UCLA basketball: It's an uneven debut for Wear twins
Twenty months later, David and Travis Wear stepped back onto a basketball court in a somewhat meaningful game.
The North Carolina transfers, who sat out last season, had a few nice moments but also a few missteps in their UCLA debuts Sunday at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario during the Bruins' 80-72 exhibition victory over Cal State San Bernardino.
David Wear took an alley-oop from Tyler Lamb for a dunk midway through the second half, stirring reminders of the duo's time together at Santa Ana Mater Dei High. Travis Wear had 10 points in 15 minutes.
But there were times when both were outmuscled for rebounds or out of rhythm against the Coyotes, in part the result of first-game jitters. That's to be expected, David Wear said afterward.
"It was definitely a rough first game," said David Wear, who made three of eight shots, the same shooting line as his identical twin. "Having not played in a year and a half, I knew I was going to be rushing and hurrying and it was going to seem all new to me, and that's exactly what happened."
Where did David Wear think he fell short?
"I didn't play as calm as I normally did," he said. "I was thinking too much and not letting the game come to me. I think I got that out of the way so I can just play basketball."
Both Wears were in the starting lineup, David at small forward and Travis at power forward. Joshua Smith was expected to start instead of Travis Wear, but Coach Ben Howland used the same reasoning for bringing Smith off the bench that he did last season: Referees like to set the tone with foul calls early in the game, so it made more sense to put foul-prone Smith in the game later.
"I'm not concerned who starts," Howland said. "It may change; it may be that Reeves [Nelson] doesn't start, or whoever. It's who's in the game at the end, and we want our best defensive team to be in the game at the end."
David Wear played 32 minutes. Combined with his brother's playing time, that spelled a DNP for forward Brendan Lane, who could get lost in the shuffle of big men this season.
-- Ben Bolch
Photo: UCLA's David Wear grabs a rebound from Cal State San Bernardino's Kwame Alexander, left, and D.J. Shumpert in the first half Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times