Commentary

CBB Summer Buzz: UCLA

"Rebuilding" is not a word Westwood likes to hear, but Bruins fans face that reality

Updated: July 28, 2009, 2:52 PM ET
By Matt Meyers | ESPN Insider
UCLA

Insider knows you're hot for hoops over the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at five programs on the rise, five on the way down and five at a crossroads. We continue this week's look at five schools that are down from a year ago by checking up on the latest happenings at UCLA. Tomorrow: Memphis.

UCLA Bruins

26-9 (NCAA second round)

By the recent standards of UCLA hoops, 2008-09 was a disappointing season. After reaching the Final Four in the previous three seasons, the Bruins were knocked out in the second round by Villanova. And on that March afternoon, the last remnants of UCLA's Final Four three-peat (and the Bruins' top three scorers) -- Darren Collison, Josh Shipp and Alfred Aboya -- saw their college careers come to an end. With them went freshman guard Jrue Holiday, who declared for the draft despite a pedestrian freshman season, at least compared to what was expected of such a high-profile recruit.

This year, for the first time in three seasons, the Bruins won't have anyone who has started on a Final Four team, as nine underclassmen will jockey for minutes. The folks in Westwood don't like to hear the phrase "rebuilding year," but it's time to face reality.

To read how the Bruins plan to rebound, get the scoop on new recruits and see which team Ben Howland is really dying to coach, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider