UCLA forward Jonah Bolden out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery

UCLA forward Jonah Bolden will be out for six to eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday morning.

Bolden, who is expected to start in 2015-16, had the operation to repair a slight meniscus tear in his right knee. He is expected to make a full recovery, according to a team spokesperson.

The former four-star recruit will need to fill a major void for the Bruins, who lost 6-foot-9 power forward Kevon Looney to the NBA draft. Bolden had signed as part of the 2014 class, but was ruled ineligible to play as a freshman due to issues with his high school transfer from Australia.

At 6-foot-10, Bolden could potentially play either forward spot for UCLA.

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Q&A: Former UCLA guard Darren Collison reflects on his NBA career

Darren Collison scrambles for a loose ball against Memphis' Antonio Anderson during UCLA's 78-63 loss in the 2008 Final Four. (Eric Gay/AP)

Darren Collison scrambles for a loose ball against Memphis’ Antonio Anderson during UCLA’s 78-63 loss in the 2008 Final Four. (Eric Gay/AP)

Four-year stars are rare in today’s college basketball landscape, which makes Darren Collison’s career seem like it belongs in a time capsule. The former UCLA point guard was the last Bruin to be taken in the NBA draft after exhausting his college eligibility, going 21st overall in 2009.

Now entering his seventh season as a pro, Collison took some time to talk about his NBA career, the growth of his youth basketball camp, and his thoughts on the state of UCLA men’s basketball.

Q: You’ve spent a lot of your career as a backup and journeyman. What did it mean for your career to sign a three-year contract with the Sacramento Kings and have a chance to be a starter?

It was a big step in my career. We all talk about stability, whether you’re working in the real world or you’re playing sports. I think stability was a part of my success this past season, because you kind of know where you’re going to be, you know who the coach is going to be, you know who your teammates are.

Q: The last time you had started full-time was with the Indiana Pacers. What was the difference in doing so again three years later?

I’m more confident than I was when I was in Indiana. I was still figuring out my way around (back then). I was ready to go (this time). I was ready to show the league that i was more than capable of starting. Not just starting, but being an above-average starter.

Q: You averaged a career-high 16.1 points as well as 5.6 assists before your injury. Do you feel like you proved people wrong?

Without a doubt, but at the same time, I knew my capability. People only came to that conclusion (that I couldn’t) because I’d been coming off the bench for a year and a half. They didn’t really do their research as to why I was coming off the bench. I knew I could start for any team. … I didn’t really care what team. Continue reading

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NBA combine: Looney, Powell measure out with long wingspans

The NBA Combine will hold its on-court portions to end this week, with five-on-five competition returning for the first time since 2008.

Former UCLA guard Norman Powell is slated to participate, part of a nine-man squad that also includes Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison, Arizona’s T.J. McConnell, and Stanford’s Chasson Randle. They will take the floor at 1:30 p.m. PT on both Thursday and Friday.

In the meantime, there are full body measurements from 63 players to pore over. Both Powell and forward Kevon Looney stood out in one particular category: their wingspans.

A potential lottery pick after his lone season at UCLA, Looney spread his arms out to 7’3.5″, tying him for sixth at the combine with Kansas’ Cliff Alexander. The downside is that he also tied for the eighth-highest body fat percentage at 11.9 percent. It’s a surprising number given how lanky he looked as a college player, and helps explain why he appeared winded at the end of the season despite being listed at 6-foot-9, 220 pounds. Continue reading

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Center Ike Anigbogu commits to UCLA’s 2016 class

UCLA missed on its last major target of 2015 when five-star wing Jaylen Brown struck the school off his list, but the Bruins’ next class looks to be in better shape.

Center Ike Anigbogu became the third member of UCLA’s 2016 class, verbally committing on Thursday night. Ranked a four-star recruit by Scout.com and three stars by Rivals.com, the 6-foot-9 big man was a defensive force for Corona Centennial this past season.

Scout.com also ranks Anigbogu as one of the top five centers in the west, and one of the top 15 nationally in his class.

He joins top point guard Lonzo Ball and Kobe Paras as the Bruins’ 2016 commitments.

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Norman Powell named UCLA’s MVP at basketball banquet

UCLA's Norman Powell defends Byron Wesley during the Bruins' Sweet 16 loss to Gonzaga on March 27. Powell had 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks to end his career at Houston's NRG Stadium. (Tom Pennington/Getty)

UCLA’s Norman Powell defends Byron Wesley during the Bruins’ Sweet 16 loss to Gonzaga on March 27. Powell had 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks to end his career at Houston’s NRG Stadium. (Tom Pennington/Getty)

UCLA men’s basketball held its year-end banquet last night. Here’s the list of awards the team handed out.

Norman Powell, Sr., G, 6-4, 215
John Wooden Award (most valuable player)

Kevon Looney, Fr., F, 6-9, 220
Seymour Armond Memorial Award (most valuable freshman)
Gerald A. Finerman Award (rebounding leader)

Tony Parker, Jr., F/C, 6-9, 260
Player Improvement Award Continue reading

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