UCLA has a handful of dynamically talented players capable of achieving some remarkable feats this season.
That notion is becoming the consensus around the nation, as star sophomores Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson were named on the early-season Naismith Award watch list Thursday.
However, Adams and Anderson aren’t the only pair of Bruins who are on the national radar this season.
Emerging sophomore center Tony Parker is turning heads with his newly refined skill set, and guard Zach LaVine is proving that he can have an instant impact in his freshman season.
As UCLA continues nonconference play, here are predictions for what each regular’s stat line will look like at the end of the season.
2012-12: 15.3 PTS 3.8 REB 1.8 AST 2.2 STL 1.2 TO
2013-14: 18.4 PTS 4.1 REB 1.8 AST 2.5 STL 1.3 TO
After a tremendous freshman season, Jordan Adams is a legitimate contender for Pac-12 Player of the Year as a sophomore.
The 6’5” shooting guard will be UCLA’s most reliable scorer this season, and if he can boost up last year's percentage from the three-point line (30.7 percent) he’ll be unstoppable.
Adams is one of the premier players in the nation, so it's no wonder that he's been named to the Naismith Award watch list.
2012-13: 9.7 PTS 8.6 REB 3.5 AST 1.8 STL 2.1 TO
2013-14: 11.2 PTS 9.8 REB 5.4 AST 2.0 STL 2.9 TO
Because of his limited shooting range, Kyle Anderson's scoring will suffer a bit as he handles the Bruins' point guard duties. Nonetheless, Anderson will be a key offensive contributor for UCLA this season.
Anderson constantly finds creative ways to score, and if the 6’9” guard can hone his outside shooting—particularly from beyond the arc (21.1% 3PT in 2012-13)—he can help carry this team to spectacular places.
Anderson is certainly a unique talent on this Bruins' roster.
2012-13: 2.4 PTS 1.2 REB 0.1 STL 0.3 BLK 0.3 TO
2013-14: 7.9 PTS 7.2 REB 0.5 STL 1.4 BLK 1.8 TO
Tony Parker has been unleashed, and the Pac-12 better watch out.
Fortunately for the Bruins, Parker has not been the untamed, foul-tallying machine that he was last season.
With the help of head coach Steve Alford, the 6’9'', 255-pound center has finally harnessed the energy and tenacity that had college coaches salivating over him when he was a top recruit.
Parker still has plenty of room for improvement, but he’s on the right track and will be a valuable interior presence for UCLA this season.
2012-13: 6.1 PTS 2.2 REB 1.1 AST 0.7 STL 1.1 TO
2013-14: 8.1 PTS 3.1 REB 2.0 AST 1.9 AST 1.2 TO
Norman Powell is thriving as a junior in his new role at UCLA.
After a mixed experience with former head coach Ben Howland, Coach Alford is entrusting Powell with a leadership role—a position the immensely athletic guard has responded well to.
Through three nonconference games, Powell is averaging 13.3 points per game. Though Powell's play has been quite impressive, his average will more likely hover around eight points a contest when the Bruins begin to play more challenging opponents.
2012-13: 10.9 PTS 5.2 REB 0.7 STL 1.0 BLK 1.4 TO
2013-14: 11.8 PTS 6.5 REB 0.7 STL 1.3 BLK 1.3 TO
Travis Wear has not played a minute of his senior season due to appendicitis, but when he finally steps on the court he’ll have a good season to cap off his collegiate career.
After improving his jump shot tremendously last season, Wear became a versatile asset for UCLA and hit some clutch shots when the Bruins needed it.
When Travis Wear returns, the 6’10” forward will likely take the spot of twin brother David, who has been holding down the fort with 11.3 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game as a starter.
2012-13: 7.1 PTS 5.0 REB 0.5 STL 0.3 BLK 0.9 TO
2013-14: 7.8 PTS 6.0 REB 0.6 STL 0.5 BLK 0.9 TO
David Wear has gotten off to a good start in his final collegiate season.
Although David has been starting at forward for UCLA in the early stages of the season, he will likely return to the bench once his brother Travis recovers from appendicitis.
Nevertheless, D. Wear will be an important bench player for the Bruins’ frontcourt, particularly if Tony Parker reverts to his heavy-fouling ways.
2013-14: 8.2 PTS 3.7 REB 2.1 AST 1.4 STL 1.1 TO
Regardless of what role he plays this season, Zach LaVine will be dynamic for UCLA when he’s on the court.
Whether Coach Alford opts to transition him into the starting point guard role or keep him coming off the bench, LaVine brings the kind of energy that can bolster the Bruins in any situation.
In addition to his emphatic dunks, the 6’5” guard can also handle the ball well, which is a priceless asset for a young team.
2013-14: 4.3 PTS 1.1 REB 2.6 AST 0.8 STL 1.3 TO
Bryce Alford is a very skilled player, but he can be a bit overzealous at times.
Nonetheless, Alford—who is the son of UCLA’s new head coach Steve Alford—is a natural-born leader with a knack for making plays.
It’s still uncertain though what Alford’s role will be in his freshman season.
He’ll likely play 20 minutes a night, but in the event that a starting guard gets injured or underperforms, Alford could be called upon for some extra production off the bench.
2013-14: 3.7 PTS 2.5 REB 0.2 STL 0.3 BLK 0.4 TO
Until he sustained a nasty injury under his eye that required surgery, Noah Allen was establishing himself well in his freshman season.
However, with this injury and the impending arrival of fellow freshman forward Wanaah Bail to the lineup, Allen may not see too much time on the court this season.
At 6’6” he doesn’t deliver the size that UCLA needs in its front court, but he does provide the team with some additional depth.