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By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Local college and professional basketball teams look good


January 14, 2021


UCLA's Tyger Campbell pushes the ball up the court.

The season is still early but if the early returns are factual the UCLA men's basketball team, USC men's basketball team and the UCLA women's basketball team are moving in the right direction. Throw in the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers and the local basketball landscape in Los Angeles looks very impressive during this pandemic season.

Despite the challenges presented by the virus these teams have been successful so far this season. The Lakers have the best record in the NBA at 9-3. At press time (January 12) the Clippers were tied for third place in the NBA with three other teams with a record of 7-4.

In college basketball the UCLA women's team is 7-2 and ranked No. 8 in the country. The Bruins men's team is in first place in the Pac-12 with a conference record of 5-0 and an overall record of 9-2. The USC men's team is 8-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

The Lakers are led by their two superstars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis but what makes this team as good or better than their championship team last season is their role players and just like last season, they are determined to be the best defensive team in the NBA.

Players that are filling their roles to perfection are guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and first year Lakers Wesley Matthews and Dennis Schroder. Role players in the front court are Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris and first year Laker players Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol.

The Clippers are led by their two stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Their role players are guards Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann and first year Clipper Luke Kennard. Their front court is led by first year Clippers Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum. Also, in the front court is Ivica Zubac, Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris Sr.

Leonard scored his 10,000th point last Sunday against the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center. Ask how he is able to be at the top of his game for so many years Leonard said, "Hard work and dedication. I spend hours in the gym. Nothing was expected of me. I just grind it out every day."

The UCLA men's basketball team is led by sophomore Jamie Jaquez who is averaging 12.8 points per game, Johnny Juzang at 11.4 points per game, point guard Tyger Campbell is scoring 11.6 points per game and forward Cody Riley is averaging 10.1 points per game.

Other players that are performing at a high level for the Bruins are guards Jules Bernard, Jake Kyman and David Singleton. In the front court they have Jalen Hill. The most surprising thing about this Bruin team is they lost their best player, Chris Smith to a knee injury a few weeks ago and they are still in first place in the Pac-12.

The USC men's basketball team is led by freshman sensation 7'0 Evan Mobley. Evan is averaging 16.2 points per game and a nine rebounds per game. His sophomore brother, Isaiah Mobley is scoring 9.7 points per game and grabbing eight rebounds per game. Transfer senior Tahi Eaddy is the second leading scorer on the team at 12.5 points per game. Another transfer student, Drew Peterson is averaging 10.4 points per game.


UCLA forward Cody Riley gets ready to score.

The highly ranked UCLA's women's basketball team just happens to be playing in the best college conference in the nation. Five teams are ranked in the top 25 and three of the teams are in the top 10. Stanford is the No. 1 team in the nation and the first-place team in the Pac-12.

Although the Bruins are the 8th ranked team in the nation, they are in fifth place in the Pac-12. The second-place team is No. 25 Washington State, the third-place team is No. 10, Oregon, the fourth-place team is No. 11, Arizona and USC is the sixth-place team in the conference. This is the first time in school history that Washington State ranked in the top 25.

The Bruins are led by senior, Michaela Onvenwere who averaging 18.7 points per game and eight rebounds per game, Charisma Osborne is averaging 17 points per game and Natalie Chou is averaging 11 points per game.


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