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Reeves Nelson Misses UCLA Basketball Bus And Flight To Maui Invitational

UCLA Bruins power forward Reeves Nelson is probably on a tight leash after he was suspended for one game. Head coach Ben Howland did reinstate the big man.

This latest incident won't help. Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reports on Nelson's tardiness for another critical Bruins basketball event.

The junior forward took a later flight and missed a players' banquet ahead of UCLA's opener against Chaminade on Monday in the Maui Invitational.

"He understands it doesn't look good," Bruins Coach Ben Howland said Sunday.

Howland disclosed for the first time that Nelson's indefinite suspension, which lasted all of two days, was triggered in part by Nelson's being late to a team meeting Nov. 12, the day after the Bruins lost to Loyola Marymount in their opener.

"To be late to that meeting after we just got beat was really, really inappropriate," Howland said.

It doesn't look too good on the surface. UCLA basketball looks particularly fractured after two games, and now it looks as if Nelson is being held to a different standard as the rest of the team. It could cause misgivings with the rest of the team and further disrupt team chemistry. Howland better be sure he knows what he's doing.

It'll be interesting to see if Nelson returns to action against Chaminade or plays a lot during the Maui Invitational. How he handles this new situation could determine exactly how far the team can improve. The Bruins need to sort their issues out quickly before the season goes off the rails.

To discuss Nelson and UCLA basketball, go to Bruins Nation.