Tonight future Ben Ball Warrior, Brendan Lane, paid a visit to my sons high school where he helped his Rocklin Thunder team to an easy 73-54 victory.
Photo Credit: The Union photo/John Hart
Lane led his team with 33 points 7 rebounds, including a driving one handed slam on a backdoor cut. He looked solid on the low post, seemingly scoring at will against an undersized opponent. His footwork in the post is excellent , he has a real soft touch on his shot, and appears to have decent range. He looked very nimble for a big guy (6'10") and has good hands. His defense, however, was not real spirited and he didn't seem to fight very hard for rebounding position but that could be the level of competition he is currently facing. He had 3 blocked shots , but did on several occasions bite on a head fake leaving his feet and giving up baseline. His defensive game will definately need to improve to get him minutes with CBH as that appears to be his achilles heal. He will also need to add a little strength and/or weight in my opinion.
He also managed to earn two McLeaner's in my book. With about 3 minutes left and the game in hand his coach had 5 guys at the scorers table. BL promptly received the ball on the wing, gave a head fake, took two steps back and nailed a three. On the next possesion he ran his lane on a break following a defensive rebound, received the pass near half court and shamelessly took it all the way to the rack ignoring a wide open teamate on the other side. He got fouled in the act and made the first of two. Made me wonder if the miss on the second free throw was an attempt to get the rare McCleaner trifecta. Unfortunately his teamate kicked the rebound out of bounds and BL had to depart the game. Anyway I managed to catch up with him after wards and after introducing myself as a UCLA alum I asked him a few questions. Kind of a Bruinsnation exclusive interview. Very short interview as he was on his way to the parking lot.
84: Hey thanks for becoming a Bruin and congratulations on a nice game. You looked great out there.
BL: Thanks. I felt good tonight
84: You had alot of schools recruiting you. What other Pac 10 schools showed serious interest.
BL: Pretty much all of them
84: What was it that separated UCLA from the other schools?
BL: Everything really. Its a great campus and a great school athletically and academically, especially academically. I like the area its in I really thought it was a good fit for me. I thought it would give me academically what I am looking for.
84: I know you're just getting to know him but what do you think of Coach Ben Howland so far?
BL: I think he's a great coach. I know he works hard and the players seem to like him alot. He definately stressed defense alot and I'm looking forward to playing for him.
84: Have you gotten to know any of the guys on the team yet?
BL: Oh yeah definately. I have met them and gotten to know them a little bit. I have been down there a couple times now and they're all cool.
84: Even though you're in the middle of your own season do you still get a chance to follow the UCLA games?
BL: Yeah, I do. Its was a tough last week with the games in Arizona.
84: Well, I think all road trips in the Pac10, especially to the desert are always tough.
BL: Yeah, probably so.
84: Thanks for taking the time time to talk to me and again congratulations on your season and good luck next year at UCLA.
Nice kid. Looking forward to seeing him delope under CBH.