Q: It seems like it is 80/20 that Tony Parker leaves after this season … With our lack of size why isn’t there a big man being recruited heavily? Is Powell a transfer risk?
A: Findlay Prep’s 6-foot-9 forward Gavin Schilling announces his decision tomorrow between UCLA, Minnesota, Villanova and Michigan State. Not sure about Norman Powell, but I’d lean no for now. He’s made references to playing next season, but maybe that changes if there’s a new coach and/or he starts getting beat out in practice by new commits. Larry Drew II compared how Powell looked in summer workouts to Russell Westbrook. It’s hyperbolic, but still gives you a sense of his athleticism.
Q: Is Ben Howland out with a first- or second-round loss? Would Billy Donovan be interested in being our coach? UCLA had attempted to get Mark Few a while back. Why is his name not popping up again?
A: Probably. Donovan spent five days coaching the Orlando Magic in 2007 before going back to Florida, so I don’t know if he’s keener to leave now. UCLA might not give him the same qualms as the NBA though, so not a perfect comparison. Few’s name has been thrown around for plenty of jobs, but would you leave after you just got Gonzaga to a No. 1 seed? He started there as a GA in 1989. Gotta think he’s a Spokane lifer at this point.
Q: Shabazz, in my opinion, is like the bad Kobe every time out there. You know, the Kobe who forces the action, shooting over double teams, not trusting his teammates, rarely passing the ball once he touches it. … I guess my question is, does Shabazz realize that he is like the bad Kobe?
A: Maybe he was being disingenuous, but Muhammad’s been asked about his lack of passing before and basically said he does look for open teammates. Also said he realizes he would look bad if he didn’t pass out of double teams.
Q: What’s Minnesota’s style of play and how well do we match up with them?
A: Slow, physical. More on this throughout the week, obviously, but 6-foot-9 Trevor Mbakwe — the Big Ten’s leading rebounder — is the player to watch. He’s not an overwhelming presence at around 245 pounds, but he embraces contact and would present a lot of trouble for the Wears. Howland said Tony Parker will play at least 10 minutes on Friday, but the freshman’s defense hasn’t been great in his limited time.
Q: How many years of eligibility does Malcolm Jones have? Does he get last year back since he only played in one game?
A: He should have two after using a redshirt on his one game (three carries) in 2012.
Q: What is your take on Chancellor Block? Does he shun the limelight in attending athletic events and actually has a good handle on what Morgan Center is doing, or does he have no interest UCLA athletics other than making sure that a clean program is run?
A: I haven’t had enough interaction with Block yet to have a solid take on this. Sorry.