Tag Archives: Korey McCray

Now You Get to Say Goodbye to Kyle Anderson

Allow me to introduce you to the Kyle Anderson Road Show.

Monday afternoon it was made known that Kyle and his family felt that this would likely be his final season at UCLA. That he’s improved his deficiencies and could be hitting a few more jumpers. Or at least consistently (last year he shot 35% on 2pt jumpers and just 21% from distance). I read about it on the Worldwide Leader:

“Kyle has made great strides in his mental approach to the game and his work ethic since being at UCLA,” his father, Kyle Anderson Sr., told ESPN.com. “The major deficiencies in his overall game are his lack of strength, quickness and explosion, and inconsistent shooting. We feel that both of which can be addressed more efficiently with more time and repetition. It’s more than likely that it will be time for Kyle to move on at the end of this college season.”

Now, every chance you get to see Kyle Anderson is a fleeting one. The powder blue swan song. Kyle’s last game in Pauley will be Sunday, March 2 against Oregon State. His last trip to Corvallis will be February 2. He’ll never play in McKale ever again.

But does this perhaps highlight issues already in the Westwood? Is Kyle Anderson unhappy with the Korey McCray off staff? Is he bickering with Jordan Adams or BRYCE? Has Dollar Shave Club been slipping him cash (or at least razors I hope)?

Come on! I’m better than that.

Kyle is a good player but probably not league ready. Maybe he did find a consistent jumper. Maybe the Bruins’ lack of a point guard is no lack at all but rather Kyle’s path to display more of his skill set, in which case go for it. We all watched as Grant Jerrett was picked up and it’s still unclear whether he’s ready.

STORYLINE WATCH: What if he doesn’t have a great 2013-14? Or even just a good one? Does he have to go? Obviously he doesn’t but I question if he’s setting himself up to fail here? Which subsequently alerts the is-he-unhappy or behind-closed-doors radar. I don’t want to speculate on that but this does put additional pressure on what’s already shaping up to be a unique season in Pauley. Of course it can’t get much stranger than last year but they’re without a voice of leadership reason (LD2) and he’s playing for a brand new coach. I’m just saying, there’s a lot going on this season in Westwood, is this just one more unnecessary thing to worry about? (short answer is yes)

For the record, I was impressed that Anderson filled the role the Bruins needed last year. He boarded because they needed bodies down low. It worked. This year, in the absence of LD2 or any other experienced or skilled primary ball handler, he’ll be relied upon to distribute and initiate offense. A true point-forward who might be best suited just dumping the ball to Jordan Adams.

Anderson is not listed on any 2014 1st Round NBA Mock Drafts. As it’s widely known that this is a loaded draft, it seems strange for a positionless talent to consider himself ready to play with the big boys. And to announce such before playing a single game following the aforementioned deficiency fixing begging the question: Did he fix it?

He’s ultimately going to be a very good player for the 2013-14 Bruins. I’m just not sold on him being on a 2014-15 NBA bench.

But hey, one time there was a Bruin who said this was going to be his last and that turned in to the 1975 national title. The announcement came in the press conference following the national semi-final. The Bruin? The Bruin, John Wooden.

The Battle for LA in Pat Haden’s Office

Please let me know if you have not heard of the following basketball players. I’ll be happy to tell you all about them:

But odds are you have heard of these players who never played a single minute for a university in their home city of Los Angeles. They played as Longhorns, Wildcats, Aztecs, even Sun Devils; but not one was a Bruin or Trojan.

So in the wake of Kevin O’Neill’s dismal at USC, the collective eyes of West Coast basketball settle onto the administrative offices of Pat Haden. Here is a man with the potential to restructure Pac-12 hoops with ripple effects across every conference on this coast; his own conference not withstanding. It’s no secret that Los Angeles produces talent and that the Pac-12 is a down conference today. Such a combination would appear to make a seat in the Galen Center a desirable one. Should that coach begin to garner the talent that has seemingly “fallen through the cracks” (Jamaal Franklin, Kendall Williams, all of the above), well then there are games to be won.

Of course there is the case of the cross-town and mighty Bruins. Owners of a pyramid and infinitesimal championships, it’s assumed they snatch up the major talent and leave pittance for the rest. Not true.

Ben Howland has burnt just about every possible bridge in what is to be considered his breadbasket. Don’t believe me? Of Howland’s recruiting classes since 2008, he has secured eleven commitments from Californians. Of these Golden Staters, just two (Norman Powell and Jerime Anderson) are on the roster or remained four years and one was a first round one-and-done (Jrue Holiday). These three cases we can argue are successful. Beyond that is where it gets ugly: two left shockingly early to be second round picks (Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee); two were dismissed from the team (Anthony Stover and Reeves Nelson); and four have transferred (Brendon Lane, De’End Paker, Drew Gordon, and Tyler Lamb). Howland’s potentially program altering 2012 class? Zero Californians. I could put the same critique to KO and his recruiting at USC but when you run the unsustainable model of accepting oodles of transfers, losing six games, and playing under NCAA sanctions, recruiting become a bit of an afterthought.

It’s this very local ineptitude that has me fascinated with this USC coaching a hunt. A home run here will put the heat on UCLA. Can the biggest program on the west coast –if not the country – really play second recruiting fiddle at home? I’m not questioning whether or not UCLA is a better job than USC – I’m taking the UCLA job seven days a week and twice on Sunday – but the Trojans have the opportunity to become LA’s team and to be regularly successful without having to do much work. Meanwhile in Westwood, a national recruiting hunt and association with the perceived dirtiest recruitments ever gets exhausting. It screams “no identity.” Wanna hear some names that played in those three Final Fours we still talk about? Afflalo, Shipp, Collison, Farmar, Roll, Mata-Real, Westbrook, Bozeman, Hollins. Some fun Trojan names from 06-09 with a 68-37 record? Young, Pruitt, Hackett, Jefferson, Derozan All of the aforementioned were contributing LA kids.

The last four Gatorade California HS Players of the year are all in college. None are in Los Angeles. This fact has Sean Miller, Tad Boyle, Steve Fisher, and every other coach in a less-than-talent-rich area salivating. There’s already significant questioning surrounding what’s happening behind Dan Guerrero’s door and I have to imagine he’s thinking hard about what to do.

So Pat Haden has a list and with that list I believe he will dictate a lot more than the bank account and real estate maneuvering of a man on that list. He has the opportunity to seismically shift Pac-12 basketball. But more finitely:

The battle for Los Angeles is on.