Less than a week after being suspended in part for being late to a team meeting, UCLA forward Reeves Nelson missed the team bus to Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday and had to take a later flight before joining his teammates in Lahaina, Hawaii, where the Bruins are playing in the Maui Invitational.
"He understands it doesn't look good," Bruins Coach Ben Howland said Sunday morning.
Howland said Nelson's indefinite suspension, which lasted all of two days, was triggered by his being late to a team meeting Nov. 12, the day after UCLA lost its opener to Loyola Marymount.
"To be late to that meeting after we just got beat was really, really inappropriate," Howland said.
Asked if he was confident the erratic Nelson could display the kind of character he needed the rest of the season, Howland said, "He needs to be the guy he needs to be for the team. That's part of the requirement coming back."
Howland said sophomore center Anthony Stover, who has been sidelined since Oct. 26 by a shoulder injury, would play Monday in UCLA's tournament opener against Chaminade. Less certain is the status of sophomore forward David Wear, who suffered a concussion in practice last week.
Wear was expected to do some shooting during the Bruins' practice Sunday at a high school gym and Howland said he would probably play Monday or Tuesday.
-- Ben Bolch in Lahaina, Hawaii
Photo: UCLA Coach Ben Howland, center, joins Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, from left, ESPN personality Jay Bilas, Chaminade Coach Eric Boviard and Georgetown Coach John Thompson III at a Maui Invitational media conference Sunday morning. Credit: Ben Bolch / Los Angeles Times