UCLA Basketball: The 5 Key Players To UCLA’s Success in 2012-13

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3. The Wear Twins

Hey, how sick are you of David and Travis Wear being bundled into one person basically? I am, but this post sounds a lot less attractive if it reads “6 Key Players…”

Deal with it.

Jokes aside, the Wear Twins are going to be crucial this upcoming season, for a couple of things. First, they’re going to have to adjust to the likelihood that neither is starting and both become relegated to becoming incredibly-key role players coming off the bench. UCLA lacked a crap-load of depth and though the starting unit was mediocre, seeing guys like the Wear Twins, who were crucial to that mediocre unit, become bench guys is a freaking dream.

Because they’re versatile guys. (Although we’ve stated before on here that Travis Wear is definitely one of UCLA’s best returning players, and by default, better than David.) Both are somewhat-competent on the boards and both can convert high-percentage shots, with both scoring at nearly a 50 percent clip (Travis scored at above 50 percent from the floor). Having smart bigs on the floor (never at the same time; that’s friggin’ disaster) coming off the bench for a stacked starting five is huge for a team that, just last season, rotated Josh Smith (who started often but played the minutes of a back-up) and the Wear Twins for size.

Having these guys on the floor with either the aforementioned Larry Drew II or the soon-to-be-mentioned Bruin will ensure that there’ll be offensive options that the distributors can pass to and rely on to convert the shots created for them.

Speaking of that soon-to-be-mentioned Bruin…

2. Kyle Anderson

We mentioned that Kyle Anderson might just be UCLA’s MVP in 2012-13. It all goes back to the same reasons we had Larry Drew II listed at No. 4 in this list, as well as Shabazz Muhammad at No. 5.

UCLA has no shot-creators, whether those shots are created for the ball-handler himself, or for another teammate.

If you’ve checked the scouting reports on this kid, he seems like the kind of player that is exactly what UCLA needs.

Because his entire game is predicated on distributing the ball and helping teammates get open by playing angles and creating space off the dribble. The dude’s dangerous from mid- to long-range meaning players can’t exactly lay off him and dare him to score from the perimeter, but he’s also got better handles than most small forwards can keep up with and too much size .– at 6’8” — for point guards to lock on. In essence, he’s match-up hell, which means he’s going to have a hell of an easier time creating open looks for his teammates.

And that’s crucial, because this team has some players that can score if they’re put in that position. The Wear Twins are great examples, but with Shabazz Muhammad being a perimeter threat, seeing a Kyle Anderson-Shabazz Muhammad pick-and-pop (or just a damn screen with any of those two, if Ben Howland got creative) would be hardwood orgasm.

As we’ve said, UCLA’s point guard position is the one that seems to be most crucial to UCLA’s success. Although Anderson is a point forward, his ability to play the point is no freaking joke, both from a passing perspective and a scoring perspective.

If this dude can play the role everyone in Westwood thinks he’ll play, he very well could be UCLA’s most important player.

Unless someone else gets it together. Continue on to the next page to see who is the most integral to UCLA’s success.