UCLA forward Travis Wear is unlikely to have much of an impact against Stanford on Thursday unless his injured ankle improves significantly.
Wear, who suffered a high ankle sprain against Washington last Thursday, was limited to shooting on Monday and participated only in limited drills Tuesday, according to a UCLA official.
“They taped it really tight, which was uncomfortable for Travis,” Howland said. “We’ll see how he does.”
Wear is second on the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.8 points and 5.2 rebounds.
Anthony Stover started in Wear’s place against Washington State on Saturday. Joshua Smith received increased playing time in the last two games and responded with 24 points against Washington and 19 against Washington State.
The Bruins are shooting only 65.6% from the free-throw line in Pac-12 Conference play.
“We’re working on it more and more,” guard Tyler Lamb said. “We have good free-throw shooters on this team.”
Howland said Lamb and Lazeric Jones in particular needed to improve. Lamb is shooting 61.9% from the foul line in conference play. Jones is at 65.7%.
"[Jones] is a much better foul shooter than he’s shot in conference,” Howland said. “We’ve tweaked it a little bit and I expect him to be over 80% the rest of way. He’s too good a shooter. It’s more his routine. He needs less motion and less bending of the knees.”
Jones is shooting 72.7% from the line overall.
“I changed a few things this year,” Jones said. “Obviously, it wasn’t working. So I’m trying to go back to what I was doing last year. I have been rushing it a little bit.”
Nothing for free
Make or miss, Howland would just like to see reserve guard Norman Powell shoot a free throw.
“Norman has played 205 minutes in conference and hasn’t been to the foul line yet,” Howland said. “He has got to attack. We want him to get hit. We want the contact. Good players, good scorers get to the foul line. We need Norman to learn how to do that.”