Justise Winslow committed to Duke this afternoon, adding to 2014 recruiting class already ranked No. 1 in the nation. The five-star swingman is rated the No. 9 player in the country by Rivals.com.
The Blue Devils were regarded as the frontrunner heading into this afternoon, with UCLA making a late push this week as his second potential destination. The 6-foot-6 Winslow’s other finalists were Arizona, Florida and Texas A&M.
The Bruins secured a solid class during the early signing period with five-star forward Kevon Looney and four-star center Thomas Welsh, but the addition of Winslow would have pushed the haul to elite status.
Senior Travis Wear and freshman Wanaah Bail both returned to practice with contact Wednesday afternoon, giving UCLA an infusion of depth in its frontcourt.
Wear started 31 of 32 games last season, averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds. The 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward had an appendectomy on Oct. 28, and has yet to play this season. He said he felt ready to return sooner, but doctors gave him a strict three-week recovery timetable. Continue reading
After a slow start, UCLA is starting to form a solid recruiting class under first-year head coach Steve Alford.
The latest addition is four-star center Thomas Welsh, a local 7-footer whose stock shot up this past summer. The Loyola High senior picked the Bruins over Stanford and Cal, and should help shore up a frontcourt that loses seniors Travis and David Wear. Continue reading
Monday was the last time Travis Wear won’t be wearing a uniform under his warm-ups.
UCLA’s starting power forward missed the first three games of the season after undergoing an appendectomy Oct. 28, but will return for Friday’s game against Morehead State. Indications were the senior could return Monday, but he is yet to practice with the team or endure contact drills.
“He’s been no contact,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “They way I understand it, it’s not something you gradually have to get back in. Because of the surgery, it’s basically a matter of days, or in his case, weeks, and then once that passes you’re free to go. He’s felt very, very good, but there’s a timetable we had to stick to.”
UCLA kept its record perfect with an 86-50 blowout of Sacramento State on Monday night, the Bruins’ largest winning margin through three games this season.
Guard Jordan Adams scored a game-high 21 points, hitting four of five attempts from 3-point range and scoring seven straight during one UCLA run. He also pocketed eight steals and four rebounds. Point guard Kyle Anderson had eight points and eight assists.
Senior forward Travis Wear remains day-to-day after having an appendectomy on Oct. 28. His twin brother David had 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.
Freshman Wanaah Bail (knee) is still sidelined, as is fellow first-year forward Noah Allen. The latter is out six weeks after undergoing surgery for facial fractures.
UCLA forward Noah Allen had surgery for three fractures below his left eye this afternoon, coach Steve Alford said. The freshman suffered the injury in the last 34 seconds of Tuesday’s win over Oakland. There is currently no timetable for his return.
The 6-foot-6 wing played 11 minutes against the Golden Grizzlies, logging four points and five rebounds. He hit both his free throws after getting hit.
Senior forward Travis Wear is still on track for a potential Monday return against Sacramento State. He had an appendectomy on Oct. 28.
Freshman forward Wanaah Bail (knee) is projected to be out another 10-14 days.
UCLA has officially signed five-star forward Kevon Looney, one of the gems of the 2014 class.
“Kevon is one of the best players in the country in this class,” coach Steve Alford said in a statement. “He is extremely skilled and versatile. Most importantly, he’s a winner.”
The Bruins also inked Hungarian native Gyorgy Goloman, a little-known forward also sought by Davidson, Richmond and New Mexico. Alford’s statement called him “one of the best passing big men we have seen in years.”
Looney sent his national letter of intent to UCLA this morning, while Goloman did the same yesterday.
UCLA women’s basketball also signed its first-ever No. 1 recruiting class Continue reading
Q: For basketball, the early signing period starts this Wednesday. Any update since five-star forward Kevon Looney verballed?
A: Hungarian big man Gyorgy Goloman officially signed his letter of intent today, and Looney is expected to send his in Thursday morning. Four-star 7-footer Thomas Welsh will decide between Cal, Stanford and UCLA any day now. Justise Winslow might also make a decision by Nov. 20.
Q: How big of a blow and an impact did losing left tackle Torian White and running back Jordon James have on the team and our offense? Continue reading
UCLA moved to 2-0 Tuesday night, easily dispatching Oakland University 91-60. The Bruins ended the first half on a 27-9 run, then stretched out another 18-2 run midway through the second half.
Sophomore center Tony Parker set new career highs with 21 points and 12 rebounds, crushing his previous bests of 12 and five. After playing just 20 minutes due to foul trouble in last week’s season opener, he said he made an emphasis to keep his hands up. He also added three blocks through 34 minutes.
“I just try to do my dirty work early,” he said of his offensive performance. “Get in position early. … It was hard to box me out. I just kept crashing.”
Norman Powell also had a nice game, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He flushed in a pair of impressive alley-oops, both assisted by freshman Bryce Alford.
“If you throw the ball up near the rim, I’ll go get it,” the junior guard said. “I’ll finish it for you 9 out of 10 times.”
UCLA sophomores Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson both made the John R. Wooden Award watch list Tuesday, the latest iteration of a relatively meaningless preseason hype ritual.
Two past Bruins have taken home the prize, given each year to the top player in college basketball: Marques Johnson as the inaugural winner in 1977, and Ed O’Bannon in 1995. Continue reading