LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA is out of the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years, leaving the Bruins plenty of time to think about what went wrong in a dysfunctional season that included standout Reeves Nelson getting kicked off the team.
Big man Joshua Smith calls it “an extremely hard season with losing Reeves.” The Bruins were picked to win the Pac-12; instead they finished fifth and lost in the quarterfinals of the league tournament.
Coach Ben Howland was busy doling out discipline off the court, first suspending, then kicking Nelson off the team in December for his bad behavior, and suspending senior guard Jerime Anderson two games in connection with the theft of a laptop.
The Bruins will lose starters Anderson and point guard Lazeric Jones to graduation. Their returning starters are guard Tyler Lamb and forwards David and Travis Wear. Smith, who has yet to live up to his potential in two seasons, was relegated to coming off the bench because of persistent foul trouble.