Chat with UCLA's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
|UCLA's Luc Mbah a Moute is looking to lead UCLA to another Final Four run.|
Mbah a Moute was among ESPN.com's Impact 25, a list of 25 players, administrators and coaches that will be in the news this season. Mbah a Moute is one of nine returning players that made the list. You can also rank ESPN.com's Impact 25 teams.
The Bruins' impressive run last season ended in a 73-57 loss to Florida in the national championship game. UCLA finished with a 32-7 record. Mbah a Moute was a key component to UCLA's postseason charge. In six games in the tournament, he averaged 10.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. In the Bruins' 59-45 Final Four win over LSU, Mbah a Moute scored 17 points to go with his nine rebounds.
For the season, Mbah a Moute scored 9.1 points per game, starting 38 of the 39 games in which he played. He shot over 53% from the field, while pulling in over eight rebounds a game.
Mbah a Moute and the Bruins open the season November 15 at home against BYU. UCLA plays in the Maui Invitational from November 20-22. For more on UCLA athletics, check out the Bruins' home page.
Send your questions and comments now and join Mbah a Moute in chat at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Check out the other Midnight Madness chats SportsNation has lined up for Friday afternoon: (all times Eastern)
1:30 p.m. - Duke's Josh McRoberts
2 p.m. - Villanova's Curtis Sumpter
3 p.m. - ESPN NCAA MBB analyst Jay Bilas
3:30 p.m. - Pittsburgh's Aaron Gray
Buzzmaster (2:32 PM)
Luc is here to answer your questions!
Chris (Westwood, CA)
At the first game I saw you play in last year the student section couldn't pronounce your name and just chanted Luke Richard. Now your name is heard everywhere on campus. How has this transition been for you?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:33 PM)
It's been good. It always feels good when someone pronounces your name right. I'd like for them to say my name right, but as long as they keep cheering, that's cool, too.
Buzzmaster (2:33 PM)
How do you pronounce your name?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:34 PM)
Luke Richard BAH-ah-MOO-tay
Luc, Huge fan of yours. Do you think the team will be more up tempo this year with Darren at the point or do you think Coach Howland's style is just more of grind it out?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:35 PM)
I think we should be able to run some more like you said, because Darren and the talent we have now should let us do that. Sometimes we'll run, but other times we'll set it up and run the plays.
Kevin (San Jose, CA)
Luc, who was the most difficult player you had to guard one-on-one last year?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:36 PM)
Leon Powe from Cal. He's strong, tough and he's a really good player. He's a good scorer and can do anything inside.
What do you think that you and your teamates need to do in order to take UCLA back to the championships?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:36 PM)
I think we just need to work harder. Everybody's gotta bring his best, because now we have the bullseye on our chest. We have to work hard in practice and do everything right.
Mark (Los Angeles, CA)
Hey Luc looking forward to seeing you and the rest play at Pauley this year. I know you played a lot of guard in High School but last year you flourished as the starting PF. My question is if you feel more comfortable on the perimiter or in the paint? Also are you focusing on developing more of your inside our outside game?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:38 PM)
I feel more comfortable outside, but I'm learning to play inside now. It really makes no difference - I'm just a basketball player - if I have someone small on me, I'll go down on the block and if I'm on the outside, I can create for others.
Craig, Los Angeles
Hi Luc: First, great season, you and the rest of the Bruins provided lots of enjoyment and proud moments for us UCLA fans last year and we are looking forward to this season. Can we expect to see you take a few more threes this year?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:39 PM)
To me, it's not about taking threes. I'm just trying to be consistent with my shot whether it's a 3 or a mid-range. I've been working on it all summer and trying to get better in every aspect of the game to help my team win.
Carl (LA, CA)
Luc, what's your major and have you perfected how to balance school with basketball?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:40 PM)
My major is global studies. I'm undecided right now, but that's where I'm headed. It's like having a job and playing at the same time. But it's a great school, we've got counselors and tutors. You just go to class, pay attention and do the right thing.
Jon: (Los Angeles, CA)
Luc, you were definitely the biggest surprise on the team last year, which individual will be the team's biggest surprise this year?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:41 PM)
As of right now, I can't answer that question. Last year at this time, there were 4 or 5 freshman and we didn't know who it would be. But I can say the freshman will continue a good amount.
