UCLA basketball has gotten off to a nice start (albeit against lesser competition), and all the narratives and the controversy surrounding UCLA has simmered down now (to a degree) now that actual games are being played.
One of the better pieces of news that has come out of China so far during the Bruins’ stay for exhibition play has been the remarkable play of far-less-heralded freshman Jordan Adams, a sharp-shooting wingman out of Georgia.
Because while Shabazz Muhammad is out while he is being investigated by the NCAA, Adams has made the most of his playing time ever since a shoddy 4-for-14 performance in UCLA’s exhibition opener.
Since that time, Adams has scored 38 points in two nights, going 16-for-32 from the floor, being one of the Bruins’ top two scorers in each game.
So the question is, with all this play, and considering that UCLA is so stacked at the wings (small forward and shooting guard), can Jordan Adams break the rotation, thus knocking off Tyler Lamb and ensuring that athletic point guard Norman Powell will be on the bench playing just the point behind Larry Drew II? Sure, these are just exhibition games against far less superior squads,
Lamb has made a case for his stay on the Bruins’ rotation (his most recent game saw him put up 15 points to go along with a game-high six steals), but if Howland decides that Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad are to start the two and three, then based on this summer alone, Adams has the edge over anyone to come off the bench for relief for either, while Norman Powell — if he’s worth being frustrated about — has a shot to overtake Lamb at the two.
We’ll see though. These are just preliminary thoughts, but you have to be impressed by Adams so far.