2005 UCLA Men's Basketball Summer Outlook
July 15, 2005
As Ben Howland enters his third season as UCLA's head coach, the Bruins in 2005-06 will return four starters from last year's squad that finished 18-11 overall, tied for third in the Pac-10 and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.
The Bruins' returning starters are - sophomores, 6-2 point guard Jordan Farmar, 6-5 guard Arron Afflalo and 6-5 forward Josh Shipp, along with 7-0 senior center Michael Fey. Joining that quartet will be - two lettermen, 7-0 senior center Ryan Hollins and 6-8 sophomore center Lorenzo Mata; 6-6 redshirt senior guard/forward Cedric Bozeman, who missed all of last season with a right knee injury, and a freshman recruiting class featuring five players rated in the Top 100.
FOUR RETURNING STARTERS
Farmar in 2005 was named the Rivals.com National Freshman of the Year, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and to The Sporting News' All-Freshman team. He started every game (29) and averaged 34.3 minutes (No. 2 on the team), 13.2 points (No. 2/No. 3 on the all-time Bruin freshman chart, No. 1 among guards), 3.5 rebounds (No. 4), a team-high 5.28 assists and 1.41 steals (No. 2). Farmar led the team in free throw shooting (.801, 109-136). He led all Pac-10 freshmen in scoring, assists, free throw percentage and minutes played and was second in steals. He was UCLA's assist leader in 26 of 29 games, scored in double figures in 21 of 29 games, including 20 or more points four times, and led the Bruins in scoring on seven occasions. His season-highs were 27 points vs. Arizona (2/12); seven rebounds, twice; nine assists vs. Michigan (12/18) and four steals on two occasions.
Afflalo last season was a member of the All-Pac-10 Freshman team. Joining Farmar as the only Bruins to start every game, he averaged 31.3 minutes (No. 3 on the team), 10.8 points (No. 3/No. 9 tie on the all-time Bruin freshman chart), 3.3 rebounds and 2.17 assists (No. 3). Afflalo led the team in 3-pt. FG% (.386, 39-101). UCLA's top defensive performer, Afflalo scored in double figures 18 times, including five of the last six games, and led UCLA in scoring on four occasions, including two of the final six contests. His season-highs were 22 points vs. USC (2/24); nine rebounds, twice; six assists, twice and three steals vs. Notre Dame (2/27).
Shipp in 2005 was an Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 Freshman selection. He appeared in all 29 games and started 23 of the final 24 contests. Shipp averaged 27.9 minutes, 9.3 points (No. 4 on the team), 5.2 rebounds (No. 2/No. 10 on the all-time Bruin freshman chart), 1.83 assists (No. 4) and 1.21 steals (No. 3). His rebound average was the highest of any freshman in the Pac-10. Shipp had two double-doubles (15/12 vs. Pepperdine, 12/11; 13/11 vs. Oregon State, 3/10); scored in double figures in 12 of the last 25 games, led UCLA in rebounding six times, in scoring twice and in steals on 11 occasions. His season-highs were 20 points, twice; 12 rebounds vs. Pepperdine (12/11); five assists vs. Texas Tech (3/17) and four steals vs. California (2/17).
Fey last season started 27 of UCLA's 29 contests. He averaged 23.0 minutes, 8.6 points (No. 5 on the team), 4.8 rebounds (No. 3) and shot .546 (101-185) from the field (No. 1 among players with at least two attempts per game). Fey had his first two career double-doubles (15/11 vs. Oregon, 3/5; 17-11 vs. Stanford, 1/20); scored in double figures 11 times and led the Bruins in scoring in three games, in rebounding five times and in blocked shots seven times. He scored at least 10 points in three of the final six games and had eight or more rebounds in three of those six games. He set career-bests in points (23, Oregon State, 12/31); rebounds (11, twice); assists (3, Oregon, 3/5) and blocked shots (4, Oregon, 3/5).
