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2003-04 UCLA Men's Basketball Media Day Notes/Oct. 16
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  10/16/2003

Oct. 16, 2003

Welcome- To the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) and a full day of college basketball. At 10:30 a.m. on the fourth floor (Fleet Room) of the LAAC, new UCLA head coach Ben Howland will hold his first press conference of the 2003-04 season; at noon, the LAAC will host its annual tipoff luncheon, featuring all the Div. I head coaches from Cal Poly-SLO to the San Diego schools and at 3 p.m., UCLA will hold it's annual media day in Pauley Pavilion.

Ben Howland - Begins his first season at UCLA and his 10th year as a head coach (Pittsburgh 2000-03/Northern Arizona 1995-99/168-99 overall). In his last two seasons at Pittsburgh - in 2003, he led the Panthers to a 28-5 overall record, No. 4 national ranking, NCAA "Sweet 16" and the Big East Tournament championship and in 2002, Pittsburgh was 29 (school record for wins)-6 overall, advanced to the NCAA "Sweet 16" and the Big East Tournament title game and Howland was named the consensus National Coach of the Year. (please see attached Howland bio)

Pac-10 Media Day - Thursday, Nov. 6 at the LAX Hilton (5711 W. Century Blvd., 310-410-4000), starting at 10:30 a.m.

Howland Press Conferences - after Pac-10 Media Day, the next will be Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. in the UCLA Hall of Fame Press room. (please see attached list of Howland's press conferences)

UCLA Staff - Joining Howland are assistant coaches - Donny Daniels, who for the last three seasons was the head coach at CS Fullerton; Ernie Zeigler, who for the last two years served on Howland's Pittsburgh staff and Kerry Keating, who for the last two seasons was at Tennessee under Buzz Peterson; along with Director of Operations Chris Carlson, who for the last two seasons served in the same capacity for Howland at Pittsburgh. Rounding out the staff are Administrative Assistant Doug Erickson, entering his 12th season on the Bruin basketball staff and Basketball Intern Matt Geniesse, entering his third season.

The Bruins - From last season's team, the Bruins return four performers, all who started at different times in 2002-03 - 6-7 junior guard/forward Dijon Thompson, 6-6 junior guard Cedric Bozeman, 6-11 sophomore center Ryan Hollins, a member of last summer's USA Junior World Team, and 6-9 senior center/forward T. J. Cummings. UCLA returns four other lettermen who saw considerable playing time last year - 6-1 junior guard Ryan Walcott, 6-0 senior guard Jon Crispin, 7-0 sophomore center Michael Fey and 6-8 junior forward Josiah Johnson. The Bruins will also return four other lettermen who had playing minutes in 2002-03, led by 6-3 junior guard Janou Rubin, along with two redshirts from last season, led by 6-8 freshman forward Matt McKinney. Newcomers to the active Bruin roster will include - 6-2 junior guard Brian Morrison, who sat out last season after transferring to UCLA from North Carolina and incoming 6-8 freshman forward Trevor Ariza, who last season earned second-team Parade Magazine All-American honors and led Westchester HS to its second consecutive Div.1 CA State title. (please see attached outlook and roster)

T. J. Cummings - Cummings is academically ineligible for the first quarter. He will miss at least five games (two exhibition/three regular season), but will be allowed to practice. At the conclusion of Fall Quarter final exams (Dec. 8-12), Cummings' academic status will be re-evaluated. If Cummings is ruled eligible, he could play in some (or all) of UCLA's games between Fall and Winter quarters (depending on when his eligibility is restored/there are six games between quarters). Winter Quarter instruction begins Jan. 8, 2004.

Exhibition Games - UCLA will have two - Wednesday, Nov. 12 vs. EA Sports All-Stars (7:30 p.m.). and Tuesday, Nov. 18 vs. Southern CA All Stars (7:30 p.m.).

Regular Season - Featuring nine NCAA Tournament teams (14 games) from a year ago, along with two NIT representatives. UCLA's home and regular season opener is Saturday, Nov. 29, at 5 p.m. vs. Vermont (the Catamounts were in the 2003 NCAA Tournament). (please see attached schedule).

John Wooden Classic - On Saturday, Dec. 6, the Bruins will play in the John Wooden Classic, at The Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim (on Friday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m., the Pond will host a press conference for all four coaches). UCLA will face Kentucky at 10:30 a.m., followed by Stanford vs. Kansas. In 1994, UCLA defeated Kentucky 82-81 and went on that season to win the school's 11th NCAA title. In all, the Bruins have appeared in the Wooden Classic six times, with a 5-1 record.

Nell and John Wooden Court - On Saturday, Dec. 20, when UCLA hosts Michigan State at 3:30 p.m., the floor of Pauley Pavilion will be dedicated - "John and Nell Wooden Court", named after the Bruins' legendary coach John Wooden and his late wife, Nell.

UCLA in the NBA - The Bruins had 11 players on Fall Camp 2003 rosters - Matt Barnes (Seattle Supersonics, waived); Mitchell Butler (Washington Wizards, eighth season in league); Baron Davis (New Orleans Hornets, fifth season); Dan Gadzuric (Milwaukee Bucks, second season); Jason Kapono (Cleveland Cavaliers, rookie); Jelani McCoy (Cleveland Cavaliers, sixth season); Reggie Miller (Indiana Pacers, 17th season); Jerome Moiso (Toronto Raptors, fourth season); Tracy Murray (Portland Trail Blazers, 12th season); Earl Watson (Memphis Grizzlies, third season) and Ray Young (Boston Celtics, rookie).

Jerome "Pooh" Richardson Inducted into UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame - UCLA's standout point guard from 1986-89, Richardson was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 3. During his four years (1986-89) as the Bruins' point guard, Richardson earned All-Pacific-10 honors for three consecutive seasons (1987-89) and ended his career as the school's all-time leader in assists (833), steals (189, now No. 4), three-point field goal percentage (46.4, 52-112) and games played (122, now No. 15). Following his collegiate career, Richardson had a 10-year career in the NBA, last playing with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Preseason Notes - Preseason magazines have hit the newsstands and here's what the magazines are saying about the Bruins:
Athlon - Team - Postseason Prediction, NIT/7th in the Pac-10. Individual - Dijon Thompson, 2nd team All-Pac-10; Trevor Ariza, No. 29 incoming freshman in the U. S. Coaches - Kerry Keating, Top 10 assistant coach in the U. S. Basketball News - Team - 4th in the Pac-10. Individual - Brian Morrison, Impact Transfer; Dijon Thompson, 2nd team All-Pac-10. Lindy's - Team - 7th in the Pac-10. Individual - Dijon Thompson, No. 13 small forward in the U. S./2nd team All-Pac-10. Street & Smith's - Team - 6th in the Pac-10. Individual - Trevor Ariza, All-West Incoming Freshman (Top 100 College Freshmen), The Sporting News - Team - 7th in the Pac-10. Individual - Dijon Thompson, No. 12 small forward in the U. S./2nd team All-Pac-10; Ten Other Formidable Front Courts (Trevor Ariza, T. J. Cummings, Ryan Hollins, Dijon Thompson).


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