UCLA basketball’s twin 6’9″ forwards David and Travis Wear had a strong Pac-12 tournament that is reminiscent of another Bruin big man that had a solid postseason showing in recent memory. If you recall, current Los Angeles Clipper, Ryan Hollins, had also made an impressive post-season impact for the Bruins in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
There are several parallels that arise with the emergence of the Wear’s postseason production to that of the former Bruin. For Hollins, he had to adjust to a coaching change from Steve Lavin to Ben Howland. For the Wears, it was the change from Howland to Steve Alford (technically you could throw in Roy Williams from North Carolina as well).
In Hollins’ senior regular-season he was often overshadowed by Howland’s recruits, Aaron Afflalo, Darren Collison, Jordan Farmar and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. For the Wears, it is Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Zach LaVine and Norman Powell who often took most of the regular season accolades.
Both Hollins and the Wears are not the first guys you think of when you mention their teams, but what their respective teams have done cannot have happened without these players. That has been evident in the post season for all three of them.
In 2006, Hollins had a late-season surge that was impressive and game changing. His performance lead him to be the Most Outstanding Player of the West Region in Oakland after he helped UCLA to their first of three Final Fours. In their Elite Eight game against Memphis, against a John Calipari coached team, Hollins had 14 points and 9 rebounds. He was also part of this…
The Wears showed similar heart in UCLA’s Pac-12 tournament run. In the regular season, Travis averaged 7.0 points per game while David got 6.7. In the Pac-12 tourney, they were mad men. In each of the three games agains the Pac-12, both Wears, believe it or not, were the spark that got the Bruins going. Travis averaged 11.0 ppg while David also increased his to 8.3. This also happened…
— Bruin Country™ (@UCLA_Nation) March 18, 2014
Travis Wear diving for the ball against Arizona’s Aaron Gordon and calling a timeout in a crucial late game hustle play which instantly became one of the best moments of the season for UCLA.
What Hollins did set the standard for role players stepping up and taking charge. Now, neither of the Wears may not claim the Most Outstanding Player in the 2014 South Region, but there is a lot of heart they have shown lately which is reminiscent of Hollins. This makes it a very exciting time to watch the Wears, among all the Bruins fighting for success in this tournament.
Maybe it is the time of season. Maybe it is because they are seniors stepping up. Whatever it is, their efforts will definitely be needed to help take this UCLA team as far as they can go.
It all starts again on Friday when UCLA takes on Tulsa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Go Bruins. Go Wears.