Basketball coach Ben Howland said he expects forward James Keefe to lead the Bruins in rebounding this season. Howland was excited about the fact Keefe had gotten his weight up to 237 pounds. When Keefe arrived in Westwood from Santa Margarita three years ago, he weighed 210.
I watched him playing in a pickup game at the old men’s gym and Keefe seemed to be holding his own against 6-foot-10 freshman center J’Mison Morgan, who is listed at 248. The Bruins should have plenty of bulk in the paint next year, but will they get scoring? Freshman Drew Gordon weighs 235 and looks like a tight end. He went up for an impressive two-handed dunk along the baseline in one of the games.
In terms of out front-court, I am not too worried about scoring at this point. It will be unrealistic to expect Morgan to provide the same kind of punch as the once in a generation talent like Kevin Love. Gordon will be a raw product. I think the main thing we need to look for next year is for this crew as a unit play rock solid Howland defense and contribute as much as they can within Howland's offensive structure. Oh and if AA2 needs to stay out of foul trouble.
Going back to JK, I am very excited about his junior season. I am not expecting him to break out as an explosive offensive option. However, I think we can very hopeful to see the James Keefe who gave us some serious consistent effort during the Pac-10 and NCAA tourneys when LRMAM went down with injuries. I am optimistic that he will bring solid defensive effort, maintain his presence around the boards, and play within his role in Howland's offensive scheme.
He and rest of our young Ben Ball warriors should be fun to watch.