Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Zach LaVine killin the Vegas Summer League

Thanks, Ballislife (link)

Recap: Timberwolves 86, Suns 77

Posted Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:05 PM - Updated Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:05 PM

The 24th-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves upset the ninth-seeded Phoenix Suns, 86-77 in the first game of the championship tournament portion of the Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 this afternoon as the teams matched up at Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The Timberwolves' were led by Zach LaVine's 20 points and a balanced attack that featured three other starters scoring in double figures, including Kyrylo Fesenko's 17 points and Shabazz Muhammad's 17-point outing.
The game marks the second time in as many seasons that the NBA Summer League Championship that the lowest seeded team defeated their higher seeded opponent as the 22nd-seeded Denver Nuggets defeated the 11th-seeded New Orleans Hornets, 87-82, in the 2013 desert classic.
A tightly contested battle throughout, the first half featured three ties, and two lead changes, with the Timberwolves going up by as many as eight points and the Suns being ahead by as many as five. Fesenko had 12 first-half points on six-of-seven shooting, while Phoenix' Elias Harris put together a 10-point first half. The Timberwolves were up 37-34 at the half and never looked back.
In a do-or-die game, Phoenix's TJ Warren took matters into his own hands in the third quarter. He scored 16 points and connected on seven-of-eight of his shots to keep the Suns in the game, but his effort wasn't enough. His team trailed by four, 57-53, going into the final quarter. Minnesota hung on to their lead in the fourth, outscoring the Suns 29-24 in the quarter en route to the victory.
With the win, the Timberwolves advance in the championship bracket to play the eighth-seeded Sacramento Kings tomorrow, while the Suns finish their summer season in the consolation bracket, matching up against either the Charlotte Hornets or Dallas Mavericks.
from (link)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Observations: Key backcourt additions boost Kentucky, UCLA

