By Daniel Brewster @Addicted2ThGmE on May 10, 2014
UCLA head coach Steve Alford will have his hands full next season as he begins his second year coaching the Bruins. Alford will have his work cut out for him as he looks to replace production from Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Zach Lavine, who all declared for the NBA draft. Here is a look at UCLA’s projected starting lineup for the 2015 season.
All discussion of whether Bryce Alford, son of coach Steve Alford, could play at this level should be gone by now. Alford’s 31 points and six rebounds against Oregon not only showed that he belonged at UCLA, but it also showed that he has an ability to lead. The former New Mexico high school player-of-the-year will have the ball in his hands a lot next year and UCLA fans should be content knowing that he is capable of running the point.
Isaac Hamilton had to sit out last year due to his “transfer” from UTEP, but he will be ready next season. Hamilton had a year to practice with the team while developing his body and should ease the sting of losing Jordan Adams. Alford often said that Hamilton was the best player in practice last year. Hamilton has amazing slashing abilities but can also run the point which is vital considering UCLA has not offered another point guard as of yet.
Kevon Looney is a 6-foot-8 forward who is considered to be Steve Alford’s best recruit yet. Looney averaged 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks as a senior and plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor. Looney played in the McDonald's All-American game and showed his rebounding prowess, rebounding everything as most players jacked up shots whenever they got the chance. Looney will be a great addition for the Bruins.
While playing for Ben Howland, Norman Powell played inconsistent minutes and never had an opportunity to make an impact. With Steve Alford in charge, Powell exploded onto the national stage averaging 11 points, three rebounds, and two steals a game as UCLA’s defensive stopper. Powell can also handle the ball, drive and finish with relative ease. Powell will expected to score more as senior. Pac 12 POY may be a possibility.
Tony Parker made huge strides during his sophomore season, averaging seven points and four rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the field. Some will say that those numbers aren’t great, but remember Parker had a horrible freshman year under Ben Howland. Look for Parker to shed some more weight and play extended minutes next season.
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