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? Continue reading
Sorry, I forgot to post this earlier after going through the Pac-12 tournament and Selection Sunday. Post questions here by Monday night and I’ll have answers on Tuesday.
Q: How do celebrities (e.g. NBA players) get courtside seats at Pauley Pavilion?
UCLA holds back courtside seats for donors, recruits, etc., with the number varying depending on the overall demand of that game. The seats are usually free, but sometimes the school will charge if — for example — an NBA player calls up at the last minute. Broadcasters (CBS, ESPN) typically reserve seats for on-air talent, who then use them however they see fit.
Q: Has there been any mention of Larry Drew II as an NBA prospect? Not that he’s first-round material by any stretch, but he looks the part of a solid young PG coming off the bench on the right NBA team. Also, who else is slated to play the point next year besides Kyle Anderson? Continue reading
Comment with your questions, and answers will come back Monday. Thanks.
Q: Larry Scott has been very active since becoming commissioner, expanding the conference from ten to twelve, creating the Pac-12 Networks, and bringing a tremendous amount of new revenue to each member school. Any idea that the next big thing from Scott will be?
A: Most pressing is getting a DirecTV deal nailed down, but that’s not exactly a “big thing” so much as a necessary one. Scott has said consistently over the past few months that the conference isn’t looking to expand, so the Pac-12 probably won’t be leading the country into an era of 16-team superconferences. What he might look to do next is push for some significant reform in the NCAA, especially as the institution’s enforcement policies look more and more like a joke. Scott has been candid about the need for change in the past, something he reaffirmed again on Saturday.
Q: What is the latest news on RB Craig Lee commitment status? Also, we heard of the great recruiting class UCLA had this year but did not hear of any high school seniors that flipped their commitment. Were there any? Continue reading
Same drill as usual, answers on Monday.
Q: Was Tony Parker hurt in the second half? Some are saying that is why he didn’t play more after a coming out party in the first half.
A: Ben Howland said Parker got tired as USC was making a run. Also said the officials got on Parker for getting “chippy,” but mostly attributed the limited minutes to fatigue. He also basically said that Parker would be relied on to produce similarly against Arizona State. Travis Wear’s official status is day to day, but I doubt he’ll be ready by Wednesday.
Q: How much of this “can’t get the recruit in” is a PR stunt to tow the “Harvard of the West” fantasy? Continue reading
Questions, questions. There’s obviously a game tomorrow, but I’ll open up this space now and be back on Monday with answers. Thanks.
EDIT: Changed the timestamp to bump this up.
Q: With a knee surgery before the season and a surgery on the other knee after the season, obviously, Ellis McCarthy was not 100%. Is it unrealistic to expect Brian Price-like impact out of McCarthy in 2013?
A: If you mean Brian Price as Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, then yes. Price as a sophomore? Probably still a stretch. It’s hard to imagine McCarthy going from 10 tackles in a season — injury-riddled as it may have been — to first-team all conference. He should be ready for spring, so we’ll see how his knees hold up then. Hopefully for him, they won’t present chronic issues.
Q: Prior to Fall 2012, I expected that Johnathan Franklin and Datone Jones would have good seasons, based on 2011. They both had great seasons. What accounted for their massive improvements?
A: Scheme changes on both sides of the ball helped. Datone Jones flourished in the 3-4 defense, particularly with Anthony Barr bringing so much pressure from the outside. Johnathan Franklin stopped fumbling — got past the mental baggage and did some hand-strengthening exercises — and benefited from Noel Mazzone’s spread. He also became very good at getting yards after contact, particularly as games wore on. Continue reading
As usual, post your questions below and I’ll have answers back Monday. Thanks.