While CRN continues to lead our football team in the right direction, CBH and our basketball team could be in for a tough year. At least that is what ESPN thinks (Insider protected). I don't necessarily disagree with them that expectations this year should be more subdued than previous years, but I don't think that the situation is as dire as predicted.
It really is hard to argue with ESPN's lead in paragraph as to the state of CBH's team.
This year, for the first time in three seasons, the Bruins won't have anyone who has started on a Final Four team, as nine underclassmen will jockey for minutes. The folks in Westwood don't like to hear the phrase "rebuilding year," but it's time to face reality.
Since the rest of the article is Insider protected, let me summarize there points.
- Big things are expected from Tyler Honeycutt who assistant coach Scott Garson says "We've never had a wing like him" citing his unique ability to pass and handle like a guard but rebound and block shots as well.
- Mike Moser is also expected to see time and is compared to LRMAM.
- Garson says of Reeves Nelson, "If you can rebound, you can play for Howland. And Reeves can rebound" and that Reeves is the best rebounder since KL.
- ESPN accurately nails our weakness at point guard. JA and ML will likely split time at point this year with Garson comparing it to when JF and DC played together. In a rare piece of good writing, ESPN snidely remarks that "So as long as JA and ML are as good as UCLA's best backcourt in recent memory, they should be fine." lmao.
- DG is back to full speed after being injured and has been working on a jump hook. Cant wait to see that.
- Joe Lunardi predicts UCLA making the NCAA tournament as a 5 seed and that not even our "vaunted dance team" can help us from exiting in the second round.
This was actually one of the better reads on ESPN in a long time. Educated writers writing with wit and humor. If you are an Insider, go read through the whole thing.
There really isn' t much to argue about with ESPN's analysis. Our team next year is a big unknown. In fact, our whole backcourt is a huge question mark in my opinion and the development of JA and ML along with the leadership of MR and maybe TH/MM swinging down will likely determine what kind of success we have this year. Of course, with CBH in charge and everyone buying in to UCLA defense, I don't think a Pac 10 championship is out of the question especially with the Pac 10 being down next year.
Thankfully with CRN energizing UCLA football, waiting a few more months for CBH's team to take over Pauley is a little bit more bearable. Go Bruins!