Roundup From BN Walk: News & Notes

Before we get started just want to mention that was a great game thread last night. It was nice to excuse to keep this place hopping even though we don’t have any action to follow in this dreaded off season. Despite last night’s loss there is no panic in Laker land. If you are looking for great breakdown on last night’s game make sure to check the Game One Thoughts on Forum Blue and Gold. We will of course come back with Game 2 thread here on Sunday.

Now let’s start the Friday walk with more on Morgan. Now that he signed his grant-in-aid papers Coach Howland was finally free to talk to the media about his newest signee. So he went on a conference call to talk about Morgan and other updates from the program. It prompted Diane Pucin to write a report which included the following comments from Howland on Morgan and an update on two other incoming freshmen:

Howland praised Morgan's "good hands and good feet." The coach added, "He's long, he has a nice touch. Good low-post players are so hard to find. Very few players can go inside and score on the block."

Two other UCLA incoming freshmen, guard Malcolm Lee and forward Drew Gordon, will be trying out for the USA 18-under national team that will play in Argentina this summer, Howland said.

 

Howland also commented on AA2 and MR (in the Daily News):

Howland said "it looks good that (center) Alfred (Aboya) will be back for his fourth year," instead of graduating early and leaving the program. Howland added Aboya "will be working on a master's program."

Howland added wing Michael Roll is continuing his recovery from a foot injury that caused him to red-shirt last season.

"His foot is coming along real well," Howland said. "It still has some soreness. He actually had more soreness in his leg than his foot (three) days ago because he had a very, very good workout."

The news about MR is certainly encouraging and let's keep our fingers crossed re. AA2. I will celebrate when he makes it official.

The DN report also confirmed the story about UCLA contacting Kentucky transfer Derek Jasper. However, Jeff Eisenberg from the Press Enterprise provides two reasons why Jasper might not be a good fit for our programs despite being a defensive oriented player:

1. Jasper wants to return to point guard at his new school, a circumstance that could be difficult for UCLA to accommodate with incoming freshmen Jrue Holiday and Jerime Anderson both expected to vie for playing time at the position in the future. As a sophomore at Kentucky, Jasper played mostly off the ball after returning from microfracture surgery, averaging 4.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
"He feels like he can best help a team when the ball is in his hands, running the break and being the focal point of the attack," Paso Robles coach Scott Larson said. "That's where he's at his best."

2. Besides homesickness, one of the primary reasons Jasper left Kentucky was because he didn't like having his every move dissected by the media and basketball-crazed fans in the region, something that he'd probably have to deal with again at a school like UCLA.
"He's a little gun shy about being under the microscope the whole time," Larson said.

I think Jeff makes pretty good points, which I am sure Howland and his staff will take into account.

Lastly, I guess the MLB draft was going on yesterday during which three current Bruins were selected. From the official site:

UCLA left-handed pitcher Tim Murphy and infielders Brandon Crawford and Jermaine Curtis were selected in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, respectively, of the 2008 MLB Draft on Thursday afternoon. All three juniors played instrumental roles in leading the UCLA baseball team to three consecutive postseason appearances (2006-2008) for the first time in school history.

Murphy, the 89th overall selection in the draft, was drafted by the Texas Rangers. Crawford was chosen by the San Francisco Giants as the draft's 117th overall selection. Curtis was drafted in the fifth round as the 155th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rye was following the action in our comment thread. I will let him chime in if he can on the Bruin recruits who were taken in the draft. It will be interesting to see how next year’s freshman class shape up given yesterday’s draft.

GO BRUINS.

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