Wear uncertain why offensive rebounding has dipped

A year ago, Travis Wear finished as one of the Pac-12′s leading rebounders — at least on one end of the court. The UCLA forward ranked second with 2.87 offensive boards per game, behind only Colorado’s Andre Roberson.

This season, that number has dipped to a paltry 1.52 per game. He isn’t sure why.

“I don’t know. I feel like I’m making an effort to go to the boards,” Wear said. “I just need to make even more of an effort now. I think I was getting three a game at this point last year. I’m not getting that right now, but I’m capable of it.”

The 6-foot-10 junior is averaging 16.7 points over his past seven games, and agreed that — armed with renewed confidence in his jump shot — he is using his face-up game even more than he did last year. He added that it shouldn’t affect his tenacity Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Anderson, Adams miss practice with stomach illness

Freshmen Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams are both showing symptoms of what UCLA head coach Ben Howland called a “stomach virus.” Anderson missed all of Tuesday’s afternoon practice, while Adams returned after missing the middle portion of the session.

Howland said he hopes to have them back for Wednesday, while Anderson tweeted that he felt better after spending the day in bed.

“They were throwing up everywhere,” said freshman Shabazz Muhammad, who thought the reason might have been contaminated lettuce.

Anderson and Adams may not be 100 percent in time for Thursday’s 6 p.m. PT tipoff at Arizona, but will likely be well enough to push through any lingering discomfort. If not, the Bruins Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

DL Jones’ draft stock up at Senior Bowl practices

Defensive end Datone Jones is trying to become UCLA’s highest NFL draft pick since 2006. An All-Pac-12 second-team selection, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound prospect impressed onlookers when Senior Bowl practices began Monday.

From NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler:

After impressing scouts with his striking physique during weigh-ins, UCLA’s Datone Jones carried that momentum over to the practice field. He showed excellent short-area burst off the edge, winning with strength and quickness at the point of attack. Jones lined up all over the defensive line in college and it’s tough to classify him at one position, but his scheme versatility will make him an attractive prospect for hybrid defenses like in New England. Considered a second rounder entering the week, he made a strong case on Monday as to why he should be considered a top-32 selection.

The last time Bruin to go in the first round was tight end Marcedes Lewis, who went 28th overall seven years ago. Jones has climbed to No. 29 on CBS Sports’ latest prospect rankings.

Tailback Johnathan Franklin — who measured in well at 201 pounds — and punter Jeff Locke are the other Bruins in Mobile, Ala., this week. The Senior Bowl will be broadcast on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT on the NFL Network.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pac-12 Power Rankings — 1/21/13

1. Arizona (16-1, 4-1) — The outstanding guard play of Nick Johnson and Mark Lyons draw the most attention, with the latter just named Pac-12 Player of the Week. The attention is well deserved, given that they combined for 43 points in beating Arizona State. But also key to the Wildcats’ success is their conference-best rebounding margin (+9.5), one that comes despite not having a top-15 individual rebounder. Some credit goes to sixth man Kevin Parrom, who’s averaging a career-best 5.0 rebounds per game in just 22.8 minutes. He also drew a crucial charge late in the first half at ASU, giving Jahii Carson his third foul.

2. Oregon (16-2, 5-0) — The Ducks’ conference title chances are helped immensely by their remaining schedule. Oregon is a balanced squad that proved it was legitimate by beating both Arizona and UCLA, but only faces one more team with a winning conference record (Washington, twice). Oregon might trip up once or twice through the remainder of the calendar, but it has a wide margin of error against teams with a combined 15-28 record.

3. UCLA (15-4, 5-1) — The Bruins are a good team that doesn’t have an answer for skilled big men. That’s not a good sign for UCLA as it prepares for Arizona, whose forward Solomon Hill is Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly Q&A — 1/19/13 Answers

Sorry the answers are up later than usual. Felt some flu-like symptoms Sunday night.

Q: Do you think Tyler Foreman and Johnny Johnson will receive immediate playing time in the defensive backfield?

Yes, though that might change if UCLA also ends up getting both Tahaan Goodman and Priest Willis. Randall Goforth will certainly get one of the three vacant starter spots, but the other two are still unsettled. Former four-star recruit Ishmael Adams will also make his debut after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury.

Q: Could you explain how an early entry works? Is there a limit on the number, and if so, how is it computed?

If this means for the NFL draft, there is no limit overall. A player simply has wait three years after his high school class graduates Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Two four-star DBs join UCLA’s No. 10 class

The basketball team couldn’t fend off Oregon last night, but the football team won big after a halftime appearance with the victory bell.

Cornerback Johnny Johnson (Central East, Fresno) and safety Tyler Foreman (Crespi Carmelite, Encino) were among the gaggle of recruits in attendance at Pauley Pavilion. Both committed to the Bruins within the next 18 hours.

Three starters graduated from the secondary, so both four-star recruits will at least be in for immediate playing time. Johnson is most lauded for his instincts as a lockdown corner, while Foreman has ideal size at safety.

UCLA, which now has the nation’s No. 10 class according to both Scout and Rivals, is still targeting elite DBs Tahaan Goodman and Priest Willis.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Oregon 76, UCLA 67: ‘It’s really about toughness’

After losing to Oregon on Saturday, UCLA is clearly just a good team, not a great one. With Arizona and Arizona State coming up, the Bruins will have to stopgap its flaws to keep its conference title hopes alive.

– The Bruins were outrebounded 40-31, a margin that felt even larger watching the game. The Ducks had 12 second-chance points, while the Bruins couldn’t get even one until the last minute. Travis Wear is still a consistent, floor-spreading threat on offense, but he doesn’t offer much in terms of interior game. Ben Howland said after the game that he wished he had played Tony Parker more; the freshman had two rebounds and a block in three minutes.

“They’re just physical, they’re strong,” Howland said of Oregon. “It’s my fault. We obviously haven’t done a good enough job teaching block outs.”

Most absurd was a first-half possession in which Oregon grabbed four Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email