July 8, 2002
1) RETURNING FROM 2001-02 (last season under Steve Lavin, the Bruins were 21-12 overall, 11-7 in the Pac-10, and advanced to the NCAA "Sweet 16" for the fifth time in the last six years).
a.UCLA RETURNS TWO STARTERS
6-8 senior forward Jason Kapono, a 2002 Naismith Finalist and three-time All-Pac-10 performer and 6-6 sophomore point guard Cedric Bozeman, an honorable mention All-Pac-10 freshman.
Jason Kapono, F, 6-8, Sr., Lakewood (Artesia HS) - as a junior last season, Kapono was a Naismith Player of the Year Finalist and a Playboy All-American. He's also a three-time All-Pac-10 performer and would become the school's first four-time honoree should he win first-team all-conference honors in 2003. Kapono has led the Bruins in scoring during his first three years of competition (2001-02, 16.0; 2000-01, 17.2; 1999-00, 16.0). As a junior last season, Kapono tied a school record for starts (33) and games played (33), led UCLA in minutes (34.6), points (16.0) and three-point (87-192, 45.3) and foul (101-118, 85.6) shooting and was No. 3 in rebounding (5.1) and assists (2.1). During his three-year Bruin career (98 games and 97 starts), in three-point shooting, Kapono holds the school record for career (253), season (87, 2002) and single-game (seven, ties school record) three-pointers. In career percentage, he's No. 2 (46.1, 253-549) in three-point and No. 6 (81.7, 299-366) in foul shooting. Kapono has 1,608 career points (No. 15 in school history) and his single-season scoring average is 536 points (16.4). If he scores his average in 2002-03, Kapono would end his Bruin career with 2,144 points, No. 3 in school history (trailing only Don MacLean, 2,608, 1989-92 and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), 2,325, 1967-69).
Lavin on Jason Kapono - "Obviously, we are delighted that Jason decided to remain in school, working on his degree and playing for us as a senior. Jason is a prolific scorer. He is one of the great shooters in college basketball and his overall game has improved each season. We will have a young team next year and Jason's leadership and experience will be critical to our success."
Cedric Bozeman, PG, 6-6, So., Los Angeles (Mater Dei HS) - as a true freshman last season at the starting point guard position, Bozeman fought through injury and the learning curve to become one of the top young point guards in college basketball. After starting the first four games of the season, he missed the next seven games because of a right knee injury that required surgery (cartilage tear). He returned to the starting lineup and started 18 of the Bruins' final 19 contests. Played one of the best games of his freshman season in the NCAA Tournament, when UCLA beat No. 1 West Region seed Cincinnati 105-101 in double overtime at Pittsburgh. In that game, Bozeman played a season-high 39 minutes, with 0 turnovers, eight points, a season-high five rebounds and four assists. In 2001-02, Bozeman started 21 of 26 games, and averaged 23.4 minutes, 4.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists (No. 2 on the team).
Lavin on Cedric Bozeman - "At the point guard position, because of its challenges and complexities, you'd like for your true freshman to come in, learn gradually and grow into the position. Last season we couldn't give Cedric that luxury yet he responded with the maturity of an upperclassman. He fought through plenty of adversity, including missing seven games early in the season because of a right knee injury that required surgery. Through it all, he endured and by year's end, Cedric was one of the conference's most consistent and dependable point guards."
b. THE BRUINS RETURN SIX OTHER LETTERMEN
6-10 junior center/forward T. J. Cummings, 6-7 sophomore guard/forward Dijon Thompson, 6-1 sophomore point guard Ryan Walcott, 6-7 sophomore forward Andre Patterson, (all four with considerable experience from last season), along with 6-10 junior center John Hoffart and 6-8 sophomore forward Josiah Johnson.
