The UCLA Bruins have a fascinating 2012-13. I, for one, cannot wait to see what this team does because there are so many story lines I don’t know where to begin. Alas, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Home – After the Road Show last year in which the Bruins played home games at both the Anaheim’s Honda Center and the Sports Arena, they’ll return home the Pauley Pavillion. The miserable days of home games on USC’s campus are over and the days of playing games in an outdated and spectator un-friendly Pauley are, too.
- $40M – That’s how far under budget the new Pauley Pavillion project was. That’s damn impressive. Yay California state projects!
- Norman – At media day, Howland told us that Norman Powell would be a guy who’s going to surprise us with his progress. That’s something the Bruins really need. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen talent progress within this program and Powell doing such could mean there are some improving pieces to what’s already solid talent in Westwood.
- Five – The max number of timeouts Howland can call per game. Had to.
- Healthy Competition – There are some talented big bodies in this frontcourt. Each of Tony Parker, Josh Smith, and the Wear family comes in at 6’10” and that depth should help them to A) beat other teams, and B) make each other better. Perhaps the best news? Reeves Nelson will not hit them.
- Clearance – After so much discussion surrounding whether or not he could play, Kyle Anderson has been cleared by the NCAA and will get a full freshman campaign. Howland has said he can play every position on the floor and that he’ll be asked to do a little bit of everything.
- Interest – There’s going to be plenty of people interested in the how the Bruins rebound from the tumultuous year that was 2011-12 and how coach Howland recaptures his group. But I want to talk about the low interest rate at which UCLA borrowed for the Pauley makeover. The down economy has rates at an all-time low and UCLA got in on that. As the economy recovers and interest rates return to gaudy levels, the Bruins will sit back in their beautiful new arena knowing they’re paying pennies on the dollar. Yes, I discussed this extensively with Ben Howland. No joke.