UCLA basketball conference update

* UCLA head coach Ben Howland was hopeful that De’End Parker (concussion) would practice today for the first time in nine days without contact. Parker has practiced just four or fives times out of 16.

* Center Anthony Stover is still 10-14 days from practicing even without contact, Howland guessed, and said he’s expected to miss the season opener at least.

* Howland said Tyler Lamb would likely backup at the point guard spot in the team’s exhibition matchup with Cal State San Bernadino with Jerime Anderson suspended.

* Howland on playing the scrimmage against Cal State Fullerton and the exhibition with focus: “We actually played the scrimmage against Fullerton like a regular-season game. That’s what we’re trying to prepare for.

* On Norman Powell playing the point:
“His biggest issue with me is his ability to stay in front of the ball. He’s athletic so he should be able to do it, and be better than he is right now. The other thing is better passing.”

* On the team’s condition:
“We’ve had good comp, guys comepting real hard. Guys have doing a good job pushing in that respect. We just have a lot of areas (to improve). Since the scrimmage, I’ve been really conscious of getting us up and down more and more to increase our conditioning.”

* On David Wear:
“He’s done a really nice job. He’s 6-10, so he’s matched up with much smaller players and will be most of the year. That’s my biggest concern is him defensively being able to stay in front. He’s always going to have a disadvantage from that standpoint. He has to focus on staying low and really do a good job of staying in front of the ball.”

* Howland on the key to utilizing David Wear:
“Get him posted up. Most three men will have a hard time guarding him in the post. We’ve got to start scheming to get things in. He’s also a pretty clever passer.”

* Howland on backup center:
“We’ll play Travis (Wear) there some, even Brendan (Lane) there some. But we’re going to miss Anthony. A real defensive presence. The thing I really like about Anthony is he really has a great motor in games. He plays as hard as anybody we have. Thought he really displayed that last year, doing the little things – boxing out, playing the shot, almost playing too aggressively at times. We’re gonna miss that for sure.”

* Howland on the potential trip to China:
“I would really love for our team to have that opportunity. Fitting into the timeline we want – after Session C so we don’t miss class – I would really like it for next year’s team. It would be great for the school, everything that’s going on between our university and that country. There’s a lot of benefits not just to our team but to the university as a whole as a good-will gesture.”

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  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness for our front-court depth. Hopefully Stover can get 100% healthy in the next few weeks and bolster a dominant low post at full strength! No reason to rush him back, though we will definitely need his defense as the season continues.

  • anonymous

    UCLA will likely have the best defensive frontcourt in the nation, and one superior to Coach Howland’s three advancing to the final four. How well Jones, Lamb, and David Wear can defend will determine how far UCLA advances in the Pac-12 and in the tournament.

  • Anonymous

    “His biggest issue with me is his ability to stay in front of the ball.”
    “That’s my biggest concern is him defensively being able to stay in front.”

    In and of itself, the comments seem innocent and simply stating fact, but in context, Coach Howland sounds more critical regarding Powell. But when it comes to David Wear, Howland sounds more giddy and almost dismissive of Wear’s inability to properly stay in front.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Howland balances the roster with minutes in the front court, because thus far, he’s been exclusively effusive in praise for the Wears. Even criticisms for the Wears sound like afterthoughts.

  • bruinbiochem06

    Did Howland not see what happened to Georgetown over the summer when they played abroad! Stay away from China, their players and fans are dirty!

  • Anonymous

    “Everything falls apart if the opponents PG consistently goes by the defender.”
    Is the sky blue? uhhh…what defensive scheme doesn’t fall apart when the opponents PG consistently goes by the defender. This issue isn’t exclusive to Howland’s defensive scheme.

    “I don’t think…”
    That’s the problem…

    because your statement “he plays the best defenders” isn’t true when you consider Shipp and Dragovic. So yes, he does play favorites…

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous gives Anonymouses a bad name.

    Don’t be bitter, buddy!

  • bbruin

    CBH is definitely putting it on Powell more than Wear. Realize however he expects his guards to defend man to man. He is probably tired of the zone although he has finally broken down and said he will play it when needed.

    He may be looking at a situation where he can play more man to man if his guards can/want to stay in front of the ball. Powell is one of the fastest, most athletic guys on the team. D Wear, not so much. I think he sees the ‘want to’ and the ‘can do’ issues here and is telling Powell he needs to ‘want to’ more. I think he knows he is getting max effort from D Wear and is already playing him out of position.

  • BruinAficionado

    Basketball in China? I hear they try to kick and swing chairs at opposing players.

  • Marc

    I think of the Lakers three years ago. Bynum, Gasol and Odom up front. I’m not comparing UCLA’s talent to the Lakers, but the size will definitely be an advantage offensively. They will need to work to ensure they are taking advantage of their height and forcing their style of play on the opponents.

    I’m excited about this season; wish I could afford to go to Maui this year. I will be sure to hitting as many home games as schedule and finances allow.


  • BruinPain

    Our rough and tumble scrimmages prepare us to play the Chinese Army thugs. Also, I think CBH just wants to set bar high for NP especially since we’re thin in the back court.