Weekly Answers, Pt. 1

Check out the latest weekly answers after the jump…

1) BASKETBALL: I read someplace that next year’s NCAA tournament will have 96 teams. How will the extra week work? My guess would be: Day 1 = 65-96 play each othe. Day 2 = 48-64 play winners of 65-96. Also, what do you think of a 96-team tournament? Excessive? – UCLA ’64
I think it would mean the top 32 teams have byes, and the next 64 essentially comprise the first round. Here’s my take, as well as Daily News columnist Vincent Bonsignore’s: http://www.dailynews.com/ci_14697879

2) I would would to know if Sheller, Keene and Savage finally have a chance to contribute this season? These guys have been on the bench so long that that have splinters – gerry4ucla
I doubt any of the three makes a serious contribution.

3) What do you think of this year’s NCAA men’s tournament? – Anonymous
I love it. Exactly what it should be. Yeah, it’s a product of a lot of causes – one-n’-done, AAU circuit promoting year-round basketball, great coaches across the country – but still, it’s impressive.

4) Mr. Gold, I know that this question is a bit late but I was wondering do you know why Pullard and Shirley never wanted to play in the same team? As a USC fan I must admit that I was surprised that Pullard committed to USC considering he was perceived as a UCLA lock whereas Shirley was perceived as a USC lean. On signing day rumors surfaced that both players did not like each other but I could not find any evidence to support this rumor with the exception of their commitments to rival schools. Thank you in advance. – Gilligan
I have not heard much of a rift between the two. The whole Shirley deal was a bit confusing for me, simply because he so publicly shunned UCLA during the late recruiting process. I’ve just never really seen that.

5) What non-scholarship football players do you think will get some playing time this year? Thanks for everything – bruinbrian
The best by a mile is Andrew Abbott, who should be on scholarship, and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t next year.

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  • Anonymous

    Jon,

    Did you have a chance to watch Josh Smith at the McDonald’s All-America game last night? I was unable to watch, but read this on Rivals.com:

    “Josh Smith: It is disappointing that Smith came into the game so out of shape. He had a nice spin for a bucket, ran the floor, showed his good hands, and rebounded the ball in his area. The problem was, he also was a liability on defense because he couldn’t move as well as normal, he wasn’t a factor blocking or altering shots. If Smith works his way back into shape, the talent is clearly there to be very good for a very long time.”

    Are you able to comment on the game?

  • david holderer

    He was tremendously over weight and so out of shape that, yes he could not move out of his area. I saw him play about a month ago against a 6′-9 guy and he looks the same now as then. No change in his physical condition. it was quite a contrast between the two players, one sleek, quick athlete, jump out of the gym. The other a slow, rooted to the ground sloth like player(?). He does seem to have good hands, looks like he can pass. But even if he gets in top physical condition he wont be an athletic type of center and will struggle in defense. just my opinion from just two games.

  • Anonymous

    uh oh. sounds like another bobo

  • MichaelRyerson

    Awright! I’m really sorry I read those comments, that pretty much ruins my weekend (even though its only Thursday)! ‘Out of Shape’?? An elite athlete, five stars, top rated at his position and the lunkhead lets himself get out of shape? What the heck am I missing here? Where’s the pride? The self esteem? Try to imagine Michael Jordan with a pot belly, Jerry West smoking a stogie. See what I mean, ya can’t do it. And supposedly this guy is recruiting McCallum? What’s he taking McCallum out to Tommy’s? Coach Howland needs to draw a line in the sand with this guy. He shows up overweight, he rides the pine.

  • MichaelRyerson

    Awright! I’m really sorry I read those comments, that pretty much ruins my weekend (even though its only Thursday)! ‘Out of Shape’?? An elite athlete, five stars, top rated at his position and the lunkhead lets himself get out of shape? What the heck am I missing here? Where’s the pride? The self esteem? Try to imagine Michael Jordan with a pot belly, Jerry West smoking a stogie. See what I mean, ya can’t do it. And supposedly this guy is recruiting McCallum? What’s he taking McCallum out to Tommy’s? Coach Howland needs to draw a line in the sand with this guy. He shows up overweight, he rides the pine.

  • Jed

    Guys, dont pay any attention to those Smith Comments.
    Smith is not BOBO, ok!!!
    On D he did not change shots but on two occasions he guarded a smaller quicker player on the perimeter and they tried but did not blow by him.
    He does not have good hands, he has great hands, in one other situation a loose ball was between him and a PG, Smith snatched it, not because of power but hand to eye quickness.He can get to the loose balls that out big guys failed to do this year.
    His touch around the rim is very nice and the spin move spoken of earlier should not be able to be accomplished by a 300LBer.
    My knock on him is lower body stregnth and rebounding.
    He needs to hit the squat machine hard, in the espn game early in the season and last night he waaay to easily gets boxed out of the lane and does not fight to get back in.He is not an eager rebounder unless it is in his radius.He MUST FIGHT for boards, Honeycutt is a better rebounder and so is Nelson, and that scares me a bit, I think Nelson did a poor rebounding job for the most part in the second half of the season.
    He is however a better rebounder than Lane….
    Geez dont get me started on Lane.
    Josh will be a very fine big man, no Fey or BoBo here.

  • Anonymous

    I saw the playoff game against Terrence Jones. Smith didn’t look like Bobo. He looked about 30 pounds heavier than Bobo. If he doesn’t lose some serious weight over the summer, we’ll have another long season next year.

  • Barty

    4-5 from the floor 2-2 from the line, 10 points and 6 rebounds in 15 minutes against other All-Americans. I doubt if he is another Bobo.

  • UCLA ’64

    Thanks, Jon, for linking the article about the tournament. I agree with you, not Vinnie, although I like Vinnie when he subs for Ben on the podcast which no longer seems to exist.

    The big hole in Vinnie’s argument is that none of the “low” teams is going to defeat a big team in the first round since the bigs have a first game bye. Plus, to make it to the Sweet 16, all the cinderellas are going to play 3 games over just a few days in the first weekend which is much harder than playing only 2 games like now. Bottom line: The frequency of cinderellas in the Sweet 16 will be nearly nonexistent.

    Also, I like my idea better of an extra weekend instead of just an extra round. Sort of Play-in weekend.

  • Bruin Fan

    You guys are right he is no Bobo. He’s slower, heavier, can’t rebound, or play defense. I turned on the game and prayed that Josh Smith was not the heavy out of shape player on the floor. To my disappointment he was that guy. I’m not joking – he is over 3 bill and looks like Oliver Miller in his later playing days. The season just ended how can this guy be so out of shape and heavy. He may have been able to play this way in high school but, it does not translate to the college game. I could not believe how slow he played and how lazy he looked. The points he scored were just garbage dunks and the rebounds that came to him. This is a big project for Howland which could end in a similar fashion to Bobo (transfer). I guarantee you that Howland will not play him unless he loses 50 lbs and gets in shape. This was a huge disappointment.