I don't recall as bad as stretch we have had in both UCLA football and basketball compared to what we have experienced in last couple of years. Given the roller coaster first half to the football season, it is understandable if many are already looking forward to hoops. People here are desperate about wanting to feel good about something.
Given the fact that we are not going to have a certain forward debasing the UCLA uniform night in and night out this season already projects towards some form improvement due to the old classic addition by subtraction theory. However, before anyone gets their hopes high a little too much based on (Coach Howland's excited tweet(s) or early season reports), I would strongly recommend everyone keeps their expectations guarded.
Our team this season is not going to make any kind of dramatic improvement if we don't see any upgrade in our PG performance (and it has been troubling to see UCLA not bringing in any top notch pg into this year's recruiting class). While I have not given up on Jerime Anderson, I think it would be extremely prudent for everyone to keep their expectations re. Lazeric Jones in check. Note the following comment from Tyler Honeycutt on the difference between Jerime Anderson and Lazeric Jones (emphasis added):
"It's kind of different, but it's similar the same way. Jerime is the smarter in terms of turnovers. That's one thing coach doesn't like. Even if he might see a play, he might not react on it. With Zeke, he's getting into it. He's new to everything so he's learning how the bigs are hedging the ball screens, how he's supposed to read it. Once he gets the hang of it, his turnovers in practice will go down."
So yeah, keep the expectations in check. I would also suggestion people who have made a habit out of attacking Jerime Anderson and giving up on him, to wish him the best and hope he gets it together after flailing away in his first two years in Westwood.
I think if UCLA basketball is going to take a step forward it will have to start with leadership and dependable games from Honeycutt, Malcolm Lee. They are also going to need a redeeming season from Jerime Anderson, so that he can recapture the same performance that caught the eyes of coaches like Kerry Keating - a recruiter/assistant we miss dearly - when he came out of high school. Hopefully Jones is going to get it together too - eventually - but it would be smart if people keep their expectations in check for some guy who was playing in JC last season.