UCLA men’s basketball coach Ben Howland announced today that 6-foot-8-inch sophomore forward/center Ryan Wright will not be returning for next season. Wright, from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada will transfer to play his final years at another school.
Wright will leave UCLA after the spring semester and hasn’t made a decision as to where he will transfer.
Early Offseason All-Rookie Team Projection
G. Derrick Rose - Memphis
G. OJ Mayo - USC
G. Nick Calathes - Florida
F. Michael Beasley - Kansas state
C. Kevin Love - UCLA
G. Eric Gordon - Indiana
G. Austin Freeman - Georgetown
F. Corey Stokes - Villanova
F. Donte Green - Syracuse
F. Alex Tyus - Florida
G. Corey Chandler - Rutgers
G. Alex Legion - Michigan
F. Kyle Singler - Duke
F. JaJuan Johnson - Purdue
C. DeAndre Jordan - Texas A&M
1. UCLA - Back to back Final Four trips could yield championship if Afflalo returns.
2. Kansas - Even if one of Rush or Wright go pro, this is a top 5 team.. but there's a good chance they wont win it all.
3. North Carolina - This assumes Wright is gone but Hansbrough returns. This team is still loaded regardless.
4. Memphis - Even without Derrick Rose, Calipari's squad is primed for a Final Four run.
5. Louisville - With continued improvement from Derrick Caracter, there's no limit to the Cards success.
The best thing about the NCAA Tournament is no matter what happens, the Final Four always has an air of excitement. There are always BCS Championships, World Series and NBA Finals that no one seems to care about (i.e. last season’s World Series, the 2002 and 2003 NBA Finals, every college football game ever played besides 2005’s USC-Texas). But the Super Bowl and Final Four always draw attention (whether it be for gambling purposes or not) and this year is no different. We have last year’s champ and runner-up, the No.
And then there were four.
There were 61 other teams who swear they could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve been playing for one more weekend, yet there are plenty of reasons why this particular foursome remains.
North Carolina collapsed. Kansas faltered. Memphis didn’t defend. And Oregon ran out of bullets. They are no longer at the party. For those Elite Eight teams, the dance is over.
But this isn’t about the dearly departed, this is about four schools who are deserving of dancing past midnight.
Best Performance: Greg Oden, Ohio State
One can only imagine Coach John Calipari’s reaction.
Trying to get ready for his Elite Eight showdown with the #1 team in the country, a team on a 20 game winning streak, he opens up the newspaper or turns on the TV and discovers what his star forward Joey Dorsey had been saying about his match-up with Greg Oden:
"I'm an underrated big man and he's a lot overrated as a big man."
"I'm going to have a 20-rebound night.."
"I'm Goliath… he's the little man."