T. J. Cummings, C/F, 6-10, Jr., Homewood, IL (Homewood-Flossmoor HS) - son of DePaul and NBA great Terry Cummings, T. J. in his first two seasons as a Bruin appeared in 65 games, started seven and averaged over 18 minutes a game. As a sophomore last year, he tied a school record for games played (33) and averaged 17.5 minutes, 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds and shot 51.0 (103-202) from the field and 74.5 (41-55) from the foul line. Early last season, had a stretch of three consecutive games scoring in double figures (Columbia-18 points, including 9-11 from the field; Georgetown, 18 points; Washington, 22 points, a career-high 11 rebounds). In 2001-02, Cummings set career-highs in minutes (33, vs. South Carolina at Maui Invitational), points (25, vs. South Carolina, including 11-12 from the field, top single-game FG% in the Pac-10 last season) and rebounds (11, vs. Washington, h).
Dijon Thompson, G/F, 6-7, So., Redondo Beach (Redondo Union HS) - as a true freshman last season, Thompson tied a school record (33 games) and averaged 15 minutes, 4.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists and shot 87.0 (20-23) from the foul line. Played well in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, scoring in double figures in two of UCLA's three games (Mississippi, a season-high 16 points (6-8, 2-3, 2-2), three rebounds, one assist, a season-high three steals; Cincinnati, 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal). In his one start of the season vs. UC Irvine, Thompson, who has the ability to handle the basketball and score from both inside and out, set season-highs in minutes (38), rebounds (seven) and assists (four) and also scored 14 points.
Ryan Walcott, PG, 6-1, So., Phoenix, AZ (Shadow Mountain HS) - cousin to Sacramento Kings standout point guard Mike Bibby, Walcott last season as a redshirt freshman provided the Bruins with a spark off the bench at point guard. He appeared in 28 games and averaged 10.4 minutes, 2.5 points and 1.2 assists. Nearly rallied the Bruins to victory in the Pac-10 Postseason Tournament vs. California (the Golden Bears prevailed 67-61), by playing 26 minutes, with 10 points, six assists and two steals, all career-highs. Even though Walcott redshirted the 2000-01 campaign as a true freshman, he did play nine minutes in the Bruins' first exhibition game of that season (UCLA 118-Team Concept 64, Nov. 1, 2000; Walcott had three points and two rebounds; he did not play in another exhibition or regular season game the reminder of the 2000-01 campaign). Because of his exhibition appearance, UCLA had to petition the NCAA to restore a season of eligibility for Walcott. The petition was approved by the NCAA (in Dec. 2001), but it ruled that Walcott would have to sit out the first two regular season games of the upcoming 2002-03 schedule.
Andre Patterson, F, 6-7, So., Los Angeles (Washington Prep) - a true freshman last season, Patterson appeared in 29 games, averaging 9.2 minutes, 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds and shot 50.0 (28-56) from the field. An inside presence for the Bruins, Patterson can score, rebound and block shots. His season-highs included 19 minutes at Oregon, seven points vs. UC Riverside, six rebounds at Washington State, three assists vs. Washington, three steals vs. Houston at the Maui Invitational and five blocked shots vs. Columbia.
John Hoffart, C, 6-10, Jr., Davis (Cal Poly-SLO/Davis HS) - as a redshirt sophomore in 2001-02, Hoffart appeared in seven games. He redshirted in 2000-01 after transferring to UCLA from Cal Poly-SLO.
Josiah Johnson, F, 6-8, So., Los Angeles (Montclair Prep) - son of Bruin great Marques Johnson, who was the recipient of the first Wooden Award in 1977 as the nation's top collegiate player. Josiah last season was a redshirt freshman (he sat out the 2000-01 season). In 2001-02, Johnson appeared in eight games.
Lavin on Returning Lettermen - "T. J. has averaged close to 20 minutes a game for us during his first two seasons and he will contend for the starting center position when fall camp opens. Ryan, Dijon and Andre were all freshmen last season and they picked up valuable playing experience. Ryan gave us a spark at point guard off the bench, Dijon can play both inside and out with his deft shooting touch and Andre gives us a rebounding and scoring presence inside. The experience these players have acquired from last year will be a valuable element to this year's squad."
c. THE BRUINS RETURN FOUR REDSHIRTS
Led by 6-4 senior guard Ray Young, who has 94 career appearances (along with 22 starts); 6-3 sophomore guard Janou Rubin, who lettered as a freshman in 2000-01 and two walkons from last season - freshmen guards, 5-10 Gene Barnes and 6-2 Quinn Hawking.
