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Bozeman Develops by the Minute

January 15, 2002

It was time for Cedric Bozeman to increase his minutes.

But was the timing right? The opponent was No. 1-ranked Kansas and the freshman guard had not played well in three games since returning from a knee injury.

UCLA Coach Steve Lavin believed so, and Bozeman rewarded him by running the offense with confidence and playing intense defense in the Bruins' victory Saturday. He played 27 minutes--the same amount he logged in the three previous games combined.

Eventually, Bozeman will be a starter--as he was for four games before the injury. But Lavin is in no hurry because UCLA (12-3) has won 10 of 11 with senior Rico Hines in the lineup.

Hines' minutes dwindled to 11 against the Jayhawks, and the games in which he got 25 to 30 minutes might be over. It's Bozeman's turn to play more than half the time, especially if he plays as well as he did against Kansas.

"I think Rico will still be the starter, he does so many good things defensively," Lavin said. "But Ced has to play to improve and he has to play for us to get to where we want to be in March."

Bozeman had four points and three assists against Kansas, but he might be the type of player who contributes more than numbers.

"I thought Bozeman played very well, he's a good, big guard," Jayhawk Jeff Boschee said. "Their offense was very smooth when he was out there."

Steve Henson

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