With the UCLA basketball team having an underwhelming 2018-19 season, Go Joe Bruin gives you three reasons to be hopeful for the 2019-20 season.
Let us face it, the product that the UCLA basketball team is putting out is not good. The Bruins are at the bottom of the conference standings, they are not likely to go far in the Pac-12 Tournament, and they do not have the resume to get invited into the NCAA Tournament.
The good thing is, there are a few reasons to be excited about the future. Despite this down season, I look at three things can bring hope heading into next season.
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The Bruins have talent but for some reason, it has not manifested into what many around the program hoped for, especially with some of the younger players.
That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been talent emerging, because those that have been paying attention know that David Singleton is a player that is shaping into a solid college basketball player.
Not only has he been a reliable role player, but in the last three games, he has been averaging 7.6 points per game off the bench.
He is playing smart, he is taking good shots, and he is quickly learning from his mistakes. Though he is making small strides at the present moment, it is setting up a foundation for him to become a leader next season.
The Return of Shareef O’Neal and Tyger Campbell
Before the season, the Bruins lost two key freshmen components to their roster, PF Shareef O’Neal and PG Tyger Campbell. Though both would have likely had backup roles this season, their presence, talent, and depth would have immensely helped the Bruins this season. Unfortunately, injury/health issues kept both of them out, but their return is something all Bruins fans are looking forward to.
Though Jaylen Hands is a serviceable point guard, Campbell is more of a true PG and his ability to run the team will help lift this team next season. As for O’Neal, he is recovering from heart surgery a few months ago and his journey back has been motivated by his love of basketball, so expect a spirited return by this Bruin big man next fall.
The Head Coach
Probably the biggest reason to have hope for the future is the arrival of UCLA basketball’s new coach. After Steve Alford was terminated midseason, the UCLA Atheltic Department was intent on getting the best coach available to come and lead the most storied program in college basketball history. But who will it be?
UCLA does not want to screw up this hire as they did with Alford. If anything, they are looking to make a solid hire similar to what they did for the football team by getting Chip Kelly. With enough time for the search and given the resources UCLA can afford the new coach, there is a good chance the Bruins land a proven, top-tier candidate.
It is painful to see what UCLA is going through right now, but keep your chin up Bruins fans. The only place to go from here is up. Go Bruins!