Ray Young, G, 6-4, Sr., Oakland (St. Joseph Notre Dame HS) - a redshirt senior (he sat out last season), Young brings experience (he has 94 career appearances with 22 starts), defense and leadership to this year's Bruin squad. During his three-year Bruin career, he has averaged 19.5 minutes, 6.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists. A three-point threat (he has 66 career three-pointers), Young has career-bests of 38 minutes (last vs. Georgia Tech, 12/2/00 at the Wooden Classic), 22 points (Oregon State, 1/27/00), nine rebounds (Arizona, 1/20/01), six assists (last vs. UC Santa Barbara, 11/29/00) and four steals (last vs. Washington, 3/11/00). A McDonald's All-American in 1998, Young was one of three McDonald's All-Americans (joining Dan Gadzuric and JaRon Rush) in UCLA's top ranked '98 recruiting class.
Lavin on Ray Young - "Ray Young will be one of our captains and leaders this year. He knows our system and he will be a positive influence on our younger players. Ray is one of the top athletes on this team. He can score and he will also be one of our top defenders."
Janou Rubin, G, 6-3, So., Union City (Logan HS) - Rubin redshirted last season after appearing in four games as a true freshman in 2000-01.
Gene Barnes, G, 5-10, Fr., Novato (The Branson School) - Barnes sat out last season as a true freshman. At The Branson School, he was an All-CIF and All-State performer who as a senior in 2000-01, averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 steals and only two turnovers a game.
Quinn Hawking, G, 6-2, Fr., Brea (Anaheim HS) - Quinn is the son of Bob Hawking, current head coach at Anaheim HS and former head coach at CS Fullerton, who also coached Bruin great Don MacLean at Simi Valley HS. As a senior in 2000-01 at Anaheim HS, Quinn averaged 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists and connected on 94 three-pointers.
d. THE BRUINS RETURN ONE ELIGIBLE TRANSFER
6-2 junior guard Jon Crispin, who transferred to UCLA last season from Penn State.
Jon Crispin, G, 6-2, Jr., Pitman, NJ (Penn State/Pitman HS) -Crispin sat out last season after transferring to UCLA from Penn State. As a sophomore starter at Penn State in 2000-01, along with his brother Joe (now with the Phoenix Suns), Jon helped lead the Nittany Lions to the NCAA "Sweet 16". That season, Crispin, an outstanding outside shooting threat, started 31 of 33 games and averaged 27.8 minutes, 7.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals. He also shot 39.5 from the field, 35.6 (42-118) from three-point range and 73.7 from the foul line. As a sophomore, he scored a career-high 26 points in the Nittany Lions' 73-68 upset at Kentucky on Nov. 25, 2000. Crispin started 52 games during his two-year Penn State career, averaging 8.2 points and 36.8 on three-point attempts, including 37.6 as a freshman.
Lavin on Jon Crispin - "Jon is going to help us at the shooting guard position right away. Watching him last year during our practices, I was impressed with his shooting range. He will provide us with another consistent three-point scoring threat."
e. THE BRUINS' INCOMING FRESHMAN RECRUITING CLASS
One of the nation's top incoming classes, led by McDonald's All-American 6-8 forward Evan Burns and 6-11 center Michael Fey, along with two-sport performers, 6-6 forward Marcedes Lewis (in 2001 the No. 1 U. S. prep tight end in football) and 6-8 forward Matt McKinney (one of the nation's top HS volleyball players in 2001-02). Also 6-2 walkon guard Ike Williams.
Evan Burns, F, 6-8, Fr., Los Angeles (Fairfax HS) - Burns is the seventh McDonald's All-American recruited to UCLA during Lavin's six seasons as the Bruin head coach (joining Cedric Bozeman, 2001; Jason Kapono, 1999; Dan Gadzuric, JaRon Rush, Ray Young, 1998 and Baron Davis, 1997). A versatile scorer with athletic ability, Burns played in two national prep All-Star contests - on April 11 in the Jordan Brand Capital Classic at the MCI Center in Washington, D. C. and on April 4, he was a member of the West squad in the McDonald's HS All-American Game at Madison Square Garden in New York City. As a senior last season at Fairfax HS, Burns averaged 22.7 points and and 10.5 rebounds and led Fairfax HS to the Los Angeles City Finals. Burns' other senior honors included third-team prep All-American honors from Slam and Parade magazines and Hoop Scoop No. 16 player in the U. S.