'Returning four starters is a strong nucleus to build around for 2005-06,' said Howland. 'I think our three freshmen starters from last season - Jordan, Arron and Josh - were the most productive freshman class in the U. S. They gained invaluable experience last year as freshman starters. Michael Fey progressed as the year went along and I think he played his best basketball at the end of the season. He's worked very hard on his game, and his conditioning, the last two summers and we expect Michael's senior season to be the best of his career.'
Hollins last season appeared in 28 games, including six starts, and averaged 16.4 minutes, 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, a team-high 0.82 blocked shots and shot .526 (40-76, No. 2 on the team among players with at least two attempts per game) from the field. He led the Bruins in blocked shots on 15 occasions and his season highs were 13 points vs. Washington State (1/6), eight rebounds vs. Washington State (2/3) and five blocked shots vs. UC Irvine (11/27). Hollins was slowed at the beginning of last season because of summer arthroscopic right knee surgery. During the summer after his freshman year, he was a member of the 2003 USA Junior World Team.
Mata in 2004-05 missed almost all of the last six games with a non-displaced sternum fracture. Before the injury, he appeared in 21 games, including one start, and averaged 9.7 minutes, 2.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and shot a team-high .567 (17-30) from the field. He averaged 11.6 rebounds per 40 minutes of action and led the Bruins in rebounding twice. His season-highs included eight points vs. USC (1/29), 11 rebounds vs. Pepperdine (12/11) and two blocked shots, twice.
'Ryan and Michael give us two seven-footers and Lorenzo is a young and up-and-coming talent,' Howland said. 'Although both Ryan and Lorenzo at times last year were hampered by injuries, their presence on the court also contributed to some very important wins for us. Both players have worked hard over the summer to stay healthy and improve their game. I'm expecting Ryan and Lorenzo to have productive seasons for us this year.'
SENIOR Cedric Bozeman RETURNS
Bozeman, UCLA's starting point guard during his first three years as a Bruin (2002-04), missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that required surgery (Nov. 10). He is on-schedule to be ready for the start of basketball practice on Oct. 15.
As a junior in 2003-04, Bozeman was the only Bruin to start every game (28) and he led the Pac-10 in assists (5.54) and the Bruins in minutes played (33.7). He averaged 7.5 points (No. 5 on the team) and 3.8 rebounds (No. 5). Bozeman, who needs 61 assists (315) to break into the Bruin career Top 10, as a sophomore (2002-03) started 17 of 21 games and as a freshman (2001-02), he started 17 of the last 18 games and earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 Freshman team. One of the top high school players in the nation in 2000-01 as a senior at Mater Dei HS, Bozeman was a McDonald's All-American.
'Before his knee injury last November, Cedric was playing the best basketball of his career,' Howland said. 'He's worked very hard since the operation to get back into great shape and to get ready for his final season as a Bruin. Cedric can help us in so many ways - senior experience and leadership, he can play both guard and forward and before his injury, he was our best defensive player. Our staff and our players are very excited about Ced's return.'
Five players considered to be among the Top 100 high school performers in North America will be Bruin freshmen in 2005-06 - 6-8, 242-pound forward/center Alfred Aboya (Tilton Prep Academy/Tilton NH); 6-0, 155-pound point guard Darren Collison (Etiwanda HS/Rancho Cucamonga, CA); 6-7, 215-pound forward/guard Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Montverde Academy/Montverde, FL); 6-5, 205-pound guard/forward Michael Roll (Aliso Niguel HS/Aliso Viejo, CA); and 6-8, 230-pound forward Ryan Wright (Loyola Catholic HS/Mississauga, Ontario, Canada).
Alfred Aboya (A-boy-a)
On July 11 in Los Angeles, Aboya had a right knee arthroscopic procedure (cartilage). The rehabilitation time is approximately four-to-six weeks, making him ready for the start of practice on Friday, Oct. 14.
2005 - Rivals.com No. 20 power forward and overall, Hoopmaster.com No. 81 and Rivals.com No. 83 ... Aboya led Tilton Prep to its second consecutive New Hampshire Class B State Championship appearance and an 18-11 overall record ... In a victory over Class A Champion Winchendon, Aboya scored a career-high 45 points, with 17 rebounds ... Averaged 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds a game.
