Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kyle Anderson played his first game in a UCLA uniform Saturday.
The game happened to take place in Beijing, China. Against Tsinghua University.
Hardly Kentucky, Duke or Kansas.
But the 6-foot-9 Anderson flashed his diverse talents by going for 11 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in UCLA’s 116-68 victory that kicked off a three-game trip. He has been playing a lot of point forward in the UCLA offense.
“I thought that Kyle did a great job,” UCLA head coach Ben Howland said of the North Bergen, N.J., native and former St. Anthony star. “He made some nice passes. I think he had six rebounds by halftime, so he rebounds the ball very well. He’s a very smart player.”
“It was great to finally be out on the court, especially in a different country, and to start the season off on a great note,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be a long season when we get to practices in October, but it feels great to get the win tonight.”
UCLA played without Anderson’s roommate, star freshman Shabazz Muhammad, who is back in Los Angeles awaiting clearance from the NCAA.
Tyler Lamb had 14 points and 10 assists, David Wear poured in 22 points and 15 rebounds and Travis Wear and Norman Powell had 19 points apiece. Josh SMith added 18 points.
“A lot of guys stood out offensively, and I was really pleased with how we shared the ball,” Howland said. “I thought the Wears played well, and I thought that Josh [Smith] did really well when he was in there and was a very difficult matchup for them.”
Added Anderson: “It was my teammates play, the way we got out in transition early. We were stronger on defense earlier in the game. The way we scored in transition was great. Everybody was knocking down shots and everybody played well.”
Anderson praised the Wears in particular.
“They were very active on the glass,” he said. “David and Travis were great tonight. I was able to hit them a few times running the floor – great put-backs, great second-chance opportunities and great job on the defensive end.”
UCLA has two exhibition contests remaining during the team’s weeklong stay in China. The Bruins will face Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Monday before taking on the Shanghai Sharks (professional team in the Chinese Basketball Association) on Tuesday night.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.