By Jon Rothstein | CBS Sports

Article Link
Jon Octeus is a huge boost for Steve Alford's back court at UCLA.  (USATSI)
Jon Octeus is a huge boost for Steve Alford's back court at UCLA. (USATSI)
1. Tyler Ulis is facing less pressure than any incoming PG John Calipari has had since Willie Kemp.
But that doesn't mean he's not going to have a major impact for Kentucky next season. In fact, the early word I'm hearing out of Lexington is that Ulis has been terrific for the Wildcats so far this summer. The 5-foot-9 floor general is a pass-first player who knows where to get his teammates the ball and has the rare chance to play big minutes for Calipari as a freshman but not have to be immediately inserted into the starting lineup. With Andrew and Aaron Harrison both deciding to bypass the NBA and return to school for their sophomore seasons, Kentucky is now actually operating like a normal college program where veterans start and freshman come along at their own pace as reserves. Since Kemp took the baton for Calipari at Memphis during the 2006-07 season, the list of point guards that have played for the most powerful coach in the sport goes as follows: Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight, Marquis Teague, Ryan Harrow, Andrew Harrison. Harrow (17.8 points last season), who left Lexington after one year to transfer to Georgia State, is the only player on that list not to have immediate success under Calipari. Everyone else in that group is currently in the NBA and Harrison figures to be there a year from now. There's a different dynamic surrounding Ulis compared to his recent predecessors, but that doesn't mean he's not going to have an incredibly productive career for the Wildcats.
2. The addition of Jon Octeus could make UCLA the Pac-12's top challenger to Arizona.
The Bruins desperately needed a quality fourth guard when Jordan Adams changed his mind to enter the NBA Draft, and Octeus provides Steve Alford with just that. The 6-4 guard averaged 13.4 points last season at Colorado State and will be immediately eligible forUCLA next season since he has already graduated. With Octeus, Norman Powell, Bryce Alford, and freshman Isaac Hamilton, the Bruins should have enough perimeter pop to hang with any other back court in the Pac-12. UCLA also brings in three highly rated freshmen up front in Kevon Looney, Thomas Welsh, and Jonah Bolden to go with incumbent starting center Tony Parker. Power forward Wanaah Bail, at 6-9, was injured much of last season as a freshman but figures to be healthier as a sophomore and could also be a productive piece in the front court. This team has never played a season together but has all the requisites to be a pretty solid squad by the middle of league play. The Pac-12 has looked like Arizonaand then everybody else heading into next season, but don't be surprised if the addition of Octeus makes the Bruins the Wildcats' top in-league challenger during the 14-15 season.
3. UMass is again challenging itself with a vicious non-conference schedule.
Playing an arduous slate prior to the Atlantic 10 allowed the Minutemen to earn a No. 6 seed in last year's NCAA Tournament and Derek Kellogg is again providing his team with plenty of stern tests prior to league play. Next season UMass will host SienaNortheastern, and Manhattan, face Boston College in the TD Banknorth Garden, travel to Harvard,ProvidenceLSU, and Brigham Young, while also playing neutral site games against bothNotre Dame and Florida State in the Hall-of-Fame Tip Off Classic at Mohegan Sun. The Minutemen are also in discussions with Iona about a potential game in Amherst, but that's yet to be finalized according to multiple sources. That's 11 potential games against teams that either have a chance to play in some sort of postseason event or come from a BCS conference. UMass lost do-everything guard Chaz Williams but returns a strong veteran quartet of Derrick Gordon, Trey Davis, Maxie Esho and Cady Lalanne, while adding West Virginia transfer Jabarie Hinds. The 5-11 Hinds was a consensus top-50 recruit out of high school who should flourish in the Minutemen's high-octane attack. He averaged 7.4 points during each of his two seasons in Morgantown.
4. Sam Singer will be the X-Factor for Cal during the 14-15 season.
And that's primarily because he's the only real option the Bears have at point guard. Savvy veteran Justin Cobbs exhausted all of his eligibility after last season so Cal will need a solid season from Singer if it is to compete for a spot in the top half of the Pac-12 in Cuonzo Martin's first season in Berkeley. The 6-4 sophomore isn't a great athlete but still possesses great size for his position and boasts an unbelievable IQ. A timely passer with a strong feel, Singer just needs to set the table for the Bears' talented trio of wings --- Jabari Bird, Jordan Mathews, and Tyrone Wallace --- while managing each game with the precision of a surgeon. The Miami native averaged 1.3 points and 1.4 assists in 9.4 minutes last season as a backup behind Cobbs.
5. UNLV needs to get back to distributing the basketball.
The Runnin' Rebels were third in the country in assists when Oscar Bellfield was their point guard during Dave Rice's first season in 2011-12. Then two years ago, UNLV's assist totals fell to 10th nationally. Last season? The Runnin' Rebels were 125th in the country in assists. Rice was well aware of this issue and wisely addressed it by adding a pass-first point guard in San Francisco transfer Cody Doolin. A grizzled floor general, the 6-2 Doolin has a career assist-to-turnover ratio of better than two to one and may very well be the most important player Rice added in his 2014 recruiting class. UNLV has been loaded with talent over the past few seasons, but the missing ingredient has been an unselfish leader like Bellfield who could calm the game with his presence. If Doolin can fill that void, the talents of freshmen Rashad Vaughn, Dwayne Morgan, and Goodluck Okonoboh along with sophomore Christian Wood have a better chance of shining on a regular basis. Talent isn't the issue with this team. The Runnin' Rebels need to augment their trust, patience, and willingness to sacrifice. It says here they have a better chance of achieving that with Doolin initiating their offense.

This and That

• Kansas transfer Andrew White told that he visited Notre Dame this week. He also recently visited Nebraska. The 6-6 wing will have two years of eligibility remaining and averaged 2.4 points and 1.2 rebounds last season for the Jayhawks.
• Florida will start a home-and-home series with Miami beginning next season in Gainesville. There will be a return game in Coral Gables during the 2015-16 season.
• Looking for an under-the-radar freshman in the SEC? Try Arkansas' Anton Beard. Word out of Fayetteville is that the Razorbacks are looking to play Ky Madden more off the ball next season and that will be easier to do if Beard can contribute immediately. The 6-5 Madden led Arkansas last season in both scoring (12.7 points) and assists (2.8).
• George Washington will face Charlotte and Georgetown will play Towson in a doubleheader at the Verizon Center on Dec. 12, sources told
• Former UCLA coach Ben Howland recruited three players --- Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams, and Zach LaVine --- who were selected as first-round picks in last week's NBA Draft. Is this guy really still unemployed?

The Fresh Princes of Westwood

Source: UCLA Basketball on Twitter (link)

Source: Bruin Sports Report on Twitter (link)

End of season thoughts from Coach Steve Alford April 2 2014

Sorry. Took me a while to find a copy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kyle Anderson on draft night

Published on Jun 28, 2014

San Antonio Spurs Kyle Anderson on draft night. This video is a clip from a full documentary on Kyle Anderson journey to the NBA. Follow me for more info and pics twitter/IG @micjacksmo5. Thanks to sydbruin for posting this on BZ.

