex Legion would have been very helpful in that regard.
Personally, I'd love to see Westbrook take the job in preseason play. Defensively, he and Collison would give opposing guards fits. But they'll certainly rely on him for back-up point minutes, and how that affects his chances of starting at the 2-spot is unclear to me as I could see it helping or hurting.
I think that Roll is likely the starter there, though I don't know how many minutes he'll see. Roll is arguably the team's best passer and potentially its most dangerous outside shooter, both of which should compliment Kevin Love perfectly. I think that with more minutes, he's likely to get into a shooting rhythm more often. A legitimate scoring threat beyond Love and Shipp would really help in the tournament.
April 26th, 2007, 05:39 AM #7
Up front, I think the lineups will be variable but Love bumps some of Mbah-a-Moute's minutes to the 3-spot. Howland has suggested this, too. However, I have to wonder if Luc will be healthy enough to handle that, given how much his leg problems stifled his game this year. Now Howland wants him to play against quicker wing players?
A lot of guys in the mix up front. I have faith that Love's superior passing skills will destroy double teams, but I have to wonder if any other big man will draw a defender when he's on the court. Why even cover Mata or Aboya? If anything, I think that Keefe's rebounding and mid-range shot would better compliment Love against teams where Mata's post-defense isn't as important.
April 26th, 2007, 05:53 AM #8
As for 2008 recruiting...
So far we have Jerime Anderson and and Malcolm Lee committed, and given our dearth of guards, it's huge. Anderson is the heir apparent to Collison, who will presumably leave after this season. Lee is viewed as a combo guard who may grow enough to be a wing or small forward, and he's easily a top-20 talent. Anderson has been very good all year. There was a lot of concern that UCLA took the lesser PG between Anderson and Larry Drew, Jr. Months ago, they offered Drew who wanted (and still wants) to play for UCLA. But Drew wanted to play the recruiting game a bit longer, so UCLA took a commitment from Anderson. Since then, both have remained top-50 recruits, but Anderson has done a nice job of moving up the ranks lately, and most feel that UCLA did very well to take him.
Ryan Wright's recent transfer decision frees a third scholarship for 2008. (In fact, with Wright and Afflalo leaving, we actually have 2 scholarships available for 2007 but are not likely to use them at this late date.) The coaching staff was already planning as if it had more scholarships because Collison is likely to leave early, Dragovic may leave due to minutes, Mbah-a-Moute may leave early, etc. But at the bare minimum, they'll have three scholarships for 2008 and likely they'll have one or two more.
Still being hunted are a number of interesting names. I have to get to work, so I'll stop there for now...
April 26th, 2007, 01:30 PM #9
I would contribute more, but you guys have beat me to it already.
Anyway, looks like Westbrook at the 2 and Love takes Mata's starting spot. I'm interested to see how Luc's knees hold up this year--his minutes will likely decrease as mentioned.
I'm surprised the big name Jrue Holiday hasn't been mentioned yet. Howland is drooling over this kid.
Jrue Holiday, 6-3 SG, North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall. The biggest target for UCLA since, well, Kevin Love. The #3 player in the class nationally, Holiday has it all, and can play the 1,2, or 3. UCLA is pulling out all the stops, but is in a battle with Washington, Arizona and North Carolina. Howland was a regular at Holiday's games this last season (the Campbell Hall coach joked that Howland has a parking place at the school), and the word is that UCLA improved its chances with him as a result of its run to the Final Four. It's thought some of his family wants him to play with his older brother, Justin, who is committed to Washington, and that the Huskies lead, but that some want him to stay home. North Carolina can't be counted out, however.
April 26th, 2007, 01:48 PM #10
Dragovic helped my frat win a sorority basketball tourney. Theta shootout. Great success.
Originally Posted by Wolvie