2005 Preseason Honors - Rated the No. 18 center in the U. S. by Athlon, Aboya's other preseason honors include - Street & Smith's High Honorable Mention All-American, Lindy's No. 89 player in the U. S., The Sporting News' No. 91, Scout.com No. 92 and Basketball News' No. 100.
2004 - As a junior, Aboya led Tilton Prep to the New Hampshire Class B State title ... He averaged 22.0 points and 12.0 rebounds as an inside player for coach Scott Willard.
From the African republic of Cameroon, he has played for the Cameroon National team.
'I'm very pleased with Alfred's commitment,' Howland said. 'He was the last of our five commitments. He's a very gifted athlete at 6-8 and 242 pounds. He's tough, physical and athletic. As he continues to develop, he's going to be a very good player.'
2005 - Selected to Parade Magazine All-America fourth-team, Collison was a McDonald's All-American Top 40 candidate and the No. 2 point guard in the West ... He's the All-CIF Southern Section I-AA Player of the Year and a Los Angeles Times All-Star ...Led Etiwanda (31-2) in points (20.7), three-pointers, steals (2.1), assists (4.0) and added 4.0 rebounds ... In the CIF Southern Section I-AA championship game, Collison scored 14 points in a 60-45 win over Hart ... In CIF SS Regional Quarterfinals, Collison had 16 points, six rebounds and three assists in an 82-55 victory over Clovis ... Won three MVP awards in three regular season tournaments (Oceanview Tournament of Champions/LA City Classic/Desert Heat Invitational) ... In December, Collison averaged 21.0ppg and led Etiwanda to a 13-0 start and a No. 2 USA Today national ranking.
2005 Preseason Honors - A pure point guard, he entered 2004-05 as the No. 2 point guard in the West by insider.com ... Collison's other preseason honors included - Street & Smith's High Honorable Mention All-American, The Sporting News' No. 96 Player in the U. S. and second-team Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West.
2004 - In June, Collison competed for the West team (1-4) at the 2004 USA Men's Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, CO ... He appeared in five games (two starts) and averaged 21.6 minutes, 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals, and shot .409 (18-44) from the field, .348 (8-23) from three-point range and .800 (4-5) from the foul line.
As a junior, Collison helped Etiwanda HS to a 31-3 overall record (No. 23 in the U. S.), 10-0 in the Baseline League and to the southern CA Regional final ...In the final, Fairfax, led by current Bruin sophomore Josh Shipp's 33 points, defeated Etiwanda 75-68OT ... Fairfax went on to win the 2004 CA State Div. I Championship ... In the Southern CA Regional semifinals, Etiwanda defeated Taft, led by current Bruin sophomore Jordan Farmar, who scored 38 points in the loss.
The Div. 1-AA All-CIF Southern Section co-Player of the Year and an All-Area selection in 2004, Collison averaged a team-high 15.6 points and 5.4 assists for coach Dave Kleckner.
'Darren is an outstanding point guard,' Howland said. 'He's quick and fast. He has a feel for the game, with good passing abilities and court vision. He's a good on-ball defender with quick hands. He has a bright future in our program.'
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (umbah-a-moo-teh)
2005 - In only his fifth year of organized basketball, Mbah a Moute led Montverde in scoring (18.4) and rebounding (7.3), averaged 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocked shots, and shot 54.0 from the field, 51.0 (35-68) from three-point range and 61.0 from the foul line ...Montverde (21-6) ranked No. 2 in the Orlando Sentinel Super 6 poll and won 15 of its final 17 games, including victories over Edgewater, which was ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, twice in the same week ...Selected to All-Tournament teams in the Iolani Classic and Montverde Academy Invitational ...Mbah a Moute played in the Commonwealth Classic All-Star game on April 1 in Richmond, VA (Mbah a Moute was a member of a national team of All-Stars who played a Virginia All-Star squad) and was a finalist for the Nike Hoops Summit All-Star game on April 9.
