Sunday, June 18, 2006

Farmar Gone; Afflalo Stays

The Bruins got the expected news over the past couple days that Arron Afflalo is returning to the team while Jordan Farmar will stay in the draft. I think people are overestimating the impact of Farmar's loss. Darren Collison played really well last year at the point, and I liked the offense better with his more fast paced style. The only thing that worries me is he's small and is always driving to the basket, so he has the potential to get injured if he plays a lot of minutes. That said, I think UCLA fans are overestimating the team in general next year. They got rolling at exactly the right time in the season, but they just didn't have the same talent level as a lot of teams. Plus, the point they really got going was when Ryan Hollins got healthy and was able to be a force as a big man. Hollins is gone, and I think that departure may be more important than Farmar and Cedric Bozeman. They need to get a presence under the basket, and it remains to be seen if Alfred Aboya, Lorenzo Mata or James Keefe can occupy that role. They will definitely be a very good team, because they have as good of a 1-4 as anyone in college basketball with Collison, Afflalo, Shipp and Mbah a Moute, but I think a Sweet Sixteen is a realistic expectation, not a return to the finals.


Anonymous James said...

I'll partially agree with you. While I think Collison can be more than an adequate replacement for Farmar, he MUST improve his perimeter shooting. He's a great penetrator/disher/defender, but he has to show an ability to knock down the open 3-pointer or else the Bruins will be in trouble.

Everyone is also forgetting that Josh Shipp is returning. Shipp is probably UCLA's best scorer. He can score inside and out and, in my opinion, the game against Florida would've been A LOT closer had Shipp been with the team.

So, let's see what we have: Collison at point, with Afflalo next to him. Both need to become more consistent from the outside.
Shipp at the wing (he'll average close to 18 per game and help alleviate the scoring we're losing from Farmar).

At power forward, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute MUST be able to knock down a 15-footer once in awhile. Even though he's a little undersized (he has a HUGE wingspan, though, if he does that, he's an All-American candidate because his ability to rebound and defend is among the best in the country.

At center, the trio of Alfred Aboya (only 6-7 but strong as an Ox), Lorenzo Mata (the hispanic Mark Madsen) and Ryan Wright (a big strong kid who is still developing) are strong, active guys who can rebound and bang.

I hate predicting a team can win it all, cuz it's such a crap shoot, I think Elite 8 is very reachable, with Final Four a possibility. After that, it's anyone's ballgame.

1:19 AM  

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