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Category: Ben Howland

UCLA basketball: Coach Ben Howland enjoys ribbing people

 

What does UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland do during non-recruiting periods?

-- Goes on vacation to Hawaii.

-- Watches UCLA’s football practice.

-- Drums up business for a restaurant.

"I'm hungry, are the ribs here?"

Ben, don’t quit your day job.

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-- Chris Foster

UCLA basketball: Jerime Anderson suspended after arrest for stealing laptop

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UCLA senior point guard Jerime Anderson was suspended for at least the Bruins' season opener after being arrested Tuesday evening by campus police and  charged with suspicion of grand theft in connection with the theft of a laptop computer.

Anderson, a backup last season who averaged 5.1 points and 2.6 assists, has been barred from all team activities and could sit out additional games as a result of his arrest, according to a statement released by UCLA. He will miss the Bruins' game against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 11 at the Sports Arena, and his status with the team will be re-evaluated as the legal process unfolds.

"This is a disappointing and unfortunate situation for Jerime," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said in a statement. "We have a high standard and code of conduct that our student-athletes are expected to follow. He knows that he has made a huge mistake and that he has not represented himself, our program or UCLA in a manner that is required."

[UPDATE: Anderson was arrested on campus after a tracking device on the MacBook Pro valued at $1,541 helped its owner lead police to Anderson, said Nancy Greenstein, a spokeswoman for UCLA Police. Anderson was booked at the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station and released on $20,000 bail.]

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--Ben Bolch

Photo: UCLA point guard Jerime Anderson defends during a game against Cal State Los Angeles on Nov. 9. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

UCLA basketball: Top point guard prospect Dominic Artis commits to Bruins

Ucla-logo_250 The Class of 2012 is already shaping up to be full of promise for UCLA.

The Bruins on Sunday received a commitment from Dominic Artis, a 6-foot-1 senior at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., who is considered to be one of the top point guards in the country.

Artis becomes the second highly touted player to commit to UCLA, joining Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy small forward Jordan Adams. And the Bruins are still in the mix for Shabazz Muhammad, the consensus top player in the country.

"I'm really excited," said Artis, who picked UCLA over California, Florida State, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Baylor and Florida International. "It could be a great class."

Artis said he liked Bruins Coach Ben Howland's history of producing NBA point guards. He also liked that UCLA runs a lot of ball screens, something he said suits his game well, and is already friends with incoming guard De'End Parker.

The prospect of battling North Carolina transfer Larry Drew II for playing time doesn't intimidate Artis, who said Howland told him the duo would likely be on the floor together at times. And if Artis had to come off the bench?

"Of course I would want to start," Artis said, "but if I had to come off the bench and sacrifice for the team, it would be OK."

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Shabazz Muhammad's mom is puzzled about Long Beach State

Monitoring of club basketball leaves some cracks to slip through

--Ben Bolch in Las Vegas

Shabazz Muhammad's mom is puzzled about Long Beach State

Shabazz Muhammad
Kevin O'Neill was all over top prep basketball prospect Shabazz Muhammad, or at least as much as the USC coach could be given the recruiting restrictions his program faced after NCAA sanctions.

O'Neill had an "in" with Muhammad that probably made many other college coaches envious: Muhammad's father, Ron Holmes, played for the Trojans from 1981 to 1985.

So what's Dan Monson's excuse?

Muhammad's mother, Faye Muhammad, was a track and basketball star at Long Beach State. She openly wondered why the 49ers weren't recruiting her son, a 6-foot-6 senior-to-be at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman  who is the consensus No. 1 player in the country.

"I would have liked to see them come in and get involved and see what happened with that," Faye Muhammad said.

Asked about his recruitment of Muhammad while sitting courtside at a Las Vegas club tournament game Sunday afternoon, Monson smiled like a man who knew he faced an uphill climb. Like Mt. Everest. Monson cannot comment on recruits who have not signed letters of intent.

Told that Monson probably thought her alma mater had no shot at a player of her son's caliber, Faye Muhammad said, "Maybe. But I would have been a major ally."

Allies are not always enough, though. Muhammad is not headed to USC either, despite his father's valiant efforts. Muhammad actually could become a Bruin, as he is listing UCLA among his possible destinations.

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Top point guard prospect Dominic Artis commits to Bruins

Malcolm Lee is leaving Las Vegas ... eventually

-- Ben Bolch in Las Vegas

Photo: Prep basketball phenom Shabazz Muhammad lists UCLA among his possible college destinations. USC and Long Beach State, where his parents went to school, did not make the cut. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Malcolm Lee is leaving Las Vegas ... eventually

MalcolmLee.GMF No guaranteed contract. No guaranteed NBA season.

Malcolm Lee could easily wallow in self-pity after being selected in the second round of the NBA draft at a time when there are no assurances there will be an NBA season.

