The midseason Wooden Award watch list was released yesterday, with one Bruin added and another staying on.
TJ Leaf joined fellow freshman Lonzo Ball to the list of 25 college basketball players being considered for the Wooden Award.
UCLA is one of only five schools with more than one player on the list. Leaf and Ball are part of a group of only seven freshman being considered at this point.
Ben Bolch of the LA Times previews the trip to the Mountain Schools this weekend:
What makes Colorado unique is its experience. The Buffaloes start four seniors and a redshirt junior, giving them savvy few teams can match. Seniors Derrick White (15.8 points per game) and Xavier Johnson (14.7) are among the Pac-12’s scoring leaders.
"They’ve been through this," UCLA Coach Steve Alford said. "They’ve come off a road [trip] where they haven’t been successful and had to win a road game; they’ve already done that, they’ve experienced that. We’ve still got guys going through this for the first time."
In the Daily Bruin, writer TuAnh Dam writes about the team chemistry being built between superstar freshmen and seasoned upperclassmen:
But for all the success Ball and Leaf have had – leading the conference in assists and field goal percentage respectively – part of what they’ve been able to do for UCLA basketball stems from the team’s own veteran group.
Ball and Leaf’s play successfully elevates their teammates who in turn run the offense and the playmaking through the freshmen.
And here are your currently ranked UCLA Bruin teams:
This week in rankings:— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) January 11, 2017
#️⃣8️⃣ GYM ♂️
#️⃣2️⃣5️⃣ WTEN pic.twitter.com/q45hrK8HAu