99 in 99: #54 UCLA Bruins


hot UCLA cheerleaders

It is hard to believe that a coach who led his team to three straight Final Four appearances from 2006-2008 could already be on the hot seat.  But after an incredibly disappointing 2009-2010 season, Ben Howland’s rear end might be heating up a little bit as UCLA looks to bounce back in the Pac-10.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” runs down the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  Click here if you missed teams #55-#99.

By: David Kay

UCLA Bruins (T-5th, 8-10 in Pac-10, 14-18 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
C: Joshua Smith (Fr)/Anthony Stover (So)
PF: Reeves Nelson (So)/Brendan Lane (So)
SF: Tyler Honeycutt (So)
SG: Tyler Lamb (Fr)/Matt Carlino (Fr)
PG: Malcolm Lee (Jr)/Jerime Anderson (Jr)/Lazeric Jones (Jr)

Gone: PF-Nikola Dragovic, SG-Michael Roll, F/C-James Keefe, SG-Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, PF-Drew Gordon (transfer-New Mexico), C-J’Mison Morgan (transfer-Baylor), F-Mike Moser (transfer-UNLV)

2010-2011 Outlook:

A season opening three-point loss to Cal State Fullerton was surprising.  Getting blown out by 27 points against Portland three games later set the tone for an uncharacteristically down season at UCLA that included three players transferring out of the program.

ucla cheerleadersPlaying the inexperience card will likely as eight of their ten scholarship players are underclassmen.  That excuse is no longer an option for junior guards Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson.  Both have been extremely inconsistent in their two years with the Bruins, failing to live up to lofty expectations.  They will be part of a backcourt that includes highly-touted freshman Tyler Lamb, JUCO transfer Lazeric Jones, and early high school graduate Matt Carlino who was originally supposed to be part of UCLA’s 2011 class.

The frontcourt has talent but is very young.  Reeves Nelson was perhaps the most pleasant surprise last season as he brings a relentless motor to the court.  Tyler Honeycutt got off to a slow start after missing the first six games of 2009-2010 but is extremely athletic and versatile.  Freshman Joshua Smith is a big body.  I mean 6-10, 305 pounds BIG.  If he can control his weight issue, which has been a problem in the past, Smith will be a needed force down low.

This young team will receive even more help next season when the Wear twins, who transferred from North Carolina this summer, will become eligible.  As for this season, the Bruins have the talent to be a factor in the conference race, but can they do what they failed to last year and pull it all together?

Player to Watch: Tyler Honeycutt, SF
Early season injuries hampered Honeycutt during his freshman season, but he still displayed some of the potential that was so highly spoke of when he arrived at UCLA.  Honeycutt has a well-rounded game and needs to become more aggressive during his sophomore campaign.  Adding weight to his skinny frame will be a process as the 6-8 wing only weighs 183 pounds, but his length and versatility on both ends of the floor make him a major asset for Howland.

Key Non-Conference Games:

11/16 vs. Nevada/Pacific (Pre-Season NIT)
11/24 vs. Villanova (Pre-Season NIT)
11/25 vs. Tennessee/Wake Forest (Pre-Season NIT)
12/2 at Kansas
12/18 vs. BYU
2/5 vs. St. John’s

Other 99 in 99’s:
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#58 Louisville
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#61 Creighton
#62 Clemson
#63 Cincinnati
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#66 Charlotte
#67 UTEP
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#70 Colorado
#71 Weber State
#72 Alabama
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa


  1. Schmidt and I were commenting on the way back from Iowa how much we love this segment you’ve started. it really is art, literature, and poetry all rolled up into one.

  2. the art being the half-naked cheerleaders? ha… thanks! less than 2 months til the season starts!!!

  3. that is an art form. the most sublime and metaphysical artistic expression of all.

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