Michael Fey, C, 6-11, Fr., Olympia, WA (Capital HS) - as a senior prepster in 2000-01, Fey was regarded as one of the premier centers on the West coast and a Top 50 national high school prospect. He averaged 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots and shot 56.0 from the field. A finalist for the 2001 McDonald's All-American Game, Fey was a first-team All-State selection and in June 2001 he played in the Washington 4A All-Star contest at the Sun Dome in Yakima, WA. Fey signed his NLI in November 2000 but he could not enroll last Fall because he did not meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements.
Matt McKinney, F, 6-8, Fr., Santa Ynez (Santa Ynez HS) - a two-sport athlete for the Bruins, McKinney will join the UCLA men's volleyball team at the conclusion of the college basketball season. As a senior prepster in basketball last season, McKinney averaged 22.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots and shot 51% from the field. He had a career high-point game of 38 vs. Morro Bay in 2002. He's Santa Ynez's all-time leader in points (1400) and rebounds (500). In volleyball, McKinney, a member of the Junior National team, led Santa Ynez to four consecutive CIF Championships and is the school's all-time leader in kills.
Marcedes Lewis, F, 6-6, Fr., Long Beach (Poly HS) - another two-sport standout for the Bruins, Lewis will be a true freshman tight end on the UCLA football team and then join the Bruin basketball squad at the conclusion of the football season. In basketball as a senior in 2001-02, he was a Hoop Scoop National Top 100 performer and averaged 13.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, earning All-South Coast first team and All-CIF second-team honors. In football last fall, Lewis was considered the nation's top tight end prospect and his honors included SuperPrep and Parade Magazine All-American. As a senior in football in 2001, Lewis caught 44 passes for 710 yards and 11 touchdowns for CIF Div. 1 champion Poly HS.
Lavin on Incoming Freshmen - "We are going to get immediate help from this outstanding freshman class. When fall camp begins, Evan Burns and Michael Fey will be competing for starting positions and I expect them to make an immediate impact. After the completion of the college football season, Marcedes Lewis will join our team and he has the potential to be one of the great rebounders in our conference. Matt McKinney is one of the top two sport athletes in the country. Matt's versatile athletic ability will make him a talented addition to our squad."
2) LOSSES FROM 2001-02
a. UCLA LOSES THREE SENIOR STARTERS
6-11 center Dan Gadzuric, honorable mention All-Pac-10, who was selected in the second-round (No. 34 pick) of the NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks; 6-7 forward Matt Barnes, who was also taken in the second-round (No. 46 pick) by the Memphis Grizzlies (then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers) and 6-5 guard Billy Knight.
Dan Gadzuric, C, 6-11, Den Haag, Holland (Gov. Dummer Academy/Byfield, MA) - UCLA's starting center the last four seasons. As a senior last year, he earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors and tied a school record for starts (33) and games (33), averaging 26.2 minutes, 11.7 points (No. 4 on the team), 7.7 rebounds (No. 1) and 1.3 blocked shots (No. 1) and shot 55.4 (164-296, No. 1) from the field. In 2002, he had nine double-doubles, including a career-high 26 points (13-20, from the field, both career-highs) and 13 rebounds (6-7), in a career-best 45 minutes, leading the Bruins to a 105-101 double overtime victory vs. No. 1 West Region seed Cincinnati in a second round NCAA contest in Pittsburgh. Gadzuric ended his Bruin career (122 games and 102 starts) as the school's No. 8 rebounder (896), No. 8 (tied) in FG% (54.9, 548-000) and No. 2 (No. 8 in Pac-10 history) in blocked shots (184; No. 1 is Jelani McCoy, 188, 1996-98). Gadzuric was the 42nd Bruin in history to score 1000 or more points (1,287, No. 29).
