Tuesday, March 22, 2011

UCLA Coach Ben Howland says potential NBA lockout will affect advice

UCLA Coach Ben Howland says potential NBA lockout will affect advice

Howland says he expects to meet with junior Malcolm Lee and sophomores Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson as soon as Monday to discuss their futures.

By Ben Bolch
The Los Angeles Times
6:59 PM PDT, March 22, 2011

UCLA Coach Ben Howland said the potential of an NBA lockout would influence his advice to Bruins players deciding whether to declare for the draft, intimating that it might lead him to encourage them to return to college.

"I can tell you in the NBA, in my opinion, this is going to be a serious lockout," Howland said Tuesday. "They will not be playing, in my opinion, next December and maybe even January. … You're not even going to get paid next year for half the year."

Howland said he expected to meet with junior Malcolm Lee and sophomores Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson as soon as Monday to discuss their futures. College underclassmen have until April 24 to declare for the draft and can withdraw by May 8 to retain amateur eligibility, as long as they do not hire an agent.

Lee's ability to work out for NBA teams during the two-week window may be compromised after he underwent surgery Tuesday to repair damage to his left knee sustained this month.

During an hour-long procedure at the UCLA Medical Plaza, orthopedic surgeon David McAllister removed a two-millimeter piece of cartilage that was floating in Lee's knee and repaired a tear that accounted for about 2% of the meniscal cartilage in his knee.

Howland said Lee's recovery time was from one to two months, meaning the shooting guard might not be at full strength if he decided to showcase his skills for NBA teams next month.

Howland said any player projected to be among the top 15 picks in the draft has his blessing to declare; currently none of the Bruins fall into that category.

"I've done all the research," Howland said. "I mean, you look at the guys who get picked between 22 and 31 and where they are five years later versus guys who are one to 15, it's vastly different when you look at the career paths."


It appears the Bruins will play most of their home games next season at the Sports Arena and the Honda Center while the interior of Pauley Pavilion is renovated. UCLA will play host to Texas in the first game of a home-and-home series and will travel to play St. John's in February at Madison Square Garden. … Howland said he wanted 324-pound freshman center Joshua Smith to lower his body fat to 12% during off-season workouts. The coach would not divulge Smith's current percentage of body fat.


UCLA Howland Tidbits

By Jon Gold on March 22, 2011 1:10 PM
Inside UCLA with Jon Gold
The Los Angeles Daily News

Here's some stuff from the UCLA press conference today:

* Junior guard Malcolm Lee had surgery on his left knee on Tuesday - to repair the cartilage tear, remove loose cartilage and also fix a small meniscus cartilage tear - and Howland said he expects Lee to miss 4-to-8 weeks.

* I asked Howland about the log jam at power forward next season, and he said David Wear might play some at the three, and that Travis Wear has experience at multiple positions.

* Asked whether Brendan Lane might redshirt next year, and he said he hasn't discussed that with Lane.

* Howland said he'll begin his discussions with Tyler Honeycutt, Malcolm Lee and Reeves Nelson in the next 10 days about their future plans. He would not really speculate on any of the decisions, but he is quite certain there will be an NBA lockout, and that will play a factor in his discussions with the players.
"This is going to be a serious lockout. I have a lot of friends in the NBA, and they're all preparing for it. They will not be playing in next December or January. Nothing in the summer time; July 1 it starts. There's a real commitment by owner and ownership to get things right."

* Howland said he does not have a target weight for Joshua Smith, but he wants his body-fat percentage to be somewhere around 12 percent. He also said Smith will be on a regular regimen with the rest of the players, rather than a conditioning-only plan like last year.

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