Today is a football Saturday but basketball is also in the air. We will get started with our game day festivities around 10 am PST. To get you guys started I will pass on some hoops related notes to get our morning started.
Our basketball exhibition season gets started tomorrow afternoon when the Bruins take on Cal State San Bernardino in an exhibition game in Ontario. The Bruins are reportedly heading out to Ontario tonight. The tip-off is scheduled for 2 pm PST and the game is going to be streamed online.
Robert Carpentier from Bruin Report Online wrote up a preview for tomorrow afternoon's game. Here is what Carpentier had to say about the Coyotes (excerpting here as the preview was not behind the firewall at the time I wrote this post):
The Coyotes return junior Kwame Alexander (6'7" 240 lbs.), who is the leading returning scorer and rebounder for Oliver. He will present a valid inside challenge to the Bruin bigs. Senior Theron Laudermill (6'7" 235 lbs.) is a virtual clone of Alexander, averaging just below the junior in both scoring and rebounding last year. Both he and Alexander can move relatively well down low. Alexander, in particular, is a good athlete. Former Arizona Wildcat D.J. Shumpert (6'7" 205 lbs.) provides depth. The unknown is JC transfer Pablo Genevo (6'10" 250 lbs.) from Spain.
Senior Nate Roth (5'10" 165 lbs.) will be a player who bears watching as he is the kind of quick, small guard that has traditionally given the Bruins trouble since Howland arrived in Westwood. He is the leading returning assist leader for the Coyotes and the best returning 3-point shooter. He is a decent foul shooter but gets there enough times to know that he is a threat to get into the lane.
Senior Sidney Hall (6'2" 170 lbs.) will more than likely start at the shooting guard spot. He is almost strictly an outside shooter, having gotten to the foul line only 4 times last season while attempting 56 three-pointers. However, the player that fans should keep an eye on is another JC transfer, junior Scooter Holmes (6'4" 200 lbs.), who is a slasher that could hurt the Bruins with both his ability to score of the dribble and shoot from outside.
There is no question that the Bruins should win. The question is, by how much? Much will depend on how the Bruins begin answering the concerns and unknowns surrounding the team.
Check out rest of the BRO preview to get a list of Carpentier's questions and concerns about the program. They are in sync with the issues we have discussed extensively here on BN. Some additional nuggets after the jump.
- According to LJ Coach Howland has been mum about who is going to back him up at the point tomorrow afternoon. Apparently he played almost the whole game during the closed scrimmage against Cal State Fullerton. LJ didn't seem to be all that worried about it. Remember Jerime Anderson has been suspended for tomorrow's game and the season opener against LMU because of his offcourt issues from this summer.
- Speaking of not being worried, David Wear says playing the 3 is "nothing new" because he played at the spot in his first year at Carolina and also in college. He said he put in lot of work this off-season to get quicker and more athletic. Wear mentioned that he is getting better at it yesterday. He is not worried about his "handles," quickness or ability to coming off the screen to play the 3 spot. He also brushed off issues of conditioning. You can watch/hear David's comments here
- David's other half Travis talked with reporters about stepping up around the blocks in absence of Anthony Stover. Note the interview was before he sprained his hand and listed as "day-to-day". I am not all that worried about it. Nagging injuries are part of the deal in tough practices. They have worked for Howland before. Wear's comments in comparing the practices between UCLA and UNC were interesting though as he talked about how Howland focuses more on fundamentals and defensive principles. Me like.
- Reporters are pretty excited about the debut of Wear Twins I guess. See this post on WWL from (Bruin Alum) Diamond Leung talking about these guys "raising hopes for UCLA." Leung references a quote on the Twins from UNC coach Roy Williams in his autobiography on the twins talking how he "really enjoyed coaching them" and thinking "they were really going to be good players" and "could really help" the Tar Heels get back to where they wanted to be. We can only hope coach.
- Amidst all the hoopla around the Twins, don't forget about Brendan Lane. I certainly am not planning to. BruinsBall.com, a cool new site dedicated to Bruin hoops (we need to get them on our blogroll soon) previewed Lane here. I agree with their take of how Lane could take advantage of opportunities available this season (such as PTs now available early on due to injuries to Stover and T. Wear) and prime himself for a very productive senior season.
That's what I have for now. We will have an open thread for those who will be logging on and tracking the action online. If you have other hoops related notes you want to share, feel free to fire away in this thread. Game day version of Bruin Bites is coming up around 10 am.
UPDATE (N): According to the Daily Bruin Howland said soph. guard Tyler Lamb is going to start at the 2 and then "would be the first choice to move over to the one when Jones isn’t on the court." Lamb doesn't it will be hard and that he will "ready." So at least for now De'end Parker and Norman Powell are "ruled out" for minutes at the 1.