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Basketball Media Day: UCLA Looks to Win the Pac-12

Will Tyler Lamb be the next very good 2 guard in the tradition of Lee, Westbrook and AA, at least as the next great stopper?  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Will Tyler Lamb be the next very good 2 guard in the tradition of Lee, Westbrook and AA, at least as the next great stopper? (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Media Day got off to an optimistic start, when the media picked UCLA to win the Pac-12 matching BruinsNation's expectations.   We were also  ranked #17 in the AP Poll. 

So in answer to the first question on all UCLA basketball fans.  What is the line up besides the three locks (Josh Smith at center, Reeves at power forward and LJ at PG)?  

We're either going to have De'End Parker or Dave Wear at the three, so we'll either be 6'10" at the three, or 6'6", 215. . . . That being said we're going to play big.  Dave Wear isn't actually a four man, but we need  help at the three spot.   So he played all his minutes yesterday except for a couple at the three, and did a very good job, especially defensively, which is my biggest concern.  That's where it's going to be a real challenge for him being a guy that at the end of the day it's really going to benefit him as a player.  I think it helps us rebounding-wise, because he's going to be a very good rebounder for us.

 Parker is hurt so he did not get a chance to play in yesterday’s scrimmage.  This will be interesting when we play the various three guard teams.  Will we play three guards?  Will Parker be the small forward?  Or will we play big and take the chance on defense? 

On offense, don’t forget that not only will we have a size advantage, David Wear has shown to be a good three shooter in limited shots which will really help this very good inside team.   If David plays a lot of minutes, it may be an interesting trade for a CBH team: more offense and rebounding for defense.   Then again, maybe Parker will be a true team player at the three and a "glue guy."  He was a PG last year in JC and did a little bit of everything.

The other opening seems closed. . . for now:

Tyler Lamb is our starting two guard.  He played last year as a freshman, but he's had a good off-season, and I think he'll take over the role that we always have someone guarding the other team's best wing player.  Norman Powell will give us tremendous -- he's a very good athlete.  He's just getting adjusted to playing at a high level in Division I.

Tyler Lamb showed flashes last year that he is ready to step into the shoes of Malcolm Lee, Russell Westbrook, and AA on defense.  The big question is his offense.  Hopefully he will get there and given our recent history at the #2 guard there is reason for optimism.  Powell has a learning curve, is raw, etc.  But you can’t teach athletic ability and we have all seen with the Bruin Factor that CBH can teach basketball.

Next, the star.  Josh Smith.  This will be Reeves’ and his team.  We will dominate down low.  Zeek will do his job but Smith will determine how good we are.  On Smith CBH said:

Josh has got to get in better condition, there is no doubt about it to be as good as he can be.  Josh is a force, number one, because  he's skilled and has great size.  When he finally does reach his potential in terms of his conditioning, he'll be unstoppable.  That's how good I think he can be.  He's got great hands, great feet, and is a very good athlete for a man that size.

In closing CBH, seemingly agrees with BN and I love the way he put it .

Our team always has high expectations.  It's the expectations we put on ourselves that matter most.  It's always nice to be picked high, but that doesn't guarantee anything.  It's where you finish.

Go Bruins!