Early 2013-14 UCLA Basketball Musings

The "biggest x-factor" of UCLA basketball? - USA TODAY Sports

Bumped from fanposts. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.

Hey, its always fun to pontificate--even when you don't really know anything.

This is not a post about the past, Howland, Alford, the number of scholarships available or 2014/2015. Perhaps that will be for another day.

There's enough to talk about regarding next year's team. I think this is a good time because the roster is close to set (I will get right back to this), I really believe we have a great core in place, and my thoughts have changed in the last few weeks. They've changed for two reasons: Allerik Freeman decommitted, and I think the Kyle Anderson situation has "evolved" (sadly, based on internet chatter, but you take what you can get).

Most people would fairly say that Tony Parker is the biggest X-factor. Well, at least he's staying--that's great. If he turns out to be a beast inside, then at least 50% of our problems are solved for the next two seasons. It really doesn't take much to be dominating inside in college basketball these days-its not a game for 4's and 5's, so I won't be surprised if Tony, at least defensively, is dominant. For the rest of this discussion, I am going to assume that he starts, and that he is adequate for 2014. We don't know much from last year, but we do know he couldn't be out Josh Smith, so I think this is a reasonable assumption.

Jordan Adams, will be a star. I think and hope he will be a great college player. Perhaps not a viable pro. For his sake, I hope he is. As good defensively as he is, he won't be able to cover NBA 2's or 3's. In the right system, his team defense might be good, and he also might fit into a role like an old Ray Allen. Hey, somebody actually drafted Jimmer Fredette in the top 10.

Transfers? If there one, I will revisit this. I wouldn't be surprised. For those who can, go look up the names thrown around on BRO, or even look at Bruinzone...they have a tendancy to repeat BRO information over there. I don't know if Alford is really doing anything, but there are a few legitimate names out there that can take the graduation or hardship exception, and I believe two of them are point guards, and there is a power forward. If any of this comes to pass, your reaction will be: are you kidding me..a 15 mpg guy from a second tier school? Yes that would be about right, but it might work with this roster if the current nice chemistry sustains, and we don't throw away schollies for nothing.

In my opinion, given where we are now, Kyle Anderson is actually the biggest X-factor. Its not a talent issue, and I think, with Schillling's help, he comes back better. The question is: where does he play? There have been many iterations on this. I thought the issue was settled when his dad seemed to be resigned to Kyle's (albeit slim IMHO) best future chances at an NBA career playing 3 or 4. Well, now it seems Kyle does want to play point guard, and he thinks he will cover the 3. And what do you know? Conveniently, Freeman is out of the picture (you know I thought that was a joke anyway), and there is no one else unless Lavine can handle it or there is a transfer.

Now you know where I'm going. The dominoes fall according to what Kyle can actually do. Here are my two scenarios.

First, there is the obvious one which we've discussed here. The starting lineup is Kyle 1 (and 3 on D), Powell at 2 (1 on D), Adams at 2/3 (you really won't be able to tell the difference), T Wear at 4 and Parker at 5.

My problem with the lineup above is that I just don't believe Anderson can cover a 3. Please prove me wrong, but I don't see it. We have only one person who can cover a 3, and that is Adams. Unless something changes, Adams will always cover the opponent's best player as long as that player isn't a post-up or a speedy point guard.

So here's my alternative lineup...small ball: Kyle 1 (and 4 on D), Powell at 2 (1 on D), Adams at 3, Lavine at 2, and Parker at 5.

Discussion open.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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