Luc jumps Shipp!

Luc’s a Ghost (of Final Fours Past):  Why in the Dickens would Mbah a Moute make his NBA Future his Present, when, without a guarantee, he could get Scrooged?

Luc-haters got an early Christmas gift yesterday, when the player that they think is an instant turnover left his name in the NBA Draft.  UCLA Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will not be back for his Senior Season, opting instead to spin the wheel and hope for some NBA Team to take a chance on him.

Mbah a Moute could have hit for the Final Four Cycle — Next season he could have Started his FOURTH STRAIGHT Final Four.  But the chance at that rare feat was sacrificed, and maybe for nothing.  Luc is expected to get drafted late in the 2nd Round, but it’s possible that he won’t get drafted at all.  Luc would not have bailed on the Bruins if he thought that he’d be playing in the NBDL, or in Italy, this year.

Luc has worked out for several NBA teams, but the reactions seem to confirm what Luc’s detractors love to harp on:  He still can’t hit an outside shot, and he still can’t dribble the ball to the hoop without turning it over.  Sadly, he could have really improved those two flaws in his game while playing for a College team that is going to destroy most of its competition.  But that won’t be the case, so it’s possible that his undisputedly awesome Defensive and Rebounding talent could never make it to the NBA.

Of course, Luc knows all of these possible outcomes, but he has more to consider.  He still plans on graduating, since he has only 5 or 6 classes left, so Academics or hurting UCLA’s APR were not issues.  But he MUST have been thinking about injuries.  As a guy who has spent a lot of days on crutches, Luc doesn’t want to lose his shot at the Pro’s due to another injury.

And something else that he could be considering is whether he might be overshadowed by the incoming crop of phenoms.  Luc would have still been the Starter, but there would have been several new guys and a few old guys pushing for his minutes.  If someone like James Keefe continued to progress, and if Luc still was an Offensive liability, Luc would have lost playing time, and would have fallen off all the mock draft boards.  Unfortunately for UCLA, this gloomy vision wouldn’t have transpired.  Because of what MATTERS most to Ben Howland, Luc would have been one of the Stars of the team, and would have ended up a sure-fire 1st Round Draft Pick, with a guaranteed contract, after next year.  And he might have even gotten an NCAA Championship.  Of course, with North Carolina getting all their possible early-entries back, the Tarheels would probably have made Luc a four-time Final Four Starter loser.  But lots of things can happen between now and then, like Jrue Holiday being the second coming of Paul Pierce, so NO ONE is conceding the Banner to Tobacco Road just yet.

Despite the disappointment, GOOD LUCK TO LUC.  No hard feelings here.  How can you not appreciate all the hard work, undying effort, blood, sweat, tears, and HEART that “The Prince” gave freely to UCLA?  Luc was a credit to UCLA for his whole time in Westwood, and at his final Bruin Press Conference, he even announced that he will “always be a Bruin.”  Amen to that.

And one last wonder — Will Luc’s departure make fellow Cameroonian waffler Alfred Aboya quicker to also leave?  Would Aboya MISS the clicking comraderie of his Countryman, OR, will he be more likely to stay, because his chance for playing time just increased a little?


In honor of Luc, here are a dozen Luc and Dance Team pics from the 2007 Elite Eight victory over Kansas, the team that won it all, the following year.  Mouse over them for hidden captions, and then click on them to engorge your screen with them.

Wonder how Darren feels, when a lesser player bolts, while he stays put.

17 seconds left on the shot clock, and Luc jacks up a three?  Not in the NBA.

Unlike the guy guarding him, Luc never had his Academic prowess called into question

Still slightly outside of his range.

And like his Class, and his classwork, his Defense was never questioned.

The future Champs must have learned something from Luc’s on-the-court work ethic.

There he goes, but hopefully he’s not headed for the Bush Leagues.

Kristin is the “last woman standing” from this group.

The juggler was fine, but I miss “Frisbee” more than I miss the juggler.

…but we’d sure miss the Dance Team if they weren’t there.

I miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

Luc will always be #1 in my book.



3 responses to “MBAH HUMBUG!”

  1. RR Avatar

    No disrespect… but I agree… also many may disagree, and really no disrespect, K.Love had an amazing freshman year, but my friends and I agree that K.Love should not have opted to go to the NBA yet either. Just like Morrison and JJ Redick from the other year, he’s the golden boy of this years draft; no doubt he’s going to be a lottery pick, but he could have used at least one more year. As good as he is collegiately and how his freshman year was, at an NBA standpoint he reminds me an awful lot of another player that used to play in LA: Brian Cook (Maybe a slight… richer version of Cookie)

    I still have the bad aftertaste of those bad Cookies in LA. I’ve seen some of K.Love’s workout video’s though, he seems to have lost some weight and is working on his weaknesses, but he still looks like a marshmallow going up and down the court. He’s a big guy that got away with overpowering guys in college and his shooting range MUCH like Cook did in Illinois, but his game(post-game especially) just doesn’t look ready for the big league. I think he has the potential to be either a David West, or Brad Miller type of player, depending on how things pan out. But another year of college, especially with their worth ethic’s definitely would NOT have hurt K.Love’s or Mbah-a-Moute’s draft stocks. It would only have helped them more.

    Oh well, their decisions. Good luck to them.

  2. JosephineBruin Avatar


  3. Robert Avatar

    With the guys returning, Ship, Collison, Roll, and the Fab-5 coming in this Fall, I am shocked to see people panic over the departure of Love, Mbah-a-Moute and Westbrook. I really don’t think any of the departed players will be missed AT ALL.

    The incoming freshman class is the by far the best in 35 years of UCLA Basketball, and it’s specially exciting to know that the Bruins already have 2 huge recruits that have verbally commited to UCLA, they are Branden Lane, at 6’9″ power forward that is regarded as the 2nd best forward in the west and they also have another committed recruit by the name of Reeves Nelson 6’7″ forward regarded as the 4th best in the west. These two will be here for the 2009-2110 season.

    So things are looking awfully good for the future. So stop whining Bruin fans, let go of the past because the future looks brighter than ever.