Reeves Nelson’s future with UCLA unclear

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UPDATE: Nelson has been suspended indefinitely, according to ESPNLosAngeles.

UCLA’s season began with an embarrassing home loss to Loyola-Marymount, a team that won just 11 games last season. Coach Ben Howland called it a “a bad loss” for the then-No. 17 Bruins.

Didn’t take long for things to get worse.

Howland met Monday with junior Reeves Nelson, whose status on the team is now unclear, according to this report from the L.A. Times. Given that the 6-8 forward is the team’s best player, that’d be a big deal.

Nelson hasn’t quit, transferred or been dismissed, but it seems headed that way. Howland’s unhappy with Nelson’s demeanor and “a number of things of that nature.”

“I can’t comment any further until I sit and talk to him,” Howland told the paper.

Teammate Josh Smith says the Bruins are trying to stay focused on the season despite the Reeves issue. From the paper:

“I really don’t know how he’s feeling right now, to be honest,” Smith said. “I still take it as he’s part of the team.”

Asked whether he had spoken to Nelson about his status, Smith appeared to indicate that Nelson was thinking of quitting the team.

“I’ve talked to him, but there’s not really any information to tell me where he’s leaning,” Smith said. “I want him to stay.”

Smith’s no dummy. Nelson led the Bruins in scoring and rebounding last season. His loss would be huge for the Bruins’ season.

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