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Category: Reeves Nelson

Reeves Nelson dismissed from UCLA basketball team

NelsonReeves Nelson, UCLA's leading scorer and rebounder a year ago, and a Sports Illustrated cover subject on its basketball issue two months ago, has been dismissed from the UCLA basketball team, Coach Ben Howland announced Friday.

Nelson, a 6-foot-9 junior forward from Modesto, was in the process of serving his second suspension of this season when he and Howland met Friday after Nelson finished final exams.

"After much thought and deliberation, I have made the decision to dismiss Reeves Nelson from the UCLA men's basketball team effective immediately," Howland said in a statement.

Both suspensions this season had come because of insubordinate behavior. In what turned out to be his final game for UCLA last Saturday, a 69-59 loss to Texas, Nelson spent the entire second half on the bench and was seen laughing and pointing to a small group of people in the crowd at the Sports Arena that was chanting his name near the end of the game.

Tuesday, a day after Nelson was suspended for the second time, Howland said there were defined things Nelson needed to do to begin practicing and playing again.

"He needs to stay consistent," Howland said.  "The last time he was suspended, when we did bring him back, he had the best practice the first practice, the first day back. Last week’s practices, he was falling back into the same habits.

"It's definitely a distraction and we don’t need any distractions. It’s tough enough to come together without being distracted. It’s a tough situation with them (the team) because many of them are close friends with Reeves off the floor."

UCLA (2-5) plays its next game at 4 p.m. Saturday against Pennsylvania at the Honda Center.

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Photo: Reeves Nelson. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

UCLA's Ben Howland: Reeves Nelson won't start 'any time soon'

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Just because Reeves Nelson is back playing for UCLA doesn't mean he has left Coach Ben Howland's doghouse.

Howland said Sunday that Nelson, his only returning all-conference player, would not start "any time soon" in the wake of his early-season suspensions that sidelined him 1 1/2 games before he returned during the Maui Invitational.

"He's got to have a good attitude, be accountable for a while here before that's going to happen," Howland said.

Howland said he was pleased with Nelson's behavior during the second half of the Chaminade game, which was his first time back on the court since the Bruins' opener, and the Kansas game, "but sometimes he slips back to his old practice habits and he's just got to get better."

Nelson was suspended indefinitely after UCLA's season-opening loss to Loyola Marymount in part because he was late to a team meeting, then sat out the first half of the Chaminade game after missing the team bus to the airport and the team flight to Hawaii.

For UCLA (1-4) to rebound from a lousy start, Nelson must revert to the player who averaged 13.9 points last season and played hard-nosed defense during a home victory against Arizona, not the one prone to sulking and disappearing for stretches. Nelson has made one start this season and is averaging 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.

In injury news, Howland said sophomore forward Travis Wear practiced Sunday and was expected to play against Pepperdine after needing five stitches to close a wound he suffered while snorkeling in Hawaii. Sophomore center Anthony Stover tweaked his shoulder injury but is expected to play. But junior forward De'End Parker will remain out because of a knee injury.

Howland said guard Larry Drew II, who must sit out this season after transferring from North Carolina, injured his groin before the team left for Hawaii and remains sidelined.

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--Ben Bolch

Photo: UCLA forward Reeves Nelson falls to the court as he battles Kansas forward Thomas Robinson for a loose ball during a game in the Maui Invitational. Credit: Brian Spurlock / US Presswire

UCLA basketball: Bruins already at the crossroads

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Depending on the outcome of UCLA's game against No. 15 Michigan on Wednesday in a Maui Invitational consolation game, the Bruins will either:

  • Have notched their first signature victory of the season, moved back to within a game of .500 and gained some much-needed momentum heading into a much softer portion of their nonconference schedule.

Or...

  • Have lost for the fourth time in five games, with the victory coming over Division II Chaminade, and moved to the brink of a complete meltdown heading back to a game against another mid-major at the Sports Arena, where they are already 0-2.

For UCLA to beat Michigan, the Bruins will have to handle the Wolverines' 1-3-1 defense and get much better production out of a disappointing front line. Forward Reeves Nelson was late in arriving to Hawaii and center Joshua Smith was essentially a no-show against Kansas with one point in 13 minutes before fouling out. Forwards David and Travis Wear have continued their shooting struggles and backups Anthony Stover and Brendan Lane have been mostly glued to the bench.

UCLA Coach Ben Howland said he was considering giving senior Jerime Anderson more minutes at the point guard spot after his inspired play against the Jayhawks, something that could give the Bruins a boost. Senior guard Lazeric Jones has shot abysmally while appearing to press too much over the season's first four games.