Leave it to a lockdown defender to keep out all depressing thoughts.

"Right now I'm trying to turn a negative situation into a positive," the former UCLA shooting guard said Saturday afternoon while standing in a doorway at Las Vegas Rancho High, where top  prospect Shabazz Muhammad, whom the Bruins are recruiting, was playing in a club tournament game. "I'm trying to work on my game, tweaking it up," Lee said.

Lee, who was selected No. 43 overall by the Chicago Bulls and then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, is working out in Las Vegas this summer with Joe Abunassar, founder and president of Impact Basketball. Impact's clients have included former No. 1 draft pick John Wall, Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics and Sherron Collins of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Exactly a month after he was drafted lower than he would have liked, Lee said he still had no regrets about his decision to enter the draft and forgo his senior season.

"I still stand by my decision," Lee said. "I still feel like it's the right move. Right now I've got one foot in the door and I'm going to go from there."

Muhammad said he planned to work out with Lee, which is potentially good news for UCLA fans who hope the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2012 becomes a Bruin. Lee said Muhammad deserves the hype.

"He's amazing," Lee said.

Lee said he would return to Los Angeles to continue working out in either late August or early September. If he's lucky, there will be meaningful games to play with the Timberwolves before the end of 2011, providing a chance to ensure a future in the NBA.

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UCLA basketball: Stephen Zimmerman is not fit to be (Taylor) King

Jean Agee, assistant coach on championship USC women's basketball teams, dies at 74

--Ben Bolch in Las Vegas

Photo: Former UCLA shooting guard Malcolm Lee chats with a friend in the hallway of a Las Vegas high school gym during one of the summer club tournaments. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

UCLA basketball: Stephen Zimmerman is not fit to be (Taylor) King

Zimmerman600.2a.GMF Stephen Zimmerman is a tall, lanky eighth-grader with a scholarship offer from UCLA.

The significant Taylor King comparisons end there.

Zimmerman, a 6-foot-10, 203-pound freshman-to-be at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High, said he would wait a while before making his college commitment even though the Bruins and Nevada Las Vegas have offered scholarships.

"It's probably going to take a couple of years," Zimmerman said Friday night.

It didn't for King, who almost instantaneously accepted UCLA's offer only to later attend Duke ... and Villanova ... and Concordia. He never stuck at any of his colleges.

With UCLA Assistant Coach Phil Matthews in the stands at Las Vegas Centennial High on Friday during pool play in the Adidas Super 64 club tournament, Zimmerman scored 13 points and displayed excellent quickness for his size during Dream Vision 16-under's last-minute loss to Kansas City Pump N Run 16s.


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UCLA basketball: Bruins receive commitment from top prospect Jordan Adams

UCLA Korey McCray is paying quick dividends for UCLA. Two weeks after hiring the former club team coach as an assistant under Ben Howland, the Bruins on Monday received a commitment from Jordan Adams, a highly touted small forward who starred on McCray's club team.

And Adams may not be the last player with ties to the Atlanta Celtics headed to Westwood.

"I want 'Shaq' Goodwin to come with me," Adams said during his announcement, referring to William Goodwin, a former Celtics teammate who is among the top power forward prospects in the country.

The commitment of Adams, a Georgia native who will be a senior next season at Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, could signal the beginning of a breakthrough for UCLA in its national recruiting efforts. The Bruins had whiffed in recent years on most of their top-level targets from outside the West region.

The 6-foot-5 Adams, listed as a four-star recruit by Scout.com, picked UCLA over Memphis, Miami (Fla.) and Georgia. Bruins coaches cannot comment on prospects until they sign binding letters of intent in November.

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--Ben Bolch

UCLA Basketball: Bruins hire club coach Korey McCray as assistant

McCray_Korey_CHS UCLA fans who follow basketball recruiting closely may not have heard of Korey McCray, but they're probably familiar with a few players who have graced his summer club team.

Jordan Adams and William "Shaq" Goodwin are among the national-level recruits who once played for McCray with the Atlanta Celtics before he was hired Tuesday as an assistant on Bruins Coach Ben Howland's staff.

Could the high school juniors, both of whom have listed UCLA among the schools they are considering, follow McCray to Westwood?

"One thing you definitely know is that McCray certainly has a lot of influence with these young men and they're going to know him when they come in for their official visit," said Bob Gibbons, a North Carolina-based national recruiting expert.

"There's no guarantee he's going to be able to recruit the players. But he knows the family and will have, from a familiarity standpoint and a personal contact standpoint, [a relationship] that should be very advantageous for him and for UCLA."

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UCLA Basketball: AAU coach Korey McCray in the running for assistant opening

Ucla-logo_250 UCLA Coach Ben Howland said Tuesday that his list of candidates for the Bruins' assistant coaching vacancy includes Korey McCray, an Amateur Athletic Union coach from Atlanta whose roster includes several top national-level recruits.

