It was only a matter of time that UCLA’s best player and forward, Reeves Nelson got the boot. After being suspended for the second time after Saturday’s loss to Texas, Nelson was dismissed today according to a report from Greg Parrish of CBS Sports.
Nelson was UCLA’s best player, but he’s been a problem throughout his career because of his inability to be a decent teammate. The 6-foot-8 forward was suspended Tuesday for the second time this season after being benched during last weekend’s loss to Texas. Coach Ben Howland had previously given Nelson countless opportunities to correct his attitude but nothing ever changed. Consequently, the junior who received All-American consideration in the preseason is now off the team and free to transfer into another program that might be willing to take a troubled-but-gifted prospect.
It’s too soon to tell where Nelson will land, but one thing is sure for now: the Bruins will miss Nelson’s edge on the court immediately, as they struggle to rebound from a poor start to the season. As Derek Hart pointed out yesterday, John Wooden “would have certainly stayed away from Nelson and not have touched him with a fifty-foot pole.”
The Bruins host Penn tomorrow at the Honda Center in Anaheim, as they attempt to turn the page on the Nelson fiasco.