Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…
1) By most accounts Stover had a pretty impressive off-season. Maybe not so much for Lane. I also understand both are battling some minor dings down the stretch. But with Reeves’ dismissal and Big Josh’s admission that he did nothing but pound donuts all summer, do you think CBH has relied a bit too much on his twin sons? Wow were they ever exposed in NYC. It would seem that building a little more depth inside could be a key factor to any type of 11th hour run we might hope to pull off. – ucla-of-the-rockies
I don’t recall many accounts of UCLA’s off-season in the media, so I don’t really think there were many high hopes for Stover. In fact, I remember people being quite surprised by his play when he came back early in the season from some shoulder injuries. Coming into the year, he was essentially an afterthought, with the rotation of Nelson, Smith and the Wears expected to be among the country’s best.
No, Stover to me sprang up out of nowhere, kind of like he does on defense, and proved that he deserved more minutes earlier this year. I’ve done the math – look at the numbers for the four top shot-blockers in the Pac-12:
Andre Roberson – 759 minutes, 49 blocks, 2.58 blocks per 40 minutes
Eric Moreland – 505 minutes, 47 blocks, 3.72 blocks per 40 minutes
Tony Woods – 491 minutes, 42 blocks, 3.42 blocks per 40 minutes
Anthony Stover – 193 minutes, 32 blocks, 6.63 blocks per 40 minutes
Say his minutes are tripled to around 25 per game, so add a fatigue factor in – though with his frenetic energy, I’m not so sure how much it would affect him – and maybe drop the 6.63 BP/40 down to 5.3. That’s still the best in the conference by double. And then there are the shots he alters, which isn’t a readily accessible stat, but just watching opponents be unwilling to challenge him very often is pretty apparent.
Ben Howland admitted that he should’ve played Stover against St. John’s and said he will get some minutes against Arizona State. It’ll be interesting to see how much he actually plays.
2) Is Sal Alosi permitted to work with the b-ball team? If ever a group needed to work on their strength & conditioning it’s these guys. – TN
No, Alosi was hired to be a dedicated football S&C coach, a big step for the program.
3) If scout.com is to be believed, the only four schools to have Top 10 recruiting classes in football for the three years 2008/09/10 were Alabama, LSU, u$c and UCLA. Obviously, only 1 of these 4 schools stood out for ineptitude – why? Was scout consistently wrong on one of the 4 schools? Especially poor coaching? Not enough depth when compared to the other 3 schools? Is it because teams I support are inclined to have too much drama? – tim warren
Great question. First off, UCLA’s numbers are inflated because those rankings are based off quantity not quality. The Bruins had some big classes during those years, but the star average wasn’t as high as the others. Still, clearly, there was (and is) talent. In the grand scheme, there are 250 Scout 4-star athletes, and you’d expect there to be a big difference between No. 51 and No. 300. Plus, several major recruits from those classes didn’t play for UCLA or played briefly. Ultimately, it was the imperfect storm.
4) Jon, compared to other teams, are the UCLA basketball players having any fun? – The Blur
I think I saw one of them do the Dougie the other day, so I guess so. I don’t know, Blur, it’s pretty hard to tell. When they win, it’s a blast. When they lose, they’re depressed. They’ve lost more than expected this year, so it’s been a trying year for them, I’m sure.
5) What odds would you give UCLA for winning the PAC-12 tourney and making it to the madness? – Reformed Droog