Q: How do you see things shaking out for this basketball team this year, tournament wise. Do you see a 5-7 seed shipped out to some locale giving their second round opponent a “home game”? Or do you see a little higher seed, 3 or 4, with a slightly better location?
Definitely the former, and probably more like a No. 6 or 7 seed. UCLA does feel like a team that could get hot and make a run if everything breaks right, so a Sweet Sixteen isn’t an impossibility.
Q: Tony Parker played like Kwame Brown today. How good is he? Does Ben Howland play Parker more or less after Saturday?
He’s raw. He played like a little-used freshman on Saturday, but he’s also shown promising glimpses this season — albeit for very short stretches. His minutes can’t exactly go down from what he was getting before Travis Wear’s concussion. If Wear doesn’t return Wednesday, Parker will probably hit double digits again out of necessity if nothing else.
Q: Why doesn’t Ben Howland ever use a full court press (except in last minutes of a losing effort)?
Not certain since this hasn’t been asked directly, but he really, really likes his man defense. He stuck with it when it was absolutely terrible, so no reason to abandon it now that it’s gotten better. Howland is a man of his system.
Q: If four-star quarterback Asiantii Woulard comes, does this mean Devin Fuller is a full-time wide receiver?
Even if Woulard doesn’t come, Fuller will likely end up at receiver. He looks too valuable not to get continued reps there, and Brett Hundley will probably be around for at least another two seasons. Even if Fuller shows that he’s the clear-cut No. 2, I can’t imagine a player choosing no playing time at one position over significant playing time at another. Not sure how keen the staff is on potentially having Fuller as a wideout and emergency fill-in quarterback in the case that Hundley gets injured. Guessing not very.
Q: What basketball recruits is UCLA focused on next year? With Drew II leaving who will play the point? Not sure Anderson is an ideal point guard.
Four-star point guard Rysheed Jordan is still deciding between Temple, St. John’s and UCLA, although murmurs mostly have the Philadelphia product staying closer to home. Emmanuel Owootoah is also a possibility; the 5-foot-10 guard said in November that the Bruins were among his favorites. Anderson would be fine running the offense at point if he elects to stay, but someone else would have to defend opposing ones.
Q: Since coming to the Daily News, what are the biggest surprises for you about UCLA football and basketball?
How good the football team was. Did not see that coming. The Cal Poly loss felt sort of surreal as it was happening; I’d wrongly figured UC Irvine to have been a wake-up call. Also, that Pauley Pavilion provides food for press before games.