How did you end up at UCLA? And how would you describe Ben Howland's coaching style and how he relates to his players?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:42 PM)
I was recruited by UCLA my junior year. I visited the school and I really liked the academic side of it and the basketball obviously is great. Coach Howland is great, not only as a coach but he cares about you as a person. He really wants you to succeed and I have a good relationship with him and I think everyone on the team does.
Tim: Westwood, CA
Seeing as how strict your parents are about your education and your ambitions to become the president of Cameroon, do you see yourself staying at UCLA until you graduate rather than making the early jump to the NBA? I sure hope so!
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:43 PM)
My ambition is not to become president of Cameroon. That's Alfred Aboya's. I'd like to finish and go to grad school. But I'd love to play professionally, but I've just got to wait for the right time.
Julian (Los Angeles
Luc, Describe your reaction the first time you saw a "Moute kicks Boute" shirt on campus.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:45 PM)
I couldn't understand it at first. I was trying to figure out what the shirt was. I saw my number on the back and I saw the print, but I didn't realize it at first. One of my teammates told me about it. I was happy that people are supporting me and it meant I must be doing something good. I appreciate the student section doing that for me.
Kevin (San Jose, CA)
Luc, you were one of the most enjoyable players to watch this last year at UCLA. Can you describe the feeling that you had when you saw Jordan Farmar steal the ball from Batista? Did time slow down?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:46 PM)
You know what, I don't even know what to say. I just saw Jordan with the ball and I said 'we got the ball' and I had to run back. Everything happened so quick that I can't even describe the feeling I had. I was happy, worried, scared, all that at the same time.
Nate (State College)
Is it easy to get distracted in LA?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:48 PM)
It can be, but to me, I'm in Westwood and I stay here. They have pretty much everything here - movie theaters, malls - and you're busy with school and basketball. But you definitely could get distracted. I'm pretty much focused on school and basketball.
Luc, who do you look for to be your biggest challenger for the PAC10 title this year?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:49 PM)
Pac-10's going to be very competitive this year. If I had to say someone, I'd say Arizona because of who they've got coming back. USC will be tough, too, and Washington as well. That's what you want, your conference to be competitive.
Jon (Arcadia, CA)
When you were growing up...Which athlete(s) did you look up to? why?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:50 PM)
In basketball it was Michael Jordan, because I think he's the greatest. In soccer, I was looking up to Roger Milla from Cameroon and Ronaldo. I just like their style of play.
Who's the funniest player on the team? ANy pranksters?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:51 PM)
Alfred Aboya. He's a clown.
Ron (Pasadena, CA)
I wish you much success this year... my question is what is the one thing that you want people to know about your home, Cameroon?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:52 PM)
That it's a very beautiful country and it's nothing like what they show about Africa on TV. I would invite everyone to go and check it out. It's one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Maria (Los Angeles)
I know you must miss your family. Did you get a chance to visit them? And what is your favorite American food now?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:53 PM)
I haven't got a chance to go back, but my mom and dad come to visit me and my brothers. And as far as food goes, I would ask you one question, what is American food?
Luc, are you excited to go to Maui for the preseason tourney? Have you ever been to the island before? What do you guys think your chacnes are of winning that tourney?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:54 PM)
I'm very excited. Maui's obviously one of the biggest tournaments and it's going to help us a lot, especially in terms of NCAA seeding. If we do everything all right, we should be fine. In HS, we played in Honolulu, so I'm very excited about going back to Hawaii again.
Ben (Los Angeles, CA)
Hey Luc, I was looking at the pictures from UCLA's media day, and you look a lot bigger and stronger than last year. Did you put on weight over the summer?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:57 PM)
No, not a lot. I just got a little stronger. By the end of the season, I was weighing 225. And now I'm 230-232. I just got a little stronger. Thanks for the compliment.
Jon (Washington, DC)
Luc, Did you know Alfred before you both came to UCLA? Do your families know each other?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:58 PM)
Yes, I did know Alfred before I came to UCLA. He's a year older than I am, so he was playing in a different category. We both left for here at the same time. My dad and his dad know each other, so it's really cool. He's like a brother to me.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2:59 PM)
Thank you for the questions. I'm glad everyone got to come on here and talk to me. It was fun. Thank you for the support and I can't wait to get back out there and play. It should be exciting this year.
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