Tag:Lazeric Jones
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:09 pm

Lazeric Jones is already the key for UCLA

By Jeff Goodman

UCLA's frontline is loaded, but it won't matter if Lazeric Jones doesn't perform.

Case in point: the Bruins loss to Loyola Marymount in the season-opener. Yes, the same LMU team that followed up with a setback to Middle Tennessee State.

The Wear Twins combined for 24 points and 13 boards in their debut back home - and Reeves Nelson was solid with 13 points and eight rebounds.

But it's tough to win without guard play.

Lazeric Jones was just 1-for-11 for three points. He had three assists and three turnovers in 32 minutes.

Then you've got big man Josh Smith, who wasn't very bright with his post-game tweet disrespecting LMU after he had just put up five points and four boards in 16 minutes.

Maybe we overrated UCLA. Again.

Sure, Nelson and Smith (when he gets in shape) are a potent duo up front - and the Wear Twins, while certainly not saviors, will help Ben Howland and the Bruins.

But a backcourt of Lazeric Jones and Tyler Lamb may not be enough.

This team won't endure the same start as the 2009-10 team did when it began the season with a loss to Cal State Fullerton and found itself 2-6 after setbacks to Portland, Butler, Long Beach State, Kansas and Mississippi State.

But I'm also not convinced this group measures up to the one that went 23-11 a year ago.

Not unless Jones steps up.

More College Basketball coverage
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:44 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:46 pm

Howland better hope he's right about Jones

By Gary Parrish

Matt Norlander -- along with everybody else in the college basketball world -- reported earlier that UCLA coach Ben Howland has suspended reserve point guard Jereme Anderson indefinitely because of an arrest that's rooted in the theft of a laptop. So I guess Cam Newton has company. If Anderson goes on to to win a Wooden Award and a national championship, you'll be able to trace it right back to this.

Anyway ...

Lazeric Jones will now have to play more than the 28 minutes per game he played at point guard last season for as long as Anderson's suspension lasts. That's bad news on the surface. But if you're looking for a bright spot, I can tell you that Howland went out of his way last weekend to talk about Jones with me while sitting courtside at the Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas, and the man with three Final Fours to his credit seemed genuinely optimistic about his junior college point guard with one year of eligibility remaining.

"Lazeric Jones has had a really great offseason," Howland said. "I think he's going to have a great senior year."

For Howland's sake, I hope he's right.

Because the Bruins' success will rely on that now more than Howland could've possibly imagined four days ago.
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