My story today from Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day focused on UCLA guard Norman Powell, but also touched on head coach Steve Alford’s reactions to an offseason that included a campus flood and the loss of not only three NBA draftees, but also two prospective newcomers.
Some more notes from the event:
» Whether or not big man Tony Parker can stay out of foul trouble will affect how successful UCLA will be on defense this season. Alford said he hopes to play the junior around 25 minutes per game this season, up from the 17.2 he averaged last year.
Parker was one of the most foul-prone players in the Pac-12, committing an average of 6.77 every 40 minutes. Earlier this week, he gave himself a D- for his sophomore campaign, citing those foul troubles. He added that he’s in better shape now, and is also learning how to adjust to officials more.
» Based on what Alford has said in recent weeks — as well as the realities of the backcourt depth chart — sophomore Noah Allen appears primed for a significant uptick in playing time. The former three-star recruit only played in 11 games last season, averaging 1.0 point in 3.5 minutes per outing. 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.