Back in Southern California after spending the early part of the week at the Maui Invitational, UCLA men's basketball coach Ben Howland said troubled forward Reeves Nelson will not return to the starting lineup "any time soon."
Nelson, the team's leading scorer last season, was suspended for a game earlier this month for missing a team meeting.
After being reinstated, Nelson then missed the team bus to Los Angeles International Airport for the flight to Hawaii. He took a later flight, but still missed a players' banquet that preceded UCLA's opener against Chaminade. As punishment, Howland sat Nelson for the first half of the Bruins game against Chaminade. UCLA beat Chaminade before losing to Kansas in a semifinal and Michigan in the third-place game.
Howland said Nelson's past disciplinary issues and inconsistent attitude factored into the loss of his starting role.
"He's got to have a good attitude and be accountable for a while," Howland said. "I thought he did a good job in the second half of the Chaminade game and the Kansas game, but sometimes he slips back to his old practice habits and he's just got to get better."
The Bruins will be back in action Monday night against Pepperdine at the L.A. Sports Arena.
Dan Arritt is a regular contributor for ESPNLosAngeles.com.