In a true non-conference road game for UCLA, the home team manhandled the Bruins. Cincinnati rained three pointers all night long, en route to a 93-64 win. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-=game report:
34 Jarron Cumberland (6’5 205) Cincinnati guard/forward- Junior
Cumberland led the Bearcats first half barrage, scoring 19 of his 25 points in the first twenty minutes. The junior shot 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-5 from the three-point line. He used his strong football-type build to bulldoze his way to the lane with both hands. He coupled his physicality with a nice jump shot on Thursday night. Scouts at the next level will question his lateral quickness and jumping ability. Cumberland did show the ability to switch from point guard to small forward, but whether he can keep up with the more athletic guards in the NBA remains a question mark.
33 Nysier Brooks (6’11 240) Cincinnati center-Junior
Brooks is tall, long and competes on both ends of the floor. The junior center is averaging eight points, five rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in 21 minutes of action this season. Against UCLA, Brooks dominated in 19 minutes of game time, totaling 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks. The Philadelphia native served as a defensive anchor for the Bearcats, who harassed the Bruins all night defensively.
“A lot of people are surprised by our toughness because our defense is something special," Brooks said after the game. "Nobody knows what it is, but it's something special."
Brooks does have a tendency to get into foul trouble and could help his draft stock by adding a few more post moves to his tool belt. With another year of seasoning, Brooks could intrigue scouts with his length and potential as a defensive difference maker.
13 Kris Wilkes (6’8 215) UCLA guard-Sophomore
Wilkes returned to UCLA after forgoing the NBA draft last spring. The sophomore guard is a catch-and-shoot scorer, who is also explosive going to the rim. Wilkes was the lone bright spot offensively for the Bruins, scoring 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting while going 5-of-8 from the three-point line. The Indianapolis native will serve best in the NBA as a shooting guard. He isn’t a primary ballhandler and isn’t asked at UCLA to set others up. Wilkes does rebound well for his slight build (averages four rebounds a game). Despite his lack of ball handling abilities, Wilkes is a great outlet passer and is able to set others up in transition once he grabs the rebound. Although a good shooter, he could stand to improve his percentage at the free throw line (67-percent in career). The athletic tools are in place for Wilkes to be a first round draft pick.