McCray told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month that he was "probably the favorite right now." But reached by The Times last week, McCray said, "I can't speak on that situation."

Asked what had changed since he had been so forthcoming in his previous interview, McCray said, "I have no comment about the UCLA situation."

Hiring McCray could give the Bruins a recruiting pipeline to a talent-rich region and a storied Atlanta Celtics AAU program whose rosters once included NBA stalwarts Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.

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UCLA basketball: Ben Howland says he's happy to have one primary home venue

Ku9dylnc UCLA Coach Ben Howland said he is pleased the Sports Arena will be his team's primary home next season while Pauley Pavilion undergoes an extensive makeover.

The Bruins will play 14 games at the Sports Arena and four at Honda Center in Anaheim.

"For the fans and for our players to have one venue they're going to get used to over the course of the year is definitely better than playing in four or five venues," Howland said Friday in a teleconference with reporters.

Howland said Sports Arena officials would "make a number of aesthetic changes for us that will make it more than nice." The Bruins are expected to hang their 11 national championship banners and have a UCLA logo at center court.

"What I go back to is that John Wooden's teams played there in '64 and '65 prior to the opening of Pauley Pavilion," Howland said. "Anything that is good enough for Coach is good enough for us and for me."

Asked about playing USC at a venue that is less than a mile from the Trojans' campus, Howland said he hadn't thought about it but pointed out that UCLA fans would have first dibs on tickets.

"Our fans will have the availability of being there first," Howland said.

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USC basketball: O'Neill displeased with playing at Oregon on night new arena debuted

Kevin_500 

USC Coach Kevin O'Neill made it known this week that he was none too happy to play at Oregon on the same night the school debuted its $200-million, state-of-the-art Matthew Knight Arena.

The Trojans' lost the first game held there to Oregon, 68-62, but O'Neill didn't criticize the nearly 40-minute pre-game ceremony, which included break-dancing, fireworks, several dances from the cheerleaders, a few songs from Oregon's student band and an eight-minute speech from Nike co-founder and Oregon alum Phil Knight, who helped fund the arena that is named for his late son.

"You sit in the locker room for 40 minutes longer than necessary," he said. "I'm not saying that's why we lost. We just played bad."   

O'Neill said that waiting put his team at a "competitive disadvantage" and USC did in fact come out slow in that first half and eventually trailed by as many as 20 at one point. 

O'Neill said his team could have gone to a practice facility during that time, but didn't because, he said, "you had to go through two halls, (up) two flights (of stairs) and then they were going to have a bunch of people up there anyway." 

O'Neill added, "That didn't decide the game. I'm not taking anything away from their win. I just don't think it's the right thing."

O'Neill said he would have rather the arena's opener taken place against a non-conference opponent rather than against a Pacific 10 Conference opponent, and that he would be for that in "any sport," not just basketball.

Like several other Pac-10 coaches, O'Neill also had issues with Oregon's unusual Kilkenny Floor, which drew mixed reviews on opening night, largely from fans who said it caused too much of a glare on television. 

But the issue O'Neill had was with the half-court line, which he and others have said is barely visible. 

"They got to put a center line on the floor," O'Neill said. "They need to paint something down there because that's going to be hard for officials to deal with and even players."

Oregon Coach Dana Altman, speaking on a conference call Tuesday, said he hasn't personally heard any complaints about seeing the half-court line, which is two thin stripes, but that if there is one, "we can make some kind of adjustment, especially if the officials have any problem with it."

Altman added, "It's tough to see, but it's tough to see on a lot of courts." 

Pac-10 spokesman Dave Hirsch said in a text message Wednesday that he could not confirm whether anyone at the Pac-10 has spoken with Oregon officials about making adjustments to its floor. 

One of the only coaches to praise the court was UCLA's Ben Howland, who won their first game on it

"It looks way better in person than it does on camera," Howland said Tuesday. "I mean, when you see it on film, it’s really hard to see the basketball because there’s so much orange and brown in there. And I get the idea what they’re going for, but it’s a little busy in terms of being able to watch a game on television, which most of the people are going to be doing.

"I mean, it holds 12 [thousand]. I think that would be the only thing. Beautiful building. They really did a good job. Every seat in the place is a good seat. The video board … it’s all really well done, tastefully done. The visitors' locker rooms were awesome. They tried to shoot for the stars on that."

Did he find the court distracting?

"No," Howland said. "But watching the game [against USC] when we were preparing for them, it’s hard to follow because everything blends in, especially the ball. You say, ‘Where’s the ball?’ And then SC has like black jerseys on, so it was hard."

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: Kevin O'Neill. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / U.S. Presswire.

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