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Update on UCLA Basketball Bigs Current and Future

Some news on UCLA basketball bigs.

Kobe is Kevon Looney's favorite player.
Kobe is Kevon Looney's favorite player.

Steve Alford gives an interview that is interesting for what it says and does not say.  First, unless I missed it, he does not mention the word point guard in his entire discussion of UCLA recruiting.  At one point he even says.

We lose both Wears. So when you lose both Wears, you're talking about two 6-foot-210, 235 guys. Not just size, but they are fifth-year guys. I think we hope to add more size to this class. Isaac is now, unless something happens to his eligibility, he falls into the 2013 class, which has had good guards in it. Size has been our biggest focus. This is a good start but we are not done.

He does consider Isaac Hamilton part of the 2014 class who is a guard.  Isaac may even think he is a point guard but it seems a bit strange that we are not after a "true" point guard.  I hope this was an omission.  I think this is poor form if for no other reason it adds pressure to Bryce.  Is Bryce really going to be the only point guard on the roster next year?

Of course, there is something to say about Steve Alford's point guard-less offense.  Watching the latest mixtape of Kevon Looney (love the shirt he is wearing at the start) makes me think Kevon is a replacement for Kyle Anderson.  No, he is not that good a passer but he does have a very good handle for a big guy and seems to be a better shooter than Kyle.  If the skinny Kevon can rebound well, UCLA may legitimately have a replacement for Kyle, even though it impossible to completely replace a player as unique as Kyle.  (Others have said Kevon is a Kevin Durant style player.)

I am excited to see Looney in a Bruin uniform.

The bigger question on Kevon is his recruitment the start of a successful national recruitment strategy or a freak occurrence.  Alford took it one step further when asked where in the country his recruiting was focused.

So, I think that at UCLA you've got to do it and it's not just national and GG is from Hungary, so it's global. We are going to continue to recruit global. I think that at UCLA you want to get not just the best player or talent, but the quality of player and quality of student who understands UCLA.

This response was in part to Gyorgy Goldman.  While Goldman is a project, both Goldman and Kevon are bigs that handle the ball well and can shoot well.  In other words, it seems that Steve Alford wants a team of guys who can all pass but not a point guard.

Speaking of bigs, Noah Allen suffered multiple fractures to his face and seems unlikely to be available Monday.  Travis Wear may be back Monday.  My guess is he will play but not start and be limited in minutes.  IMO Travis is one of those players who does not play nearly as well when he is not a 100%.  Hopefully, Alford will not rush him back but we will only have seven scholarship players available on Monday if Travis is not ready.

As far as the mystery big, Alford said "Wanaah should be back 10-14 days."  This means Wanaah Bail should be ready to give a few minutes in the back to back games of the Las Vegas Invitational on November 28-29.

The last word goes to the newest Bruins.  An interesting tidbit is both Looney and Goldman are Kobe and Laker fans.  That may have helped in their recruitments.  Regardless, the key is was Looney an aberration or will this "global" recruiting strategy work.  Looney states:

"My favorite player is Kobe.  And I'm at UCLA.  Maybe get to see him a couple times next year.  Watched a lot of his highlights and lot of his mid-post game.  That's my favorite player."

Go Bruins!