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Roundup From BN Walk: News & Notes

We will start the walk checking in with our football team. And we have some good news re. Kahlil Bell:

UCLA running back Kahlil Bell, who had ACL surgery in December, told me two months ago he would be back for August training camp, and Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel is saying the same thing.
"I'm told by everybody he will be (ready), and I'm going to proceed as if that is the case," Neuheisel said. "I know he's working hard and he's looking very confident. And I don't have anybody telling me I have to be worried about it." 

That is good to hear. But I think we need to be cautious with our expectations re. Bell returning to the same form before he went down in the Wazzu game this past year. It is incredibly difficult for an athlete to get back to the same form after this kind of severe injury. So as encouraging as this news is, let’s hope Bell eases into camp this summer.

Moving over to Ben Ball, there is a great breakdown over at Bruin Basketball Report (BBR) re. the status of our underclassmen – KL, RW, LRMAM – who are going through the draft process. KL is obviously gone since he signed with an agent. BBR projects RW as gone as well. As for LRMAM no body knows, but BBR mentions how he could exercise the option of playing overseas:

Although Mbah a Moute is only a borderline first-round to a second-round pick, he may still elect to stay in the draft. Mbah a Moute is very close to graduating from UCLA and has reportedly indicated he may jump to the NBA if he can get at least a second-round draft guarantee from a team. Only first-round choices earn a guaranteed two-year contract.

If Mbah a Moute does not make it to the NBA, he still has the option of playing overseas; however, its likely an NBA team will take a chance on the 6'8 forward.

At the NBA camp in Orlando and during individual team workouts, Mbah a Moute has shown the type of tenacious defense and rebounding that made him invaluable in Coach Ben Howland's defensive scheme. He has shown scouts he can guard quick point guards and big post men. Despite not shooting well or displaying good offensive skills at tryouts, teams such as the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks still have shown interest in him.

At this juncture, Mbah a Moute is still undecided and may still return to UCLA. He has until June 16 and has a number of indiviual team tryouts still scheduled, including one with the Boston Celtics.

LRMAM is so “undecided” that according to his brother even LRMAM himself is unsure about what he wants to do next:

Toronto and Portland, Ore., also are possibilities. "I'm trying to get as many done as possible before June 16," Minyem said [Luc’s brother Armel Minyem, who ‘works in marketing for a sports club in Washington, D.C.’ – Ed]. "After that, we'll see." Minyem said his brother is truly undecided about whether to return to UCLA. "Even if I wanted to, I couldn't tell anybody," he said. "Because I don't think Luc knows."

Dohn has another interesting bit of info to add to this drama. Apparently LRMAM has scheduled a workout with the Portland Trailblazers on June 20th, which happens to 4 days after June 16th deadline to w/draw from the draft. So that information FWIW if you want to stay in suspense on whether he will stay or go.

Elsewhere, on Ben Ball there is report out of a San Luis Obispo paper that UCLA might be getting involved with another transfer. According to Joshua D. Scroggin of a UCLA has put the feelers out re. Derrick Jasper, a once highly touted recruit who is now transferring from Kentucky. According to article the California native had gone to Kentucky because of their former coach Tubby Smith. But Tubby left for Minnesota (or got chased out of town depending on your perspective) and Jasper like many California kid became homesick. So he is now looking to transfer back to a California/Western school and UCLA might be an option. Jeff Eisenberg from the Press Enterprise is on the story as well.

We will end the walk with a reminder that a special – “We Love (UC)LA” – open thread will go up tonight at 5:30 pm PST for the Laker game. Again the thread is open to not just the Laker fans on BN but every member of this community. If you are watching the game and want to comment, cheer, vent, whatever with fellow Bruins, as always this will be your online bar.

Yes, the overwhelming majority of BN root for the Lakers and all of our front pagers are Laker fans, but we will have no problem if there are Celtics fans (after all the Big Red was a Celtic) or others who are rooting against the Lakers. The only thing we are going to ask for is to make sure you are respectful to each other and are engaging in sports banter in good fun.