2005 Preseason Honors - A good rebounder and defender with exceptional quickness, Mbah a Moute was a Street & Smith's Honorable Mention All-American, a Scout.com Top 150 and rated the No. 15 prospect in Florida by FloridaHoops.com
2004 - As a junior honor roll student at the Montverde Academy, he averaged 12.0 points a game for coach Kevin Sutton.
Mbah a Moute, came to the U. S. from the African republic of Cameroon in 2003, where he is the prince in his village of Bafia.
'At 6-7, Luc has a long wing span and he is very athletic,' Howland said. 'He has good guard skills. He has a chance to be an outstanding defender, who could guard three positions - the point, off-guard and wing. He's extremely versatile.'
2005 - The No. 1 shooting guard in the West, Roll was the CIF Southern Section Div. 1 Wooden Award recipient ... His other senior honors included - All-CIF Southern Section Div. IA Player of the Year, CalHiSports.com first-team All-State, Orange County Register Player of the Year and Los Angeles Times All-Star ... Roll averaged 24.8 ppg, 5.9rpg and 3.9apg ...Led Aliso Niguel (28-4) to the CIF Southern Section Div. I-A championship over top-seeded Lake Forest El Toro (67-60) with 22 points (16 in the first half on three 3-pointers) ... Scored 34 points, including 15 in the third quarter, in Aliso Niguel's victory over Temescal Canyon of Elsinor in 1-A semis ... Roll was MVP of the Aztec Classic.2005 Preseason Honors - One of the premier shooters in the western USA, Roll was named second-team Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West ...
2004 - In Summer 2004, Roll was impressive at the adidas Superstar Camp in Suwanee, GA ... As a junior, Roll helped lead Aliso Niguel HS to a 17-11 record ... He led his team in three-point shooting and averaged 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists for coach Keith Barnett.
2003 - A two-time All-Sea View League performer, as a sophomore, Roll averaged 13.0 points and in the CIF Playoffs, he averaged 20.0 points a contest.
'Michael is tough and hard-nosed,' said Howland. 'He's a good shooter who understands the game. He has an excellent work ethic. Michael is a solid player with a promising future as a Bruin.'
2005 - No. 15 power forward by Rivals.com and overall a HoopScoop No. 50, Scout.com No. 53 and Rivals.com/FutureStars No. 54 ...In the Canadian All-Star game (4/9), Wright led the winning Red team with a game-high tying 17 points (8-12 FGs) and a game-high tying eight rebounds ... Led the Loyola Warriors to a 35-10 overall record and averaged 21.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 blocked shots ...He scored 33 points with 15 rebounds in championship game loss to Eastern Commerce, was chosen tournament MVP four times and was top scorer (25) in Tier One title loss to Father Goetz ... Wright was named MVP of the Pinky Lewis and Rock the Ridge Tournaments ... Regarded as a top Canadian Junior player, he grew up in Toronto and moved to the suburb of Mississauga ...Wright is a potential 2008 Canada Olympic team candidate.
2005 Preseason Honors - A fleet-footed big man who is a great leaper, Wright was rated the No. 15 power forward and No. 54 overall by Rivals.com ...His other preseason honors include - No. 50 HoopScoop, No. 52 Scout.com, No. 53 TheInsidersHoops.com and No. 54 Future Stars.
2004 - In Summer 2004, Wright was the top prospect at the NIKE All-Canada Camp and played well at the NBA Players Association Camp in Richmond, VA ...As a junior, he averaged 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds for coach Tony Santafonte.
'Ryan has outstanding athletic talents,' Howland said. 'His ability to run and jump, at his size, is as good as any player of his size in the country. He has good hands and can block shots. I like his upside and as he develops, he has a chance to be a special player.'
'I'm very happy with this year's freshman class,' Howland said. 'I think we filled our team's needs with quality players, as well as outstanding you men. They will make a great addition to our Bruin program.'
The Bruins are looking to add two freshman walkons to the 2005-06 roster, guards - 5-10 Kelvin Kim (El Toro), who averaged 14.6 points, 5.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds and earned first-team All CIF-SS Div. 1A, along with 5-10 Nican Robinson (Oakland Tech).
