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UCLA's freshman Tony Parker
With the recent transfers of juniors Tyler Lamb and Josh Smith, UCLA quickly dropped from being a deep team to a team that will be stifled if one of its starters were to be injured.
Smith’s transfer has led to freshman forward/center Tony Parker taking his minutes as a backup big man for the Bruins. Although he has displayed promising potential as he continues to learn the ropes of the college game, he’s beginning to look increasingly like Smith with the alarming quantity of fouls he accrues in his time on the court (currently averages a foul every 3.7 minutes) and his sub-par offensive performance.
Lamb’s transfer has made sophomore guard Norman Powell, who was a starter earlier in the season, UCLA’s go-to guard off the bench. While Powell has improved his jump-shot and has been a consistent offensive contributor, he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. He singlehandedly blew the Bruins’ game against Cal Poly by being unaware of the score and intentionally fouling the opposition when the score was tied with seconds remaining in the game.
Then there’s David Wear, who has displayed a much more confident and accurate jump-shot this season like his brother, but also like his brother, isn’t much of a defender. While he can corral rebounds, he struggles to put in easy tip-in opportunities at the rim, which is a significant detriment to the Bruins.
Unfortunately, these three are the only bench players that UCLA has, as the remaining four players on the roster have played a collective total of 16 minutes this season and will only be placed in the game by necessity or in blowout games.