2003 UCLA Men's Basketball Summer Prospectus
June 25, 2003
Last season marked the first time in 55 years (1947-48) that UCLA hada losing record (10-19 overall/6-12 Pacific-10, sixth-place tie). At theconclusion of 2002-03, Ben Howland, who in four years at Pittsburghdirected the Panthers to collegiate prominence and was the consensus 2002National Coach of the Year, was named the Bruins' new head coach.
Despite the losing record, UCLA did play its best basketball at theend of last season, winning four of its last six contests. The Bruinsentered the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament with a two-game winning streak and inthe quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tourney, UCLA upset No. 1-ranked Arizona,96-89 in overtime (it was the fourth consecutive season the Bruins hadbeaten the nation's No. 1 ranked team). But in the semifinals, UCLA, afterleading by 12 points with 3:43 left, dropped a 75-74 decision to eventualPac-10 Tournament champion Oregon.
From last season, the Bruins return four key performers, all whostarted at different times during last season ? 6-7 junior guard/forwardDijon Thompson, 6-9 senior center/forward T. J. Cummings, 6-6 junior guardCedric Bozeman and 6-11 sophomore center Ryan Hollins, along with fourother lettermen who also saw considerable playing time ? 6-1 junior guardRyan Walcott, 6-0 senior guard Jon Crispin, 7-0 sophomore center MichaelFey and 6-8 junior forward Josiah Johnson.
The Bruins next season will also return five other lettermen who hadplaying minutes, led by 6-3 junior guard Janou Rubin, along with tworedshirts from last season, led by 6-8 freshman forward Matt McKinney.
Newcomers to the active Bruin roster will include ? 6-2 junior guardBrian Morrison, who sat out last season after transferring to UCLA fromNorth Carolina and incoming 6-8 freshman forward Trevor Ariza, who lastseason earned second-team Parade Magazine All-American honors and ledWestchester HS to its second consecutive Div. I CA State title.
Bruin losses from last season include ? 6-8 forward Jason Kapono, theschool's all-time three-point producer (317), who ended his UCLA career asthe school's No. 3 (tied) scorer (2,095 points); 6-4 guard Ray Young, whostarted the Bruins' final eight games at point guard and ignited UCLA tofive wins in those last eight contests; and 6-7 junior forward AndrePatterson, who started 21 of 24 games, averaged 7.5 points and 5.5 reboundsand led the Pac-10 in FG% (60.8). Patterson was dismissed from school onApril 10 for academic reasons.
New UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland and his Staff
Howland, the 12th head coach in Bruin history, is known for takingdown programs and turning them into winners. His reputation is based aroundaccurate shooting teams (in 2003, Pittsburgh led the Big East in FG%/50.6and assists/17.85) that also play tough man-to-man defense (in 2003,Pittsburgh led the Big East in scoring defense/59.2, scoring margin/+15.7and rebounding margin/+6.6).
Last season at Pittsburgh, Howland directed the Panthers to theirsecond straight Big East West regular season championship, a 28-5 overallrecord, No. 4 ranking on the final AP poll and a berth in the NCAA 'Sweet16' for the second consecutive season. In 2002, Howland was named theconsensus National Coach of the Year and led the Panthers to a No. 9national ranking, a 29-6 overall record (most wins in school history) andan NCAA 'Sweet 16' berth. Overall in four years at Pittsburgh, Howland was89-40 and led the Panthers to the 2003 Big East Tournament Championship andto the 2001/02 Big East Tournament Championship game.
Before Pittsburgh, Howland was the head coach at Northern Arizona forfive seasons (1995-99). His last three NAU squads all won over 20 games andearned two Big Sky regular season titles. In 1998 Howland led theLumberjacks to the school's first ever NCAA Tournament bid and in 1999, NAUbecame the first school in NCAA history to lead the nation in both fieldgoal (52.3) and three-point (44.5) shooting percentages (from 1997-99, NAUled the NCAA in three-point shooting-1997, 41.9; 1998, 43.0; 1999, 44.5).
'I am honored to be the head basketball coach at UCLA and I amgrateful to (UCLA Athletic Director) Dan Guerrero for giving me thisopportunity,' Howland said. 'Having grown up in southern California as aBruin fan, watching the televised replays of the games was special to me.To now be the head coach of this program is something I dreamed about butnever thought possible.
'I have an appreciation for what these four letters mean in the worldof basketball,' he said. 'We should be competing for the Pac-10 title and ahigh seed in the NCAA Tournament year-in and year-out and I look forward tothe challenge.'
Howland has assembled one of the nation's top staffs. Joining him asBruin assistants are:
-Donny Daniels for the last three seasons was head coach at his almamater, CS Fullerton. Before that, he was an assistant coach at Utah underRick Majerus and the Utes reached the NCAA Tournament eight times in 11seasons and were national runners-up in 1998.
-Ernie Zeigler came to UCLA with Howland from Pittsburgh, where heserved on the Panther staff for the last two seasons. Along with extensiveinternational and AAU coaching experience, Zeigler was also on the staffsat Bowling Green and Kansas State.
