UCLA Bruins Basketball Details
In a normal Pac-12 season, the UCLA Bruins would have easily finished atop the conference with a 15-3 record. However, the Bruins were met by offensive powerhouses in Arizona and Oregon throughout the regular season. And the team was met by an even bigger powerhouse in the regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament, as the Kentucky Wildcats ousted the Bruins 86-75. Throughout the season, UCLA thrived off the coaching of Steve Alford, as well as the play of freshmen Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf, as well as seniors Bryce Alford (the coach’s son) and Isaac Hamilton. Combined, these four players averaged over 57 points per game for UCLA. With them gone, it will be on last year’s role players to step up and make bigger contributions.
Senior center Thomas Welsh will need to be an even bigger presence in the paint. He had a solid junior year, averaging nearly 11 points and nine rebounds per game, but he’ll need to step up even more to help the Bruins win in the Pac-122. Junior guard Aaron Holiday also returns to the team after testing the NBA Draft waters. Last season Holiday averaged 12.2 points and 4.4 assists. Six freshmen will round out the roster for UCLA, including guard Jaylen Hands and forward Kris Wilkes, who should both start immediately once the season tips off. With young players in place, the Bruins should enjoy much success during the regular season, as well as having a good chance of winning a conference title.