Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Tyler Honeycutt Show
Reeves Nelson and Brendan Lane were in street clothes on Thursday night, meaning coach Ben Howland would be without two of his big men against Oregon State.
Due to the injuries, senior Nikola Dragovic shifted to the center spot -- though the term is used loosely since the 6-foot-9 forward hovered around the three-point line anyway. Without an inside presence, UCLA allowed 21 offensive rebounds, yet still found a way to win 65-56 at Pauley Pavilion.
Freshman Tyler Honeycutt, the best rebounder on the team, was a big part of that. The lanky 6-foot-7 forward stepped up in Nelson's absence, posting his third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The 18 points were a career-high (previous was 14) for Honeycutt, who also had a career-high five blocked shots.
"I knew I was going to have to rebound a lot more, especially because we were smaller," Honeycutt said afterward.
No other UCLA player had more than three rebounds. Dragovic grabbed two in 35 minutes and sophomore J'mison Morgan, who stands at 6-foot-10, did not have any in 12 minutes.
"They have a freshman [Honeycutt] who stood up and played like a senior tonight," Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said.
Morgan got an opportunity just three minutes in when Howland called on him after Dragovic injured his shoulder while diving for a loose ball. He received a nice response after blocking a shot, but then missed a dunk shortly after to balance his book. With Honeycutt playing the way he was, Morgan took a seat next to Nelson for much of the second half.
When Howland interrupted the course of his press conference to ask Honeycutt how many double-doubles he had this season, Honeycutt answered correctly.
"That’s great, see, he knows," Howland said with a wide grin. "It’s a good thing to know. We want him to know. There’s no such thing as a selfish rebounder."
Having lost three of four heading into Thursday, UCLA sure needed one.