-Kerry Keating for the last two seasons has been an assistant coachat Tennessee under Buzz Peterson. His 14-year collegiate career includesstints at Tulsa, Appalachian State, his alma mater Seton Hall, Vanderbiltand Wake Forest.
-Chris Carlson is UCLA's Director of Basketball Operations, a posthe held for the last two years under Howland at Pittsburgh. With extensiveadministrative basketball experience, Carlson has also worked in mediarelations and was on the coaching staffs at Northern Arizona and his almamater UC Santa Barbara.
Howland on the Bruins
'During our spring individual workouts, I was impressed with ourteam's work ethic and attention to detail. There was progress in theclassroom, in the weight room and on the basketball court,' said Howland.
UCLA in 2003-04/The Bruin Nucleus
UCLA's top four returnees for next season will be ?
-6-7 junior guard/forward Dijon Thompson (Inglewood/Redondo Union) ?started 17 of 28 games, including the final 15, he's UCLA's No. 1 returningscorer (14.0, 15th in Pac-10) and No. 2 rebounder (4.7), who was second onthe team in minutes played (29.6) and led the Bruins in steals (1.5, 8th inPac-10) and was third in assists (2.8). Thompson scored in double figures20 times last season, including seven games of 20 or more points. Hiscareer-highs last year included 26 points vs. Washington (3/8) and 11rebounds in UCLA's 76-75OT victory over California in Pauley Pavilion onFeb. 20. In that contest, Thompson's 16-foot fall-away jumper with 6.2seconds remaining in overtime was the winning basket and he recorded hisfirst double-double (20 points/11 rebounds).
-6-9 senior forward/center T. J. Cummings (Homewood,IL/Homewood-Flossmoor) ? Cummings, the son of NBA and DePaul great TerryCummings, started 16 of UCLA's first 17 games and appeared in all 29contests. He averaged 23.4 minutes and is UCLA's top returning rebounder(4.9) and No. 2 scorer (10.3). Among regulars, he was second on the team inFT% (65-80, 81.3, 7thT in Pac-10). He scored in double figures 16 times. Atthe Pac-10 Tournament off the bench, he had 18 points, five rebounds andtwo blocks in UCLA's overtime win over No. 1 Arizona and in UCLA's homeloss to USC on Jan. 8, Cummings had 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds(second career double/double). He has the most career appearances (94,including 23 starts) on the team.
-6-6 junior guard Cedric Bozeman (Los Angeles/Mater Dei) ? aMcDonald's high school All-American, Bozeman's collegiate career has beenhampered by injury. Last season, he missed the final eight games with aright shoulder injury (instability, required surgery at the end of the season) and as a freshman in 2001-02,he missed seven early season games (right knee, cartilage surgery). As asophomore before he was sidelined with the shoulder injury, Bozeman started17 of 21 games and averaged 26.0 minutes, 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.2assists (No. 2 on the team/his 1.42 assist/turnover ratio was No. 9 inPac-10). Bozeman's two free throws with 4.9 seconds left gave UCLA a 71-70win at Georgetown on Feb. 8, snapping the Bruins' nine-game losing streak.
-6-11 sophomore center Ryan Hollins (Pasadena/Muir) ? one of UCLA'sthree, two-sport standouts, Hollins last spring qualified in the high jump(7-0.25 personal-best) to the NCAA West Regional and also is a finalist forthe 2003 USA Men's Basketball Junior World Championship team. Last seasonas true freshman, Hollins started the Bruins' final 14 games and in thatstretch, averaged 6.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks (in Pac-10 gamesonly, he was No. 6 in the Pac-10, 1.14) and shot 62.3 (33-53) from thefloor. Inserted into the lineup on Jan. 30 in UCLA's home loss to Oregon,Hollins responded with 11 points, a season-high 11 rebounds and a Pac-10single-game best seven blocked shots. In 2003, Hollins earned HonorableMention All-Pac-10 Freshman honors.
Considerable Playing Time from 2002-03
Four players fall into this category ?
-6-1 junior guard Ryan Walcott (Phoenix, AZ/Shadow Mountain) ? lastseason as a sophomore, Walcott appeared in 27 games and started nineconsecutive contests in the middle of the season at point guard. Heaveraged 21.5 minutes and 3.9 points and led the Bruins in assists(3.3,10thT in Pac-10/his 1.70 assist/turnover ration was No. 6 in Pac-10).In UCLA's home loss to USC, Walcott had seven points and career-high 11assists.
-6-0 senior guard Jon Crispin (Pitman, NJ HS) ? 2002-03 was his firstat UCLA after sitting out the 2001-02 season following a transfer from PennState. As a junior last year Crispin played in 23 games (started one) andaveraged 8.4 minutes, 2.3 points and shot 90.0 (9-10) from the foul line.
-7-0 sophomore center Michael Fey (Olympia, WA/Capital) - as a truefreshman last season, Fey appeared in 20 games (started three) and averaged8.0 minutes, 2.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and shot 55.2 (16-29) from the field.
