UCLA release on Drew

From UCLA:

Bruin head coach Ben Howland announced today that Larry Drew II attended class at UCLA today, the first day of class for the Spring quarter. He will be on scholarship for the 2011-12 season, one he will have to sit out for the entire year, due to the NCAA rules on four-year transfers (North Carolina). He will become available when the Bruins return to Pauley Pavilion for the 2012-13 season.

“We are very excited about the addition of Larry Drew II to our program,” UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland said. “He is an outstanding player and a really good kid. He is a great person and I think that he will be a great player for the Bruins in his final season of eligibility.”

“It feels great to be back home,” Larry Drew II said. “I had a great learning experience at North Carolina and they taught me a lot. I’m looking forward to getting a fresh start at UCLA and I’m happy to be a Bruin. Next year will give me time to focus on my academics and of course, train with the team.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Drew enrolled at UCLA, on scholarship for 2011-12

Former North Carolina guard Larry Drew II has enrolled at UCLA and will redshirt next season, sources confirmed Monday afternoon. Drew left the Tar Heels abruptly in February amid frustrations with playing time, after his numbers dropped drastically from his sophomore season.

Drew averaged 4.4 points and 3.9 assists in 22.8 minutes per game as a junior, down from 8.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 28.8 minutes per game in 2009-10.

The Taft High product will sit out the 2011-12 season – both Lazeric Jones and Jerime Anderson will be seniors – but will be available in 2012-13, though he will be on scholarship next season.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Honeycutt declaring for NBA Draft, will hire agent

Tyler Honeycutt will declare for the NBA Draft and will hire an agent, the UCLA sophomore forward said during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

The Sylmar High product was long rumored to be planning on leaving for the NBA, despite a possible work stoppage, after an All-Pac-10 first team season.

Honeycutt averaged 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 35 minutes per game as a sophomore in helping lead the Bruins to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, a year after the team went 14-18.

UCLA’s best pitch to Honeycutt was the potential for next year’s team, but Honeycutt cited what is projected to be a weak draft class as the catalyst for his decision.

“It wasn’t really conflicting,” Honeycutt said. “The biggest X-factor, the thing that would keep me, is the team next year and how good we could be. It could be a great team, but I feel like what’s best for me is to leave this year.”

Honeycutt met with UCLA head coach Ben Howland on Monday to discuss his plans, and got his blessing to leave, the latest in a long line of recent Bruin early entries.

Recent mock drafts have Honeycutt anywhere from the mid-first round to the early second round, but his play in the NCAA Tournament might have turned some heads. Honeycutt had 29 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, seven blocks and four steals in two tournament games as the Bruins beat Michigan State and lost to Florida.

Honeycutt said he was aiming for the lottery and was going to sign with an agent to maximize his preparation for the draft. Honeycutt said the biggest knock that he’s heard has been on his 6-8, 188-pound frame, and how it will react to the rigors of the NBA.

“I think I’ll fit in well,” Honeycutt said. “The factor for me is physically at the next level, which I plan to work on, dedicating every day to being the best player I can be. That’s probably the biggest knock on me – people talk about my frame.”

Howland tried to dissuade Honeycutt from making the decision because of the possible NBA lockout, which will affect incoming rookies tremendously, eliminating crucial summer workouts.

Now Howland will set to work on the team’s other potential early entries, junior guard Malcolm Lee and sophomore forward Reeves Nelson. Nelson implied he was leaning toward returning for his junior season after the NCAA Tournament run, but Lee was non-committal on his return.

“I just wish Tyler the very best,” Howland said. “He did a great job for us these past two years. He’s worked very hard, I think he improved a lot. He made a big jump from the end of his freshman year until now.

“He will always be a Bruin, and when he is done, I want him to make sure he comes back and finishes his degree here at UCLA, which he said he would.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Spring Forward: Offense

Here are the five biggest spring football questions for the offense:

* Can Richard Brehaut blossom at the helm…or does Brett Hundley sneak up on him?
With Kevin Prince and Darius Bell out for spring ball, and Nick Crissman on a “pitch count,” Brehaut and Hundley are going to get the reps at quarterback. Brehaut, the returning starter, at the helm for seven games, results mixed, and Hundley, the freshman wunderkind. All eyes will be on Hundley, but the flashlight will be just as bright on Brehaut, who appeared to be coming on at the end of last season, with 551 yards and four touchdowns vs. two interceptions in his last two games.

* Will a reliable wide receiver please stand up?
Perhaps the Bruins’ most perplexing unit in 2010, which featured dozens of drops but some impressive connections late in the year. New offensive coordinator Mike Johnson has said that he will enter spring ball with a clean slate, and that could open the doors for some wideouts who were lower on the depth chart last season. With the entire cavalry returning – Seniors Nelson Rosario, Taylor Embree and Josh Smith, juniors Randall Carroll, Jerry Johnson (out for spring ball) and sophomores Ricky Marvray and Shaquelle Evans (transfer from Notre Dame, out for spring ball – there is once again high hopes for the unit. Will they be dashed again?

* Is this actually a good offensive line?

No single unit has befuddled UCLA as much as the offensive line over the last few years, but a couple of returning players – and one important bonus – should give Bruin fans hope that there is finally an intimidating unit up front. With Jeff Baca and Kai Maiava back in the fold, Sean Sheller getting a sixth year from the NCAA, Mike Harris returning for his senior year with 28 starts and Chris Ward coming off a solid freshman season, UCLA has much to be excited about. But, as is always the case, a couple injuries or academic casualties, and everything unravels. The offensive line is a fickle beast.

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Extreme Makeover

Welcome to Extreme Makeover: UCLA Edition.

Entering his fourth spring football session, UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel has taken a scalpel to his coaching staff.

Offensive coordinator Norm Chow? Gone.

Defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough? Gone.

Defensive line coach Todd Howard and wide receivers coach Reggie Moore? Gone, gone.

Special teams coordinator Frank Gansz? Gone.

It’s a surprise the ballboys haven’t been pink-slipped, but then again, the season doesn’t start until September.

All this, after a 4-8 season, Neuheisel’s second in three years at the helm of his alma mater. All this, after the Bruins slipped to 100th nationally (out of 120 teams) in total offense and 94th in total defense.

“It’s an important time for us, given all the changes we’ve made staff-wise,” Neuheisel said in a conference call with reporters last week. “For the coaching staff to get to learn how to play off each other – and make (sure) the new schemes that we’d like to incorporate on both sides of the ball (are) involved – are huge deals.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email