ucla looking far better then i could have anticipated
just got done watching the bruins blowout northwestern to improve to 7-0. Now they haven't played anybody yet. Drexel, who pushed Arizona wire to wire in a 4 point loss and then took care of Alabama today, is ucla's best win so far. But just watching this team, they look special.
Here's a break down of the roster
Kyle Anderson..... 13ppg...10 rpg...8apg...2stls in 29 minutes
Before the season I really questioned if he could truly play the pg position at 6-9 and deal with full court presses and create open looks for his teammates despite not having great speed. Well, he is excelling as a full time pg right now. He has hit 6 of 10 3point attempts and looks much improved as a shooter. I actually expect him to knock down every open shot now.
Jordan Adams.....21ppg...4rbs...2apg...3stls in 28 minutes
One of the better defenders and a guy who has a lot of strength for a wing. Attacks the rim hard and is shooting over 40% from three. He doesn't have a lot of flash, but he can hit all the tough mid range shots.
Zach LaVine....14ppg....16/28 from three....3rbs...2apg
Just wow. This site currently has Zach going 5th overall in the 2015 draft and right now I don't think that's off at all. Guys is killing it. He is a 6-5 combo guard who has all the things you want from an nba player. Many Los angelese journalaists are calling him the greatest athlete to ever wear a ucla uniform(to think westbrook was here not that long ago) and im not sure I disagree. He finishes above the rim and grabs rebounds above the rim and can push himself. He has the jumper off the dribble down which is a must at the next level where you don't get time to set your feet very often. This guy is getting better every single game and might not be around for a sophomore year if things keep going this way.
Powell is the teams best defender and toughest guy even at 6-4. He attacks the rim harder then anyone on the squad. His jumper is normally decent but looks broken at the moment.
The rest of the team is full of solid role players.
The Wear twins are seniors now and as usual they are finesse bigs who can step outside and shoot and have good offensive skills but don't really bring a lot of toughness.
Sophomore Tony Parker has improved quite a bit and is now starting where he actually does bring toughness as well as some skill to the low post. I could see his role diminishing as the schedule gets tougher though, he is still developing.
Freshman Bryce Alford is the coaches son. He is a pg who looks to get after it on defense and can really shoot. He just got done scoring 18 on northwestern on 4-4 from three. He is a smart player who plays under control like you would expect a coaches son to do.
The Bruins are averaging 91 points per game and playing an exciting style of ball and might finally have the talent to make another deep run. Don't think for a second Arizona has this conference locked up.
UCLA will be in contention in the Pac-12 and they do have a nice amount of talent. I just think Arizona will kill them inside with the likes of Gordon, Ashley, Tarczewski and Jefferson. Even though their PG is 6-9 it usually isn't a good thing when your PG is your leading rebounder.
They are certainly better than I thought as well and they are playing much more cohesively under Steve Alford. I'm not saying they can't win the conference I just don't think they match up well against Zona...not many teams do.
I'm not sure what makes LaVine a combo guard but he looks like a nasty SG prospect to me. His athleticsm is obvious. His release is so quick and accurate. That little freeze, pull up was impressive as well, showing some shot creating ability. He even hit a jumper or two coming off of a curl. In one game he showed multiple ways he can be used as a shooter, but that's not all he is since he's a terror in transition. He's looked super impressive, so impressive that I wouldn't be surprised if he flirted with declaring this year. He needs to get his weight up, but that's never stopped uber-talented prospects from declaring and it certainly hasn't prevented teams from taking them.
And Kyle Anderson deserves to be talked about with all the other POY candidates and super sophs. That team is his and he's dismantling defenses with ease. He's like a surgeon out there with his pinpoint passing. Oh... and he's making jump shots. Yikes.
I love Zach and believe in Adams and Kyle is Bodiroga all over again for you Eurofans. But chapeau for Mr. Smith for calling first on Zach, that he is different than Chad Ford or Givony that he actually knows the game and does not need sources to make judgements.
The only problem right now with Kyle Anderson is what position can he defend at the next level? The offensive question marks we had about him last year, his shooting, whether or not the PG skills from highschool could translate, have been more or less answered. But the questions about his defensive liability are still in abundance.
Yeah i been talking bout Zach, reminds me of JR Smith. UCLA is good early, Kyle is really leading thia team. They are solid top from bottom. Arizona will will the pac but UCLA will prolly be 2nd
Amazing how much better their ball movement is with Shabazz out of the lineup
This is so true. Good to see Shabazz gone. He was a cancer for UCLA.
When have we ever seen a 6'9 PG who can score, facilitate, and bang?
UCLA is back.
Size. Athleticism. Efficiency. Depth. No weaknesses.
I want to say this is a Final Four team.
More on that to come...
LL, that's a great summation of the squad. I'm juiced up to see 2 legit Final Four contenders in the Pac-12 to go along with dangerous Oregon and Cal teams.
thanks, and don't forget Arizona state either. Watching the game last night, espn announcer and former coach bruce pearl said he thinks the pac 12 is the second best conference in America this year behind the big 10.
I think Zach would be a lotto pick this yr if he chose to declare. He's not just a raw athlete. The way he can get shots off is very advanced. Creating it off the bounce, spotting up and coming off of screens, etc. He's been more impressive than other more highly touted freshmen I see projected in the lotto.
What would prevent Zach LaVine from declaring? If McLemore can declare after 1 yr with his thin build and skill set why couldn't LaVine? LaVine could be just as athletic and he's actually shown more ball skills, even a little shot creating ability which Mac did not.