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Coaches look to add depth to UCLA basketball team roster, hold open tryouts Wednesday

Coach Ben Howland and the Bruins will host walk-on tryouts next week for the basketball team.

By Daily Bruin Staff

Oct. 4, 2012 1:18 a.m.

Wednesday morning, UCLA students who feel like Monstars playing the Toon Squad at the Wooden Center will be given an opportunity to challenge themselves.

The chance will present itself at open tryouts hosted by the men’s basketball team, which will be held Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 a.m.

The Bruins are looking to round out their roster with walk-ons, and are doing so by opening the doors to the Student Activities Center for all those interested in trying to make the team.

“Walk-ons play a very important role and we have several walk-ons on our team right now that play a great role for us,” said assistant coach Scott Garson. “We’ve got a good group of walk-ons right now and we’re trying to see if there’s one other person out there that we’ve missed out on.”

All that’s required for students to participate are completed physical and information sheets ““ which are available at the men’s basketball office ““ and copies of the front and back of students’ insurance cards.

While students are encouraged by the athletics department to turn in this information by 3 p.m. Friday, Garson said prospective participants could simply show up to the tryout with the completed information.

UCLA hasn’t held the open tryout annually, instead deciding to do so only when their practice squad is thin. In the past, there have been years that the coaches have accepted walk-ons from the tryouts and years that they took none, Garson said.

Garson preached the success of a few walk-ons in the past several years, detailing instances where players have gone on to get scholarships at UCLA and other schools. The coaching staff is looking for players that will push the team’s top talent, he added.

“(We’re) maybe looking for someone with size that can be a deterrent to (junior) Josh Smith or (freshman) Tony Parker when they’re working on their inside post moves,” Garson said. “Or somebody with some real quickness that can make it tougher on (redshirt senior) Larry Drew (II) to be able to handle the ball and bring it up the court.”

Compiled by Steven Covella, Bruin Sports senior staff.

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