Janou Rubin, 6-3 guard, has applied for a sixth season, but his status as of June 30 is undetermined. As a senior last season, Rubin missed the final 19 games with a left knee injury (that required surgery). Before he was hurt, Rubin appeared in five games and averaged 5.8 minutes, 1.0 points and 0.2 rebounds. As a junior in 2003-04, he earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for his play in UCLA's conference opening home wins over the Oregon schools. He was freshman walkon in 2000-01 and did not appear in a game in 2001-02.
Matt McKinney, a 6-8 forward who will be a junior this season, has applied for a medical retirement and is no longer on the team. Last year as a sophomore, he appeared in 26 games, including one start, and averaged 6.3 minutes, 0.6 points and 1.5 rebounds. McKinney, who also played volleyball for the Bruins, was a redshirt freshman in 2002-03 and missed all of 2003-04 with a broken left foot. His volleyball campaign last spring was cut short because of a right shoulder injury. McKinney, who is on track to graduate in Spring 2006, also dealt with several on-going health issues, including limited stamina and a gastro-intestinal disorder.
Thompson was last season's team leader, earning first-team All-Pac-10 honors and he was the Bruins' top scorer (18.4, No. 4 in Pac-10) and rebounder (7.9, No. 3 in Pac-10). The No. 19 scorer in UCLA history (1,458 points), Thompson scored in double figures 26 of 28 games, with eight double-doubles, scored over 20 points 11 times, led UCLA in scoring on 14 occasions and in rebounding 20 times. His season/career highs included 39 points vs. Arizona State (2/10, ninth player in Bruin history to score 39 or more points in a game) and 16 rebounds twice. On June 28 in the 2005 NBA Draft, Thompson was drafted in the second round (No. 54) by the New York Knicks and traded to the Phoenix Suns (the Suns announced Thompson's signing on July 12).
Morrison last season appeared in all 29 games and averaged 22.0 minutes, 7.4 points (No. 6 on the team), 2.0 rebounds and 1.62 assists. He shot .347 from three-point range (No. 3, 43-124) and .763 (No. 3, 29-38) from the foul line. He scored in double figures in 12 games (all off the bench). His season-bests included 19 points vs. Washington (1/8), six rebounds vs. Notre Dame (2/27), 4 assists, three times and three steals vs. Oregon (1/2). Morrison transferred to UCLA from North Carolina in 2002.
'Dijon had a great final year for our squad last season,' Howland said. 'He was our senior leader and his scoring, rebounding and defense helped our team to an upper division finish in the Pac-10 and a selection to the NCAA Tournament.
'Brian was a sparkplug for us off the bench last season, both offensively and defensively,' said Howland. 'We will miss Dijon, Brian and Josiah. They were hard-working seniors last season and led by example.'
Johnson, the son of Bruin great Marques Johnson, was a four-year letterman for the Bruins, who redshirted in 2000-01 as a true freshman. In 2004-05, Johnson appeared in nine games, and averaged 2.7 minutes, 0.3 points and 1.0 rebound. During his career, he appeared in 56 games, including two starts. 'Josiah was a five year contributor to the program,' Howland said. 'Both on the court and in the classroom, where he was named to the Athletic Director's honor roll on five occasions.'
2005-06 UCLA SCHEDULE
UCLA's 2005-06 men's basketball schedule will feature eight teams that advanced to postseason play last season (NCAA/NIT) and the Bruins will also participate in the Preseason NIT and Wooden Classic.
A standout nonconference opponent is West Virginia, coming to Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 21. The Mountaineers, from the Big East Conference, in last season's NCAA advanced to the Albuquerque Regional final, losing to Final Four participant Louisville, 93-85 (OT). It will be the third meeting between the two schools (the series is tied at 1-1/on Dec. 21, 1968 in Pauley Pavilion, No. 1 ranked UCLA beat WVU 95-56 and on Dec. 29, 1959 in the Los Angeles Basketball Classic in The Sports Arena, the No. 2 ranked Mountaineers, behind 30 points and 16 rebounds from Jerry West, defeated UCLA 87-73).
