UCLA Basketball: Kevon Looney’s Impact


Freshman phenom Kevon Looney has proven huge for the Bruins through the beginning of the season, but his value is underrepresented by the stat sheet. Though he has logged impressive numbers over 12 games, which round out to 13.5 PPG and 10.8 RPG, to see his true value, you have to see him play. Watching him live in the loss to Gonzaga made his scoring abilities clear. He’s dynamic, he’s fluent with his body, and trusts himself to get the job done against any defender.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

Though not trigger happy like Bryce Alford, he’s also not as streaky of a shooter, and his stability has brought a sense to the court that UCLA has lacked in recent years. With the body type of Kevin Durant, and the midrange scoring of Durant as well, his talents have allowed UCLA to win games they otherwise wouldn’t have even been in. Should he bulk up and develop a substantial post game that threatens defenses of all sizes, the Bruin offense will open up and, with the shooters on the team, when it rains, it’ll pour.

Looney also brings a sense of comfort to Bruin fans that went missing as soon as Russell Westbrook stepped on the court in Pauley Pavilion. Westbrook played shooting guard for the Bruins, as they had Darren Collision bringing the ball up the court and running the offense — though Westbrook did too.

Constantly outsized, the past few seasons have seen forwards playing center due to the Bruins’ size disadvantage. Unlike Westbrook, UCLA’s new scoring machine and freak athlete plays his true position at power forward thanks to the size of Thomas Welsh and Tony Parker. The 6’9″ forward, who weighs in at 220 pounds, was practically the entire UCLA team when they faced off abysmally against Kentucky. Though abysmal is a generous description of the Bruins during that game, Looney was far from it. If Steve Alford plans on getting his 500th career win anytime soon, he should be game-planning for the strengths of Kevon Looney — which are all over the court.