UCLA's Tyler Lamb gets to show off at 'home'

When the Bruins take on Cal State San Bernardino at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Sunday, the sophomore guard will play near Colony High, where he was a standout.

November 05, 2011|By Ben Bolch
  • UCLA guard Tyler Lamb drives under pressure against the California defense last season.
UCLA guard Tyler Lamb drives under pressure against the California defense… (Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire )

The UCLA men's basketball team's road show will start with what amounts to a home game for Tyler Lamb.

The sophomore guard spent two years at Colony High in Ontario and still has friends and family near Citizens Business Bank Arena, where the Bruins will play an exhibition game against Cal State San Bernardino at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

"It will be a good chance for everybody to finally get to watch me play again," Lamb said. "They haven't watched me play since high school."

They didn't miss much during Lamb's first year in Westwood. He averaged 2.6 points per game and made only 20.5% of his three-point shots, getting mocked on message boards as a shooting guard who couldn't shoot.

Though he had one of the best pump fakes around, often shedding defenders for open looks at the basket, Lamb seemed increasingly hesitant to shoot after making only one of his first 12 three-point shots.

Coach Ben Howland worked with Lamb in the off-season to remove the side spin from his shot, something that Lamb said has resulted in improved accuracy.

"I've been shooting the ball better," said Lamb, a likely starter. "Sometimes I've been watching my rotation and I have gotten back to the side rotation, but not a lot at all. It's something I can fix when I can see it."

Lamb said he also has resolved his hesitancy to shoot.

"Open shots, you have to take them because if you don't take an open shot I feel like it hurts your team more than it helps it," Lamb said. "When the shots come, I'm going to take them."

He also will defend the other team's best wing player.

"He's got a lot of fight in him and he's got good strength," Howland said, "so he's going to be a very good defender."

Shaping up?

Howland said he intensified the Bruins' conditioning efforts after observing in their closed scrimmage last week that they were physically drained as the result of practicing on a high-school length court on campus while Pauley Pavilion undergoes renovations.

"We really were sucking air, and definitely a part of it is not playing on [a regular] length of a court on a day-in and day-out basis," Howland said. "That's something we want to try to emphasize here this week."

Getting there

UCLA will offer bus service from Jackie Robinson Stadium to every "home" game starting Sunday. The fare will be $16 per person for round-trip transportation.

Buses depart two hours prior to tip-off except for the Arizona game Jan. 5, when they will leave three hours before the game. Tickets can be purchased by calling (310) UCLA-WIN.

Students will be bused for free from Jackie Robinson Stadium provided they reserve a spot in advance by calling the same number.

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