Men’s Hoops: The Argument for UCLA


This is part 3 of a series of posts on the argument for Pac-12 Men’s Hoops regular season champion. You can find the argument for Arizona here and Cal here.

The UCLA team has a lot of size and a lot of weight on this year’s team. While they lost two guys to the NBA, Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee, the UCLA Bruins added a few guys that have the potential to put an even more talented team on the floor this year.

That is argument one for the UCLA Bruins to be the Pac-12 regular season champions- the impressive talent they have added.

UCLA will have the Wear Twins, David and Travis, as transfers from North Carolina. They sat out last year and this year they will be able to play per the transfer rules of the NCAA. They are both listed at about 6’10 and 225 pounds. They will find most of their playing time at small forward and could easily help the Bruins catapult in the Pac-12 standings.

They also add two players to their recruiting class:

  • 4-star guard, Norman Powell who could find himself contributing immediately with his impressive athletic ability.
  • One of the best JUCO players in the country last year in De’end Parker. He will also see immediate minutes and his game easily transfers into the Ben Howland/UCLA game-plan.

They have four different players that could come in immediately and impact the game and all of them have the potential to start or play starter minutes.

Argument 2: This is a tall and long team making it a matchup nightmare.

"It’s hard, then, not to envision this UCLA squad as a bit of a throwback…one thing certainly stood out: These guys are TALL. Adding the Wear twins to the returning frontline of Joshua Smith, Reeves Nelson, Brendan Lane and Anthony Stover makes UCLA one of the biggest teams this side of the Monstars from “Space Jam.” The 6-foot-8 Nelson has gone from seeing time at center as a freshman to, well, not ruling out playing at the other end of the spectrum. (Ryan Eshoff of The Daily Bruin)"

This team is one of the tallest teams UCLA has seen in years. The average height of the combined team is at 6’5 and the starting squad, depending on who it finally becomes, could be about 6’6 to 6’7. This could be a matchup problem for a lot of teams in the Pac-12.

Argument 3: The deepest front court in the Pac-12. 

"Coach Ben Howland has the biggest, deepest and most talented frontcourt in the conference, and he’s planning to use it, with even the 6-10 Wear twins possibly playing small forward. ("

Josh Smith, Reeves Nelson, Anthony Stover, Brendan Lane, Travis Wear, and David Wear make the UCLA squad the deepest front court and debatably the most talented.

Their biggest problem is their lack of shooters, they lost two of their best perimeter shooters last year and this year there isn’t a ton of deep threats to replace them. That aside, UCLA has a real legitimate shot to be the Pac-12 regular season champions this year.