-6-8 junior forward Josiah Johnson (Los Angeles/Montclair Prep) ? sonof Bruin and NBA great Marques Johnson, Josiah in 2002-03 played in 19games and averaged 10.2 minutes, 1.8 points and rebounds and shot 85.7(6-7) from the foul line.
Bruins Also Return Five Other Lettermen
UCLA's five other lettermen who could figure in the rotation mix are(with 2002-03 statistics)
-6-3 junior guard Janou Rubin (Union City/Logan) ? 10 games/5.1minutes/2.1 points/0.9 rebounds/50.0 shooting percentages (8-16FG/4-83pt.FG/1-2FT).
-6-6 sophomore forward Marcedes Lewis (Long Beach/Poly) ? sevengames/3.7 minutes/1.3 points/0.6 rebounds. Another two-sport standout,Lewis will contend for the starting tight end position this fall on theBruin football team after lettering last year as a true freshman.
-6-3 sophomore guard Quinn Hawking (Brea/Anaheim) ? five games/2.2minutes/ 0.8 points/0.2 rebounds. Quinn is the son of noted southernCalifornia college and high school basketball coach Bob Hawking.
-6-10 senior center John Hoffart (Davis, CA HS) ? five games/2.4minutes/0.6 points/0.0 rebounds. Hoffart transferred to UCLA in 2000 fromCal Poly-SLO.
-5-10 sophomore guard Gene Barnes (Novato/The Branson School) ? fourgames/2.3 minutes/0.0 points/0.5 rebounds. Barnes missed most of last yearwith a back injury.
Available for duty this year, after redshirting last season, will be6-8 freshman forward Matt McKinney (Santa Ynez HS), another Bruintwo-sport standout, he played last spring on Al Scates' Bruin men'svolleyball team, and 6-1 freshman guard Ike Williams (Murrieta/MurrietaValley). McKinney, one of the nation's top prep volleyball players at SantaYnez HS, as a senior (2001-02) in basketball averaged 22.3 points, 10.3rebounds and 1.3 blocks and shot 51.0 from the field.
Two newcomers who should be immediate contributors for UCLA in2003-04 are 6-2 junior guard Brian Morrison (Redmond, WA/Lake Washington),who sat out last season after transferring from North Carolina, and 6-8freshman forward Trevor Ariza (Los Angeles/Westchester), one of thenation's top high school players in 2002-03.
Morrison as a sophomore at North Carolina in 2001-02, playing bothpoint and shooting guard, appeared in all 28 games and averaged 7.1 points,led the Tar Heels with 42 three-pointers, was third on the team with 72assists (2.6) and shot 75.7 (28-37) from the foul line. As a freshman atChapel Hill in 2000-01, Morrison played in 32 of Carolina's 33 games,averaging 3.0 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists and shot 37.8 (17-45)from three-point range. On Dec. 23, 2000, when North Carolina defeated UCLA80-70 in Pauley Pavilion, Morrison scored seven straight points, including1-2 from three-point range and added an assist.
Ariza, who played under the legendary Ed Azzam at Westchester HS, in2003 led the Comets to their second consecutive CIF Div. I CA State title,a 32-2 record and finished the season rated No. 5 in the U. S. (USA Today). A second-team prep All-American (Parade Magazine) who played all fivepositions last season, Ariza averaged 22.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0assists and 3.0 steals and was the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball StatePlayer of the Year and the Los Angeles Times' Boys' Basketball Player ofthe Year. Ariza appeared in the 2003 EA SPORTS Roundball Classic, held atthe United Center in Chicago on March 31, showcasing the country's topsenior prep talent.
2003-04 UCLA Schedule
It's a tough one, featuring nine NCAA Tournament teams (14 games)from a year ago, along with two NIT representatives.
Three teams from last season's NCAA 'Elite Eight' ? Kentucky (at theWooden Classic in Anaheim on Dec. 6), Michigan State (Dec. 20 in PauleyPavilion) and defending Pac-10 regular season champion Arizona (Jan. 17 inPauley Pavilion/Feb. 14 at Tucson); 'Sweet 16' Notre Dame (Feb. 28 inPauley Pavilion) and five other NCAA participants ? Vermont (Nov. 29 inPauley Pavilion), 2003 Pac-10 Tournament Champion Oregon (Jan. 4 in PauleyPavilion/March 6 at Eugene), Arizona State (Jan. 15 in Pauley Pavilion/Feb.12 at Tempe), Stanford (Jan. 22 at Palo Alto/Feb. 21 in Pauley Pavilion)and California (Jan. 24 at Berkeley/Feb. 19 in Pauley Pavilion).
St. John's (Jan. 31 at Madison Square Garden in New York City) wonthe 2003 NIT title (and beat the Bruins last season at home 80-65 on Jan.11) and UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 17 in Pauley Pavilion) also played in lastyear's NIT (Howland was an assistant coach at UCSB from 1983-94).
'This is one of the toughest schedules in America,' Howland said. 'Weare going to be put to the test right at the start of the year and theoverall competitiveness of our schedule, both nonconference and conference,will continue throughout the season.'