So few days ago we discussed the possibility of the Wear twins transferring out of North Carolina and joining Coach Ben Howland's program in Westwood. At the time the news hadn't surfaced in any of the traditional news outlets (in either coast). We heard about the real possibility of it from few friends around the program and given the chatter that was going on in the Bruin message boards at the time, we decided to go ahead and talk about it on our main page.
Well that post apparently stirred up a little storm in message boards belonging to UNC and some of its rivals (there were lot more than just the links provided in the preceding sentence). Most of it were dismissive as some rumor mongering from some blog. There were some even here foolishly questioning our credibility. Well it looks like the news is now official. The Wear twins are indeed looking to transfer out of UNC (HT Luca10):
Freshman basketball forwards David and Travis Wear - McDonald's All-Americas and Best in the West selections as seniors at Mater Dei High - will not be returning to the University of North Carolina, their father told the Press-Telegram tonight.
Dave Wear said he discussed the decision with Tar Heels' coach Roy Williams earlier in the evening by telephone and that he hoped that his sons would be released from their scholarship agreements with the school ``as early as Thursday".
Wear wouldn't offer any details as to why the players (who took their last spring semester finals today) were making the move other than to say ``they decided they didn't want to return to North Carolina.
``When they return home (in Huntington Beach) we will sit down as a family and review their basketball and academic options,'' he said.
Well the Wear twins to UCLA is not a done deal (although ESPN has followed BN's lead (without any kind of HT of course) mentioning this possibility). As mentioned over the weekend it is a real possibility. Anything can happen in the last minute. Still I think that possibility is a little stronger now. Some more perspective (in addition to the analysis from this past weekend) and other notes after the jump.
I think both of those kids are well coached, fundamentally sound and more importantly good guys (from what I have heard). I like the idea of Coach Howland filling our program with good kids. At the same time though what we need at UCLA are not just good kids but good kids who are ballers. I can also understand Howland being interested in them because in the immediate class of 2011 there is a lack of big time talent in terms of big guys out in West Coast. So it is not a bad idea to have two kids who have already been coached up by someone like Roy Williams in the fold and have them get acclimated in Howland's system for one season before getting on the court. In that scenario I could see the argument about these kids bringing more to the program than some raw prospect in next year's class.
Still while both of them have the potential to be decent players in our program just like Matt Carlino we have to keep our expectations in check. At this point of time I don't see them being high impact players (if they end up at UCLA). I think they can develop into meaningful contributors but folks around them (fans, family members) will have to be patient. I hope Coach Howland is strategically thinking ahead in terms of ensuring he will bring in at least 2 or 3 more athletic point guards/wing forwards in next year's class.
Staying somewhat on the topic of hoops, LRMAM is planning for a pretty exciting off-season:
As the Milwaukee Bucks' defensive stopper, Luc Richard Mbah a Mboute can't afford to get star-struck. Not when he spends so many of his nights trying to contain the other team's best player.
That's about to change. Despite his disappointment after Milwaukee was ousted in the playoffs by Atlanta, the prospect of attending the World Cup in South Africa next month has Mbah a Moute smiling like a little boy and bragging about the Cameroon national team's chance to advance.
"I've never been, so this will be my first time," he said. "You can see how excited I am."
While many NBA players want to get as far away from the sports world as they can in the offseason - Bucks veteran Jerry Stackhouse said he planned to "find some salt water" as soon as possible - Mbah a Moute can't wait to root like a fan for his home country's team on African soil.
"Oh, man. Soccer is like religion in Africa," he said. "So for them to have the World Cup on their own continent is something big, huge. People just are thrilled. Everybody's excited about it. And you have a lot of good African teams now, so everybody's excited about African teams to go far into the tournament. It'll be fun to be there in that atmosphere."
LRMAM of course will be going crazy following Cameroon's Indomitable Lions. This is a good opportunity to let everyone know that given our soccer tradition at UCLA, we are going to be playing up the world cup here on BN. If I can do it, I will be putting up open threads for team USA so that all Bruins who love soccer have a gathering place to root not just for the red, white and blue, but the Bruins like Captain Carlos Bocanegra, representing the Yanks.
Lastly, looks like giving "awards" to incompetent bureaucrats is an NCAA past time. Last week Pete Dalis of all people was inducted into some kind of Hall of Fame. This week it's apparently Tom Hansen's turn be honored. Hansen is not doing too bad for a guy who is primarily responsible for Pac-10's horrible TV Ks, joke bowl alliances, and mostly absent national profile dominated by other five BCS conferences. It is amazing how this guy keeps getting recognition as a competent official, given his unimaginative, visionless, boilerplate leadership cost the teams of this conference repeatedly over the years.
It is not going to be that difficult to improve upon Hansen's leadership because he was so vanilla (you can look up some of the lowlights through our archive or thank him every time you wonder why the big Pac-10 baseball games are not on TV). Still laughable really see to various organizations connected NCAA go so far out of their way to reward mediocrity.