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February 23, 2004The UCLA Bruins basketball season end is drawing near this Bruin team stands at 11-12 overall and 7-8 in Pac10 play. Most Bruin fans feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and most agree it is not an oncoming train. Why is there such hope for the UCLA basketball program? You can start with the coaching of Ben Howland and his staff and the group of talented players coming in next fall.
All four of UCLA's recruits are expected to help the program as true freshmen. One of this team's biggest weaknesses is their shooting ability. All four players have the ability to put the ball in the hole.
Let's take a quick look at how UCLA's class of incoming freshmen has faired their senior year in high school.
One of the incoming freshmen will be having his number retired this Wednesday Evening on February 25th.
The player getting his number retired is future Bruin point guard Jordan Farmar (6-2, 170) from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft.
Farmar has thus far led Taft to a 23-3 record heading into the second playoff game against always Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw this Wednesday night when he will have his number retired.
Farmar is averaging 27.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.3 apg and 4.1 spg. Stats mean nothing to Farmar he is all about winning and he doesn't care how the job of winning gets done, as long as it gets done. His type of hardnosed attitude is just what the doctor ordered.
Farmar was selected to play in the McDonald's All-American game.
Farmar isn't the only incoming frosh to be selected to play in the prestigious MacDonald All-American game, two-guard Arron Afflalo (6-5, 205) from Compton (Calif.) Centennial will also play in the game.
Like Farmar, Afflalo has some unfinished business as he and his Centennial teammates will be hooking up against West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade in the playoffs Tuesday evening (February 24th). Headlining Chamimade is UCLA bound wide receiver Marcus Everett (6-1, 190, 4.4).
Afflalo is one of the main reasons that Centennial is 26-2. He is currently averaging 22.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 5.4 apg. Afflalo hitting 60.4% of his shots from the field. He also hits his three's at 44.6%.
Josh Shipp (6-6, 205) a swingman from Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax has helped Fairfax to 21-4 record and the number one seed in the Los Angeles section playoffs.
Shipp is a sharpshooter who is hitting on 67% of his shots from the floor and is leading the section in scoring averaging 30.3 ppg. He also averages 5.9 rpg and 4.7 apg. Shipp hits on 80% of his free throws and 41.9% beyond the three-point line.
Interesting enough Shipp will go up against his future teammate power forward Lorenzo Mata (6-8, 200) from South Gate, Calif., in a playoff game this Wednesday evening at Fairfax high at 7:30 PM.
Mata is a banger, the kind of player that the Bruins could have used this season.
Mata is a tireless worker who diligently works on improving his game. He averages 22.6 ppg and 13.1 rpg.
The Bruins have one more scholarship to give and are still actively recruiting five-star swingman Malik Hairston (6-7, 201) from Detroit (Mich.) Renaissance.
Hairston is averaging 21 ppg.