Coach Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins suspended senior point guard Jerime Anderson indefinitely last week and timing could not be any worse for the program. The announcement was made last week after the starting guard was charged with theft of a laptop on campus (remember Marucs Williams and AJ Price at UConn?). Well, the Bruins are on the heels of 2012 gem Shabazz Muhammed, who would only add to the hype surrounding the revival of this historic program.
Anderson had the second-highest assist rate on last season's 23-win team, all of which were going to be needed plus some as the five assists per game contributed by Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee departed for the NBA. The frontcourt is among the nation's best with beefy big Josh Smith in the middle, Reeves Nelson at power forward and two eligible-transfers in David and Travis Wear from UNC.
Senior Lazeric Jones will take over the full-time point duties in the meantime, were he succeeded last season with the team's highest assist-rate (25.7 percent), but is also the top returning scorer in the backcourt at 9 points per game. Freshman shooting guard, Norman Powell, an undersized, but ultra-athletic slasher, will have the first crack at the starting lineup, but Anderson's suspension hurts the already-shallow depth chart.