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Photo: UCLA forward Travis Wear, right, tries to block a shot by Kansas forward Justin Wesley during the Bruins' 72-56 loss Tuesday. Credit: Eugene Tanner / Associated Press

UCLA basketball: Bruins pull away for 92-60 victory over Chaminade

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It will not be a historically bad start to UCLA's season.

The Bruins shrugged off a shaky first half to pull away for a 92-60 victory over Chaminade on Monday night at the Lahaina Civic Center in the Maui Invitational for their first victory after a pair of season-opening losses.

UCLA, which has not started 0-3 since the 1940-41 season, used a 29-3 run midway through the second half to turn a tight game into a blowout. The Bruins (1-2) will play the winner of the late game between Kansas and Georgetown on Tuesday evening in a semifinal.

Guards Jerime Anderson, Tyler Lamb and Lazeric Jones combined for 52 points, with Jones leading the way with 19 points as one of five UCLA players in double figures. Anderson scored 18 points and Lamb added 15 for the Bruins, who held a 40-38 halftime lead.

Bruins forward Reeves Nelson had one point and five rebounds after sitting out the first half as punishment for missing the team bus two days earlier for the trip to Hawaii. UCLA forward Anthony Stover, making his season debut after being sidelined since late October by a shoulder injury, went scoreless but had three rebounds and two blocks.

UCLA junior forward Brendan Lane had eight points and six rebounds.

We'll have more later at www.latimes.com/sports.

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Photo: UCLA's Anthony Stover, left, and Chaminade's Matt Cousins jump up for the tip-off during the Bruins' victory Monday. Credit: Brian Spurlock / U.S. Presswire

UCLA basketball: Ragged Bruins lead Chaminade, 40-38, at halftime

FIrst half
So much for the notion that some sand, surf and a game against Chaminade could cure what ails UCLA.

With forward Reeves Nelson sitting out the first half as punishment for missing the team bus on the way to Los Angeles International Airport two days earlier, the winless Bruins continued to struggle while taking a 40-38 halftime lead over the Division II Silverswords on Monday evening at the Lahaina Civic Center in the Maui Invitational.

UCLA closed the half on a 15-7 run, wiping out a six-point Chaminade lead that would have grown to nine had a Darko Vukasovic three-pointer not rolled out of the rim.

The Bruins went with a three-guard starting lineup with Nelson on the bench and sophomore forward David Wear sidelined by a concussion that he suffered in practice last week. The guards combined for 26 points with Tyler Lamb scoring a team-leading 10 despite missing all four of his three-point attempts. Jerime Anderson scored nine points and Lazeric Jones had seven points despite missing all four of his shots from beyond the arc.

UCLA made only three of 14 three-point attempts, continuing a season-long trend of struggling from behind the arc, but the Bruins outrebounded Chaminade, 22-14. Waly Coulibaly had eight points for the Silverswords, who have a spirited student section about 100 strong.

The Bruins can only hope Nelson's return helps them stave off the upset in the second half. However, Nelson remained on the bench when the half started.

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Photo: UCLA sophomore forward Travis Wear prepares to shoot a free throw during the first half of the Bruins' game against Chaminade in the Maui Invitational. Wear scored five of his seven first-half points on free throws. Credit: Ben Bolch / Los Angeles Times

UCLA basketball: Reeves Nelson will sit out first half as punishment

Reeves3UCLA junior forward Reeves Nelson will be benched for the first half of the Bruins' opening game in the Maui Invitational as punishment for missing the team bus to Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday, a school spokesman said.

Nelson also missed UCLA's flight to Maui as well as the Bruins' first practice and a players' party  Saturday night. Junior guard De'End Parker also will not be available after spraining his right knee in practice Saturday, and sophomore forward David Wear will remain sidelined after suffering a concussion in practice last week.

UCLA will use a three-guard starting lineup featuring Lazeric Jones, Jerime Anderson and Tyler Lamb in addition to big men Anthony Stover and Travis Wear. Stover will be making his season debut after being sidelined since late October by a shoulder injury.

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Photo: UCLA forward Reeves Nelson. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

UCLA basketball: Reeves Nelson won't start against Chaminade [Updated]

Ucla3
The Lahaina Civic Center is about what you would expect seeing it on television.

Super tiny. Only a few hundred feet from the ocean. Not a bad seat in the place.

