After senior James Keefe suffered yet another injury to his left shoulder and opted for season-ending surgery, freshman Brendan Lane was thrown into the fire. The 6-foot-9 forward showed glimpses -- highlighted by a career-high 11 points in a loss at Washington -- but was overmatched inside by bigger and stronger opponents. Lane played in 27 games and in that span, made exactly 27 field goals. After UCLA's loss to California in the Pac-10 Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday night, coach Ben Howland said he envisions Lane being a "good, solid player" for the Bruins in the years to come.
Blair Angulo: Your playing time increased once James went down, how much did you learn in terms of knowing what to expect next year?
Brendan Lane: It definitely helped a lot to get game experience, see how it is out there and learn about the little things. I got tougher and stronger and overall more confident.
Angulo: What did you learn this season?
Lane: The first day of practice I realized how much more physical it was and how much stronger you need to be. Every day, every practice, every game -- you just have to be tougher and stronger.
Angulo: Minutes ago, coach Howland said you're going to be an important piece to the puzzle in years to come. What do you feel like you need to improve on to be that piece?
Lane: Definitely my lateral quickness, strength, quickness, size -- everything to help this team.
Angulo: How much do you weigh right now and how much do you want to weigh at the start of next season?
Lane: I'm around 210 right now. I can put on 20 pounds easily without losing quickness.
Angulo: How soon will you start your offseason training?
Lane: I'm taking two weeks off to get healthy and rest my ankle. I bruised my ribs the other day, but once I get healthy I can start lifting and start individual workouts.
Angulo: This is all physical stuff you're talking about, but how much of the offseason will you spend in the film room studying tape?
Lane: A lot. I've just got to learn from what I didn't do this year. I've got to study what other players did to succeed. I want to learn as much as I can.
Angulo: What's the status of this program moving forward?
Lane: It was a disappointing season, but we, the guys that are still going to be here, have to work hard. Next year, we have to focus on our problems and get better.