It’s been a rough few years for the storied UCLA men’s basketball program.
After a few seasons with issues on-and-off the floor it appeared to be heading in a better direction under the new leadership of Steve Alford. But his tenure in Westwood didn’t get off on the right foot. The Bruins have had problems with several scholarship players over the years — Shabazz Muhammad, Reeves Nelson, Josh Smith just to name a few. The last thing they needed was for a walk-on to make the program look bad.
And that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday, as former CBT scribe and current Sporting News Associate Social Media Editor Troy Machir came across some questionable tweets.
Adria Gasol, a UCLA freshman center and younger brother of All-Star centers Pau and Marc, tweeted about George Zimmerman on Tuesday night … three days after the verdict.
The youngest Gasol has close to 8,900 followers, combine that with a sensitive subject, and you can imagine Gasol got negative feedback to his tweets. He later tweeted a link to a Reddit thread, and finally appeared to back off the initial tweet, in a response to a follower’s disagreement:
he killed, it was wrong. I don’t think he did it out of malice and maybe out of self defense. Nothing is right or wrong.
For what it’s worth, Gasol, who became a walk-on in August, didn’t play in a single game, and is currently not listed on the UCLA roster. So maybe Alford won’t have to worry about Gasol’s unpredictable tweets this winter. I’m sure he’ll have enough to deal with.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.