#27 UCLA Bruins: College Basketball 111 in 111


hot ucla cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

UCLA is one of the most stacked teams coming into this season and we wouldn’t be surprised if there are a lot of college basketball picks to have them winning it all

With the addition of the Wear twins, the UCLA Bruins might have one of the deepest and most talented frontcourts in the country.  However, the early departures of Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee to the NBA leave questions in their backcourt and about how good they can be this season.

Last Season: 2nd, 13-5 in Pac-10, 23-11 overall
Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 3rd

Projected Depth Chart
C: Joshua Smith (So)/Anthony Stover (So)
PF: Reeves Nelson (Jr)/David Wear (So)/Travis Wear (So)/Brendan Lane (Jr)
G/F: De’End Parker (Jr)
SG: Tyler Lamb (So)/Norman Powell (Fr)/Khalid McCaskill (Fr)
PG: Lazeric Jones (Sr)/Jerime Anderson (Sr)

Gone: SF-Tyler Honeycutt, SG-Malcolm Lee, SG-Matt Carlino (transfer-BYU)

2011-2012 Outlook:
The Bruins return their starting frontcourt of Reeves Nelson and Joshua Smith.  Nelson seems like the type of player who you love having on your team but hate playing against and to be honest, he looks like a serial killer.  Nelson has a reckless abandon on the court and plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor.  He is very physical, a threat on the glass, and plenty talented enough on the offensive end to make defenses account for him.  Nelson is a great compliment to the mammoth Smith who is very skilled on the block and just tapping into his true potential.

North Carolina transfers David and Travis Wear become eligible after sitting out last season.  The twins are in the Nelson mode with their activity on both ends of the floor.  They are also capable of stepping out on the perimeter and knocking down jump shots.  The Wears will cut into the playing time of last year’s reserves Brendan Lane and Anthony Stover who could end up transferring due to a lack of minutes.

Lazeric Jones started all 34 games at the point last season and will be the go-to guard.  He is more of a scoring point guard who gets a little shot happy at times.  Jerime Anderson received a slap on the wrist by being suspended for the first two games of the season after pleading guilty to stealing a laptop computer.  He will serve as the back-up point guard but can also play alongside Jones in the same backcourt since Anderson is more of a distributor.

Tyler Lamb had a rather disappointing freshman campaign as he did not make the immediate impact that many thought he would.  He will have to emerge as a reliable wing player and perimeter scorer.  Freshman Norman Powell suffered a concussion during workouts in late September but should be good to go for the start of the season.  He will likely see decent minutes off the bench while Khalid McCaskill figures to be the odd man out of the rotation.

Junior college transfer De’End Parker should be an impact addition for the Bruins.  Parker is a gifted scorer who can play multiple positions including point guard.  He will need to step in right away for UCLA to reach their potential.

The future is also very bright for the Bruins.  With only two seniors on the roster, UNC transfer Larry Drew sitting out this season, and commitments from 2012 standouts Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, the Bruins could be close to returning to their glory years.

I am not sure that happens quite yet though.  Before Honeycutt and Lee declared for the NBA Draft, I thought UCLA had the potential to be a top ten team in the country.  They are certainly capable of causing problems for teams due to their depth and talent inside, but the uncertainty in their backcourt holds them back in my rankings.

joshua smith ucla

Player to Watch: Joshua Smith
Smith has the potential to be a dominant big man due to the way he throws his body around on the block and soft touch around the rim.  He really showed flashes at times during his freshman campaign but his conditioning and propensity for getting into foul trouble too often limited his time and effectiveness on the floor.  If he can improve both of those areas, he will be a force down low and possibly declare for the NBA Draft next summer.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/21 vs. Chaminade (Maui Invitational)
11/22 vs. Kansas/Georgetown (Maui Invitational)
11/24 vs. Duke/Tennessee/Memphis/Michigan (Maui Invitational)
12/3 vs. Texas
12/23 vs. Richmond
2/18 at St. John’s

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#28 Butler Bulldogs
#29 Missouri Tigers
#30 Texas Longhorns
#31 Villanova Wildcats
#32 Michigan State Spartans
#33 Florida State Seminoles
#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#35 Harvard Crimson
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.



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