UCLA Basketball Produces Three First-Round NBA Draft Picks

UCLA's Jordan Adams, Zach LaVine and Kyle Anderson were first-round selections.
UCLA's Jordan Adams, Zach LaVine and Kyle Anderson were first-round selections.

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Thursday 06/26/2014
Article Link

UCLA’s Zach LaVineJordan Adams and Kyle Anderson were chosen in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday, hosted at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. This marked the second time in program history in which at least three UCLA players were taken in the first round (also 1979).
LaVine was selected No. 13 by the Minnesota Timberwolves, becoming the program’s highest draft pick since 2008, when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love were chosen No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. LaVine will join former UCLA standouts Kevin Love, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Shabazz Muhammad on Minnesota’s roster.
Adams was drafted No. 22 by the Memphis Grizzlies, and Anderson was chosen No. 30 by the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
UCLA was the only school to have produced at least three first-round NBA Draft selections in this season's draft. UCLA and Michigan (two first-round, one second-round pick) were the only programs in the nation that produced three overall draft picks.
The three UCLA selections helped push the Bruins’ all-time NBA Draft total to 112 picks. The Bruins have had at least one player selected in 16 of the last 18 NBA Drafts (spanning 1997 through 2014), logging 26 selections in the past 18 seasons.
UCLA’s 1979 team was the first in Westwood to produce at least three first-round selections. That season’s team saw David Greenwood (No. 2 overall), Roy Hamilton (No. 10) and Brad Holland (No. 14) selected by the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.
In addition, UCLA has now produced multiple first-round draft picks in nine NBA Drafts (1969, 1971, 1974, 1979, 1995, 2008, 2009 and 2014). Most recently, UCLA had Jrue Holiday (No. 17 overall) and Darren Collison (No. 21) selected in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft. One year prior, Westbrook and Love were chosen as No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
LaVine, a 6-foot-5 freshman guard from Seattle, averaged 9.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 2013-14 as one of five players to earn Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors. LaVine played in all 37 games for the Bruins, shooting 44.1 percent overall and 37.5 percent from three-point range.
Adams, a 6-foot-5 guard from Atlanta, averaged 16.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in two seasons, totaling 1,131 points (currently ranks No. 43 overall on UCLA’s all-time scoring list). Among the Bruins’ most reliable scorers the last two years, Adams set the program’s single-season steals record with 95 steals in 2013-14. He connected on 33.1 percent of his three-point attempts (98-296). In addition, Adams converted 83.9 percent of his career free throw shots (287-342).
Anderson, a 6-foot-9 guard/forward from Fairview, N.J., developed into one of college basketball’s most dynamic and versatile players last season. He averaged 12.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in 71 career contests (70 starts). Anderson totaled 24 career double-doubles, including a Pac-12-leading 16 double-doubles in 2013-14. Last season, he became UCLA’s first player since 1995 to record a triple-double (and the fourth player in school history to compile a triple-double).
LaVine, Anderson and Adams played major roles in helping UCLA’s 2013-14 squad finish 28-9 overall, win the Pac-12 Tournament title and advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008. As freshmen in 2012-13, Anderson and Adams guided the Bruins to the Pac-12 Conference’s regular-season title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

UCLA basketball lands transfer Jon Octeus from Colorado State

Jon Octeus

Colorado State guard Jon Octeus (5) reacts to the crowd as he runs off the court following their 84-72 win over Missouri in a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game Friday, March 22, 2013, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)(John Bazemore)
Mike Richman | mrichman@oregonian.comBy Mike Richman | 
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on June 27, 2014 at 4:13 PM, updated June 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM Article Link

UCLA added a player to it's men's basketball roster today as former Colorado State guard Jon Octeus transfered into the program according to Evan Daniels of

Octeus, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound guard, will be eligible to play immediately in the fall after he completes his undergraduate requirements in July. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a redshirt junior in the 2013-14 season.

UCLA went 28-9 last season and finished second in the Pac-12. The Bruins lost three starters to the NBA as underclassmen Jordan AdamsKyle Anderson and Zach LaVine went in the first round of Thursday's NBA Draft.