UCLA Men’s Basketball Coach Mick Cronin Previews the Upcoming Season

Coach Cronin discusses the challenges and potential of the young Bruins squad.

With the season just around the corner, UCLA Men’s Basketball Coach Mick Cronin is gearing up for what promises to be an intense and thrilling campaign. As the Baby Bruins prepare for tip-off, Coach Cronin has been hard at work, ensuring his team is ready to face a daunting schedule.

Key Takeaways:

  • Coach Mick Cronin emphasizes the importance of building proper habits with his young team.
  • Notable mentions include praise for Lazar Stefanovic’s maturity, freshman Brandon Williams’ potential, and the shooting skills of Will McClendon and Aday Mara.
  • Senior big man Kenny Nwuba, the sole remaining player from Cronin’s Final Four team, brings experience and value to the roster.

In a recent press conference, Coach Cronin shed light on his coaching philosophy, particularly his emphasis on instilling good habits within his team. Given the youthful makeup of the squad, this presents its own set of challenges.

Cronin touched on various topics during the press conference, showcasing his thoughtful and insightful approach to coaching. He commended Lazar Stefanovic for his maturity on the court, highlighting the potential he brings to the team. Cronin also addressed the emergence of freshman Brandon Williams, recognizing his talent and contribution to the squad.

“They have no defensive habits and it’s not their fault. So, you can’t just think, ‘Well, we worked on that yesterday.’ It takes, like, sometimes two months, sometimes two years to get guys to habitually do the right things defensively — on the ball, off the ball, blocking out, just all the fundamental things. So that’s why older teams tend to have the advantage.”

– Cronin per LA Times

The coach didn’t forget to mention the sharpshooting skills of combo guard Will McClendon, emphasizing the importance of his role on the team. Additionally, Cronin praised Aday Mara’s skill set, acknowledging the value he brings to the table.

One player who received special recognition from Coach Cronin was senior big man Kenny Nwuba. Nwuba holds a unique position on the team as the only player who experienced Cronin’s Final Four run a few years ago. Despite potentially being the third big man on the team behind Bona and Mara, Nwuba’s maturity, physical condition, and experience make him an invaluable asset.

“Kenny’s the best nonstarter in America, is what I would tell you — America’s backup, But … I’m not saying he’s not going to start this year.”

– Cronin on Kenny Nwuba

While Coach Cronin acknowledges that the team has work to do before the season begins, he is optimistic about their potential. With time, this group is expected to come together, making UCLA a formidable opponent for any challenger on the horizon. As the season unfolds, fans can look forward to witnessing the growth and development of the Baby Bruins under Cronin’s watchful guidance.

Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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