Preseason NIT History
For the first time since 1996 and for the fourth time in school history (2005-1996-1992-1987), the Bruins will play in the Preseason NIT. The first game (Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Pauley Pavilion), will be against Sun Belt Conference member New Mexico State, under new head coach and NBA and UNLV great Reggie Theus. If UCLA wins its first round home contest, a quarterfinal game will be held Thursday, Nov. 17 (site to be determined, vs. the winner of Army at Temple) and should the Bruins win both games - the Preseason NIT semifinals (Wednesday, Nov. 23) and championship/third-place games (Friday, Nov. 25) will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The first round NIT matchups are - Nov. 14 - Boston U. at Duke, Manhattan at Seton Hall, Sam Houston State at Missouri and Drexel at Princeton; Nov. 15- Miami (Ohio) at Alabama, Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Memphis, Army at Temple and New Mexico State at UCLA.
In UCLA's preseason NIT history, the Bruins - in 1996, lost in the first round to Tulsa in Pauley Pavilion (77-76,OT); in 1992, lost a semifinal game to Seton Hall 73-64 and defeated Florida State 86-83 for third place and in 1987, lost a second round contest at New Mexico 77-66.
Wooden Classic History
UCLA will be making its ninth appearance, third consecutive, in the Wooden Classic, held at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. On Saturday, Dec. 10, UCLA will play Western Athletic Conference member Nevada (the Wooden Classic double-header will also feature Washington vs. New Mexico). In the series history, UCLA leads it 3-0 (the last time the teams met, UCLA defeated the Wolf Pack 51-38 on Dec. 12, 1947). The Bruins have a 5-3 overall record in the Wooden Classic.
In all, UCLA will face eight teams that in 2004-05 advanced to postseason play. Six teams from last season's NCAA Tournament - nonconference foes Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Delaware State (Saturday, Nov. 19 in Pauley Pavilion), Nevada and West Virginia, along with Pac-10 opponents - Washington, Arizona and Stanford. Also in 2005, conference opponents Oregon State and Arizona State participated in the postseason NIT.
The Bruins will open the season with two exhibition games in early November in Pauley Pavilion - Friday, Nov. 4 (vs. a team to be determined) and Thursday, Nov. 10 vs. Cal State Monterey Bay - then open the regular season with the home Preseason NIT first-round contest vs. New Mexico State.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Bruins will once again face Big 10 foe Michigan - playing in Ann Arbor on Dec. 17. On Dec. 18, 2004 in Pauley Pavilion, when UCLA retired Gail Goodrich's No. 25 jersey number, the Bruins defeated Michigan 81-79; on Dec. 27, 2003 in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines beat UCLA 70-66 and on Dec. 28, 2002 in Pauley Pavilion, Michigan defeated UCLA 81-76. UCLA leads the series 8-3.
UCLA opens 2006 Pac-10 play in Pauley Pavilion vs. the Bay Area schools - Thursday, Dec. 29 vs. Stanford and Saturday, Dec. 31 vs. California. The 2006 Pac-10 Tournament will once again be held at The Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles (March 8-11).
'This is a highly competitive schedule - featuring eight teams that advanced to postseason play last season,' said Howland. 'West Virginia will be an excellent home-and-home series for us and it will be one of the nation's outstanding nonconference matchups, pitting the Pac-10 against the Big East.
'The Preseason NIT is always one of the nation's top early season tournaments, with the chance to play in historic Madison Square Garden,' he said. 'And it's always and honor and privilege for UCLA to play in Coach Wooden's game at the Pond in Anaheim.
'The Pac-10 is always one of the nation's top conferences,' Howland said, 'and 2006 will once again feature a highly-competitive league schedule, with 18 grueling conference contests, plus the Pac-10 Tournament.'
UCLA's 2004-05 schedule was rated No. 12 in the U. S. by Basketball Times (May 2005), the highest rated Pac-10 schedule - ahead of No. 16 Washington State, No. 21 Arizona, No. 24 USC, and No. 25 Oregon (five Pac-10 schools were listed among the nation's Top 30).