Matt Barnes, F, 6-7, Citrus Heights (Del Campo HS) - a starting forward for the Bruins the last two seasons, as a senior in 2001-02, Barnes started 31 (of 31) games, averaging 30.7 minutes (No. 2 on the team), 13.5 points (No. 3), 6.2 rebounds (No. 2), 3.5 assists (No. 1) and 1.1 steals (No. 2). Had a two-game stretch midway through last season earning the Sports Illustrated National and Pac-10 Player of the Week honor for his efforts vs. USC at The Forum (a career-high 34 points (12-17, 7(tied school record for three-pointers in a game)-11,3-4), five rebounds, two assists) and in UCLA's victory vs. No. 1 Kansas at Pauley Pavilion (27 points (10-14, 3-4, 4-6), five rebounds, two assists, one steal). Barnes ended the season with two big games in the 2002 NCAA Tournament - vs. Cincinnati in UCLA's double overtime win against the West Region No. 1 seed Bearcats (17 points, eight rebounds, a career-high 11 assists, one blocked shot, three steals) and Missouri (23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and steal). Barnes was a 2002 second-team NABC Dist. 15 selection. Ended his career (121 games and 66 starts) as the 43rd player in school history to score over 1,000 points (1,066).
Billy Knight, G, 6-6, Los Angeles (Westchester HS) - a full-time starter as a senior (tying the school record for games (33) and starts (33), during Knight's five-year Bruin career (he redshirted in 1998-99), he appeared in 117 games and started 61. As a senior last season, he averaged 29.0 minutes (No. 3 on the team), 14.1 points (No. 2), 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals (No. 1) and was second on the squad in three-pointers (60) and in FT% (82.6, 114-138). In 2002, Knight scored a career-best 32 points vs. Washington State in Pauley (9-13, 6-9, 8-8) and ended the season with three consecutive double scoring games in the 2002 NCAA Tournament (Mississippi-21 points, a career-high tying seven rebounds; Cincinnati - 12 points; Missouri-16 points). As a junior in 2001, his 22 points at No. 1 Stanford helped lead the Bruins to their second straight win at Palo Alto and started an eight-game winning streak. Ended his Bruin career No. 4 in three-pointers (137), No. 5 in 3pt. FG attempts (340) and No. 7 in 3pt.% (40.3).
Lavin on Departing Senior Starters - "It will be very hard to replace the knowledge, experience and talent of these three players. Dan has been our starting center for the last four years and during his Bruin career he was one of the nation's top players in the post. Matt is a true athlete who really came on during his final two years and has now positioned himself to play at the next level. Billy was a consistent performer for us throughout his UCLA career and one of the top three-point shooters in the Pac-10."
b. THE BRUINS ALSO LOSE ONE OTHER SENIOR LETTERMAN 6-5 senior captain Rico Hines
Rico Hines, F/G, 6-5, Greenville, NC (Hargrave Military Academy/Saint John's at Prospect Hall/ D. H. Conley HS) - as UCLA's senior captain last season (starting 12 of 29 games), Hines was the Bruins' top defensive player and emotional leader. Was inserted into the Bruin starting lineup last season after a 2-2 start and UCLA won nine games in a row (and 10 of 11), including wins over nationally-ranked Alabama at the Wooden Classic, Georgetown and No. 1 Kansas. Missed three games in the middle of the season with a concussion, then injured his right knee (that required surgery) in UCLA's double overtime NCAA second round victory vs. No. 1 West Region seed Cincinnati. Scored a season-high seven points vs. Mississippi in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. In his Bruin five-year career (he redshirted in 2000-01), Hines appeared in 101 games (starting 27) and averaged 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds.
Lavin on Rico Hines - "Rico was our inspirational leader last season. Early last season, we won nine straight games when Rico was in the starting lineup. That's just one indication of how important he was to last year's team. He's the type of player every coach wants and every team needs - setting picks, diving after loose balls, playing defense, taking charges, getting rebounds - those are all the things that Rico did for our program during his career."