Blog Entry

Observation from Humboldt State game

Posted on: November 11, 2009 1:28 am

The offense flowed, as expected, with the return of Jerime Anderson and Michael Roll. Malcom Lee was in foul trouble and couldn't find his groove. Roll was the best player on the floor. Drew Gordon looked really nice on the offensive end, displaying a nice touch out to 15 ft and some quickness. Troubled by the lack of defensive pressure and the inability to rebound against Humboldt.

Hard to gauge how this performance will translate against CSUF, but the Bruins played a bit loose with the basketball and lacked intensity. Sure that aspect will improve next week. Overall, this team will be a work in progress.

The freshman will need some time to learn their roles and get some confidence. Look for UCLA to lean heavily on Roll, Dragovic and James Keefe. Keefe showed some flashes of what he's capable of during the contest. The loss of Tyler Honeycutt (out a month with stress fracture in leg) could be offset by Keefe if JK can play anywhere near his ability. Maybe the increase in minutes will allow him to relax and play his game. He's much better than he's shown.

Little disappointed in Lee to be honest. He's been in foul trouble both games and not shown too much offensively. He is an outstanding talent and very skilled player. Coach Howland expects a big year from Lee. Anderson looked okay, his handle still concerns me against pressure. At times he appeared tenative, perhaps he's not 100% healthy. This team will go stretches where it looks really ugly on both ends. It's youth will likely unveil itself when it's forced to play a physical half court game (Kansas, Mississippi State).

Reeves Nelson looks like he's ready to contribute early - he has more athleticsm than his press clippings detailed. Moser, Stover and Lane (coming off ankle) didn't show much in this contest. The loss of Honeycutt will affect the team on the offensive end and hurts the bench depth. UCLA is really thin in the backcourt. Abdul Hamid is a very heady player that can give Anderson a breather, but he will struggle with quick guards. 

The team really needs Bobo Morgan to get healthy and take up space in the paint. Without him the Bruins will be small up front and have trouble keeping teams off the glass. Let's hope the Bruins can enter the season without suffering any more injuries - they need to practice and get comfortable playing with one another. Coach Howland will have these guys playing up to their potential by January, but the first two months might determine the Bruins at-large chances more than compiling double digit wins in, what is expected to be, a down Pac-10 Conference.

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