Basketball News

Here's the latest from the basketball program -- including an update on Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo and their NBA quest, one post player looking particularly good in the the Bruin spring workouts, and the buzzz from the recruiting trail...

Whether sophomore guards Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo will return to UCLA next season will almost certainly be determined by how they perform in the workouts with NBA teams scheduled in the next couple of weeks.

As we all know, Farmar and Afflalo have both put their name into the NBA draft, but haven't hired an agent, giving them the option to pull their name out of the draft before the deadline and return to UCLA.

As we've all heard, it's generally believed to be more likely that Farmar will remain in the draft and Afflalo will opt to pull out his name.

Both continue to indicate that they will not keep their name in the draft unless they're given an assurance that a team will take them in the first round.

The two will both work out for various NBA teams in the next couple of weeks, and those workouts will be crucial in deciding their fate. Whether either stays in the draft could be determined by the feedback the NBA teams give them on these workouts.

Farmar will work out for the Lakers and the Clippers, and then go on the road for workouts with the Sacramento Kings, the New Jersey Nets and Indiana Pacers, and possibly others.

The Nets are thought to be particularly interested in Farmar, and could be perhaps the team that could take him in the first round. The Nets have two first-round picks, at #22 and #23, which could enable them to take more of a risk with one of their first-round picks.

Afflalo will work out with the Lakers locally, and then the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, and possibly others.

It's also still believed that Farmar could go to the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando.

Both Farmar and Afflalo had their last work out with the UCLA program for the spring this week, now having to drop their course load so they can comply with the NCAA restrictions for participating in the NBA workouts.

Spring Work Outs:

The spring workouts for the basketball team have been going on since late April, and will continue through the beginning of June.

Various reports have many of the players looking improved in just the short time since the basketball season.

Perhaps getting the most raves is Alfred Aboya, the 6-8 sophomore-to-be post player. Aboya hasn't necessarily made massive leaps in skill development, but he's now healthier than he was during the season, and he's gotten bigger and stronger. Aboya competes so hard that he has been dominant in the workouts.

That's not to say the other post players also haven't been good. Ryan Wright has made strides, and Lorenzo Mata also has continued to progress from his injury. Mata will play with the Mexican National Team in a competition later this month.

Mike Roll has gotten in better shape, looking a little more svelte and muscular, adding about 10 pounds of muscle, reportedly now weighing 205 (up from the 195 he weighed during the season). It has shown in the workouts, also, with Roll being able to put the ball on the floor and drive into traffic with more strength.

Darren Collison, the sophomore point guard, has also visibly gotten bigger and the added size has definitely helped. The reports are that Collison also is continuing to develop his point guard sense, looking to find his scorers around him more, rather than looking to always score first himself.

One of the most-anticipated developments will be whether Luc Richard Mbah a Moute develops a better outside shooting touch. The word from the workout is that it has improved, and that Mbah a Moute continues to get better all around.

In the first week of the workouts, the three freshmen perimeter players, Roll, Collison and Mbah a Moute, reportedly beat the three sophomores, Farmar, Afflalo and Josh Shipp, pretty handily. But in the second week, the sophomores came back to spank the freshmen. It was a good sign, though, that the younger group is improving to the point where they can compete consistently with their older counterparts.

Shipp is moving better, according to reports, and has looked good in the workouts.


Marko Spica, the 6-9 Serbian post player who has signed a NLI with UCLA, took the SAT May 6th, but hasn't received his score. Spica needs to achieve a higher score than his previous ones if he's going to be admitted to UCLA. The program should hear the results within the next couple of weeks.

If Spica doesn't achieve the required score, he could take the SAT again June 3rd.

With the apparent de-commitment from Arizona of Jerryd Bayless, the elite 6-2 combo guard from Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary's, UCLA has been showing Bayless some interest, as has other schools. It's believed Bayless could consider UCLA. Most observers think that Texas will have a very good shot with the athletic guard.

Kyle Singler, the 6-9 forward from Medford (Ore.) South Medford, is now making it fairly apparent that he's going to take official visits this fall before he makes his decision (Prospects can only take official visits during their senior year in high school). The word is that he intends to officially visit UCLA, Duke, Kansas and Arizona. There is a potential plan for Singler to visit Westwood in October.

It's also believed that another elite target, the 6-4 shooting guard Alex Legion, from Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day, could also wait until fall before he decides. Having de-committed from Michigan this spring, Legion will probably take his time now and not look like he's rushing into another commitment. UCLA is thought to be doing very well with him, and probably leading for him, at this point.

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