Answers, Part II

I just looked through the questions and was amazed how many I had to delete because they were more than 50 words. Please adhere to the policy, please. I put it in place so folks didn’t have to read a novella before getting to an answer.
Now, here is the second set:

After seeing Morrell Presley on campus, he does not look the part of a tight end as much as a receiver. Is he projected as a tight end because his frame will allow him to put on more weight or is it just his ability to block?
He does not look like a tight end. He is muscular but lean, with much better speed than a tight end. He needs to put more weight on him, and his frame will allow that to happen. But his size should make for matchup problems with opposing teams, and I think he can get down the field.

How about some information about who Rick is considering for the graduate assistant positions or if he’s finalized it, who are they?
I have not heard anything yet. A while back Robert Kibble told me he wanted to get into it, but I asked Neuheisel and he said he didn’t think that was going to happen because Kibble never mentioned it.

I know you reported UCLA seeming to at various times to go back and forth with Renaldo Sydney. Do you think this years teams and next years prospects had anything to do with Howland not wanting another one and done next year?
No, I don’t think it had anything to do with the players at UCLA, or the players coming to UCLA. When it was all said and done, I heard it came down to the people around Sidney, and how much risk/drama there could be.

Curious, why walk on if offered somewhere else? Do walks on get special consideration on admission (e.g., Franco), tutoring and a guaranteed spot on the team/practice squad?
Some do. Plus, a guy like Franco can get a UCLA education if he walks on, as opposed to a lesser degree from another school. And there is always the possibility a kid can earn a scholarship.

Early year question: “Jrue Holiday: extremely skilled, poised, and team-oriented. However, not a freaky athlete and not a great shooter. No lock to be a one-and-done.” Your answer: “Way, way, way off. The kid can play.” Care to revise at all? Sounds like it was an accurate assessment.
No, not at all. The kid is unbelievably talented, and I keep hearing scouts talk about him being a lottery pick. The thing to remember is Holiday is playing out of position. He’s a point guard, and his skills are in his ability to create for others.

What happened for 24 hours to make everyone all aflutter about Sidney going to UCLA, and then what changed? Did he tell people that he had decided on UCLA, and then someone checked with Howland and he was all, “nah”? I can’t believe whatever issues exist surfaced just like that.
It was a very fluid issue with different thoughts coming from a bunch of directions. At the end of the day, the decision was made that the risk of bringing in Sidney outweighed the reward. I do not think UCLA handled it well, but sometimes that happens.

If Holiday leaves, what kind of minutes do you think Abdul-Hamid might see next year, if any, without injuries playing a major factor?
At best, I think he could play five to seven minutes a game.

The sentiment among many Bruin fans is that players score a lot less at UCLA than they would in other coaches’ systems, but they might leave better prepared to play at a high level than if they’d played for a run’n’gun team. Do you think this thinking is valid?
I think it is valid. I am not comparing Ben Howland to Dean Smith, but the same was said about Smith. Who’s the only guy to hold Michael Jordan under 20 points? Dean Smith. But the team concept that is preached, and the attention to detail, make the players better at the next level. Looks how many UNC guys had great NBA careers compared to the Duke players.

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  • Impressed

    You know, Dohn, That was an impressive answer regarding Dean Smith. Do you think that under Howland’s system, UCLA holding on to the ball longer gives the players a better idea of how to visualize the best way to make it to the basket, thus giving them better reasoning skills on the court? Granted its not as impressive this year, but in previous years?

  • melsby’s knee was down

    Which part of that assessment of Jrue was “way, way, way off”?

    – “extremely skilled” – yes, true

    – “poised” – absolutely

    – “team-oriented” – definitely

    – “not a freaky athlete” – he’s a good athlete, but he’s not Russell Westbrook

    – ‘not a great shooter” – shooting 29% from 3

    – “no lock to be a one-and-done” – he may go pro, but I don’t think it’s a lock

    What am I missing here?

  • mo

    I’ll tell you what you’re missing: The fact that stats have nothing to do with how prospects are evaluated for the NBA. Everything is based on upside & potential.

    Should Holiday come out for the draft after this season, he’s a first round pick.

    Of course, he would be a better player by staying another year-and he may, I’m not saying he will or won’t-and I’m also not stating my opinion about his draft status-that’s just the way it is.

    Ariza couldn’t piss straight into the toilet and he got drafted-although it was 2nd round. Mboute couldn’t consistently hit a 15′ jump shot no matter how long he stayed at UCLA-and, he got drafted. Holiday comes in with more hype. He’s not as tall, so, his upside is more limited, but, as a lead (point) guard, he has great size for the NBA-and that’s what it will come down to.

    Enjoy him while he’s here.

  • melsby’s knee was down

    “no lock to be one and done” != “not good enough to go to the nba”

  • melsby’s knee was down

    let me put it another way, no one at all last year said “kevin love should come back to ucla to improve his game”. he was a LOCK to be a one-and-done. people do say that about jrue. if he leaves, will he go in the lottery? yeah, probably. is he a lock to do it? no. get it?

  • Mike H class of 1990

    Jrue is projected as a PG in the NBA and people are looking at him in that regard…his shooting pct isn’t going to move him up or down in the draft. He doesn’t shoot lights-out from 3 pt range but he won’t have to in the NBA. He doesn’t score 20 a night, but he is second on the team in rebounds (from a guard position), second in steals (again, not a given since he doesn’t always guard the other team’s PG) and leads the team in blocks. I don’t know that he will improve his stock by staying another year unless he has a growth spurt.