Will Reeves Nelson’s dismissal be a boost for the Bruins?
That’ll do it for Reeves Nelson at UCLA.
After two short suspensions for various issues this season, the junior was dismissed by coach Ben Howland Friday.
“After much thought and deliberation, I have made the decision to dismiss Reeves Nelson from the UCLA men’s basketball team effective immediately,” Howland said in a statement.
Nelson’s the Bruins’ best player and one of their most versatile, but the 6-8 forward – who was averaging just 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in almost 20 minutes a game this season – became a big enough distraction for his antics that he no longer became worth the hassle.
He had averaged 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds a game last season.
“It’s definitely a distraction and we don’t need any distractions. It’s tough enough to come together without being distracted,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a tough situation with them (the team) because many of them are close friends with Reeves off the floor.”
Now the question becomes if it’ll be addition by subtraction for UCLA.
The Bruins are just 2-5, with one win coming against Chaminade, a D-III school. They’re still loaded in the frontcourt with center Josh Smith, forwards Travis and Davis Wear and forward/center Anthony Stover. But guard scoring remains an issue as guys like Tyler Lamb and Jerime Anderson have underperformed thus far. Nelson could’ve helped the Bruins salvage this season, but losing a guy with an attitude can help. But on a team that desperately needs talent, I’m not sure it’ll do much.
But who knows? A little altered chemistry might be just what the Bruins need. Just don’t count on it.
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