Fortunately, on a humid late-November Maui afternoon, the air conditioning is working just fine. UCLA has completed some initial warmups prior to its opening game against Chaminade in the Maui Invitational. Fans are just starting to trickle in for a game scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. PST and televised by ESPNU.

Junior forward Reeves Nelson emerged with his teammates in specially designed warmup gear featuring a Hawaiian flair before removing his top and taking shots in a white undershirt. No word whether Nelson will be in the starting lineup after missing the team bus to Los Angeles International Airport on the heels of his indefinite suspension that forced him to sit out the Bruins' 20-point loss to Middle Tennessee State.

[UPDATED, 6:15 p.m.: Nelson will not start against Chaminade.]

UCLA is 0-2 and has not started 0-3 since the 1940-41 season, when the Bruins dropped their first eight games under Coach Wilbur Johns. Chaminade has six victories in the 27-year history of this tournament, with the Division II Silverswords' most recent triumph coming last year against Oklahoma.

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--Ben Bolch in Lahaina, Hawaii

Photo: UCLA forward Reeves Nelson (in white sleeveless shirt with ball) warms up with his teammates prior to the Bruins' Maui Invitational opener against Chaminade. Credit: Ben Bolch / Los Angeles Times

UCLA basketball: Reeves Nelson reinstated, will play against Chaminade

Reeves3

UCLA Coach Ben Howland reinstated Reeves Nelson on Wednesday, welcoming the volatile junior forward back to the team after a one-game suspension for behavior issues.

Nelson is scheduled to resume practicing with the team Thursday and will travel to Hawaii and play in the Maui Invitational, which starts for the Bruins (0-2) on Monday with a game against Chaminade (3-0).

"Reeves understands that his reinstatement is contingent on his ability to continually meet the high standards we have established for all UCLA men's basketball players," Howland said in a statement. "He expressed to me in our meeting earlier [Wednesday] that he desires to be a better person and better teammate going forward and, given that, I feel as though I should give him that opportunity."

Nelson said in a statement that he acknowledged there were "corrections that need to be made and I'm grateful to Coach Howland and to have this opportunity to improve and work on being a positive force for our team."

Nelson had 13 points and eight rebounds in UCLA's season-opening loss to Loyola Marymount, during which he tuned out coaches during timeout huddles and sulked on the court when things went poorly for the Bruins.

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Photo: UCLA Coach Ben Howland, left, speaks with forward Reeves Nelson during an exhibition game on Nov. 6. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

UCLA basketball: Decision on Reeves Nelson's status expected Wednesday afternoon

Reeves3A decision on the status of UCLA junior forward Reeves Nelson, who was suspended indefinitely earlier this week over behavior issues and sat out the Bruins' 86-66 loss to Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, is expected to be announced between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, according to two school officials.

UCLA Coach Ben Howland said after his team's second consecutive loss to open the season that he had met with Nelson and his mother in person on Monday, with Nelson's father on speaker phone, for about 70 minutes to discuss the situation. Howland said he was also scheduled to meet alone with Nelson again Wednesday.

What would Howland need to hear from Nelson to reinstate him on the team?

"Just an understanding that he's got a lot of things that need to improve in terms of coachability, attitude, interacting with his teammates, representing the university the way we expect it to be represented," Howland said. "We'll have a long talk concerning a lot of different issues."

UCLA is scheduled to leave for Hawaii on Saturday before opening the Maui Invitational on Monday against Chaminade.

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Photo: UCLA forward Reeves Nelson. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

UCLA basketball: Reeves Nelson suspended indefinitely over behavior

Reeves-nelson_300UCLA Coach Ben Howland announced late Monday that he has suspended junior forward Reeves Nelson indefinitely for unspecified behavior issues.

Nelson, the team's leading returning scorer and rebounder from last season, will not be with the team Tuesday when it plays Middle Tennessee State at the Sports Arena.

"This is a very disappointing situation for Reeves and for our basketball program," Howland said in a statement. "We have a high standard and code of conduct that our student-athletes are expected to adhere to and Reeves has fallen short of our expectations."

Nelson's status will be reevaluated after he meets with Howland this week, according to the statement. Nelson had 13 points and eight rebounds in UCLA's season-opening 69-58 loss to Loyola Marymount on Friday.

We'll have more later at www.latimes.com/sports.

--Ben Bolch

Photo: UCLA forward Reeves Nelson (22) tries to split the defense of Loyola Marymount guard Jarred DuBois, right, and forward Godwin Okonji (22) as he drives to the basket in the second half Friday night. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Associated Press

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