Weekly Answers, Pt. 2 (one long one)

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

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  • Anonymous

    Stover doesn’t rebound well or score. Rebounding and scoring are a weakness for the team as a whole so it’s hard to figure what the right balance should be. Against St Johns rebounding and turnovers were the problem not defense.

  • what?

    Um, defense was the problem. St John’s waltzed to the hoop doing lay up drills. Watch the game again.

    No one is saying Stover should play 30 mins a game. But 10 minutes of strong defense would provide some blocks and deflection. Would change the game and open it up more for our guys who are scorers.

  • anon

    The entire defense, including rebounding, was bad. Turnovers were key. But a lot of the guys basically quit on the play during turnovers which led to easy baskets. St. John’s also had a lot of putbacks for easy buckets because we couldn’t rebound it. Crash the glass and get the rebound if you miss was St. John’s otto.

  • Anonymous

    Howland pulled a Dorrell, he forgot that Stover was available. That’s all.

  • Reasonable Bruin


    The Wear twins were only exposed during the St John’s game if that’s the first game you’ve watched all season. The rest of us have been watching them execute Ben Ball to a T since the LMU debacle.

    Win or lose, this style of ‘Below the Rim’ basketball is painful to watch, especially for someone who was in college during the high flying days of the O’Bannon brothers, Toby Bailey, JR Henderson, et al.


    I’ll give you 1000 to 1 odds of that happening, even in the weakest conference in years.

  • post move

    As for Stover not playing against St.John’s, CBH only plays 8 guys, how could you forget to play him? Plus aren’t there assistants on the bench who should be throwing out ideas during time outs or halftime? Lame excuse, I forgot…. I bet his dog ate the game plan for the Cal games.

  • Reformed Droog

    1000 to 1????

    Put me down for $10!

  • Thanks for the numbers posted on Stover’s productivity, it is unbelievable how Ben Howland has completely neglected Stover, and I don’t get his “man crush” for the twins, whom have proven absolutely nothing, they are terrible defenders and give up way too many 2nd chance points by not blocking out the defenders, as the guard for St. Johns went in for a crucial tip-in in the last minute of the game. Ben Howland MUST go.

  • The Blur

    Thanks for the candid answer, Jon. Sometimes on tv it seems like they’re not enjoying playing ball. But, as you say, winning makes it more fun.

    I guess when I see guys leaving earlier than they should, or having attitude problems, or not being in shape, I wonder about the environment and culture. Playing D1 hoops is hard work, but it should be fun too.

    On a related note, I’m not familiar with the Dougie. Can we maybe get a video of you showing us how it’s done?