A McDonald's All-American in high school who played a fairly marginal role at North Carolina as a freshman, Travis Wear
decided to transfer to UCLA together with his twin brother David at the end of the 2009/2010 season, and saw his first real NCAA action in 2011-2012 as a redshirt sophomore.
Coming off a solid season, Wear is now likely to see significant playing time on a UCLA squad that many have extremely high expectations from, giving him an opportunity to put himself on the map as a role-player who can do a bit of everything on a successful team.
Not particularly impressive from a physical standpoint, Wear has solid size for a power forward at 6-9, but is just an average athlete. He doesn't run the floor incredibly well, nor is he overwhelmingly quick or explosive.
Wear gets most of his points within the flow of the offense, not possessing any one consistent means of scoring that his team can count on. He shoots a high percentage from the floor, makes the extra pass, and doesn't turn the ball over very often, clearly understanding the role he plays and his limitations.
Wear is a fundamentally sound player who moves off ball effectively in UCLA's slow-paced motion offense, allowing him to find seams in which he can get his shot off. He has a bit of a post game he can utilize against similarly sized players, is a very good offensive rebounder, and can create a little offense in a straight line taking his man off the dribble from the perimeter. Considering his athletic limitations, it's unlikely that these parts of his game will be as effective against higher level competition, making it imperative that he improves his jump-shot as his career moves on.
Wear only attempted a handful of 3-pointers last season, even if his mechanics and touch indicate that this could very well become a more dangerous part of his arsenal as his career progresses. Considering the role he'll be asked to play in the NBA, this will be an important part of his evaluation, as he would surely be asked to be a reliable set-shooter and floor spacer to not be an offensive liability.
Defensively, Wear shows good fundamentals and timing and a very high activity level, giving an excellent effort on pretty much every possession he plays. Where he runs into trouble at times is matching up with quicker big men who are capable of beating him off the dribble, or very strong and physical opponents who can back him down inside the post. His lateral quickness is just average, and he doesn't compensate for that with great size, length or strength. Scouts will want to see how he fares going up against the more highly touted power forwards on UCLA's schedule, as there are some question marks about how this part of his game might translate to the NBA.
Another area of concern revolves around Wear's rebounding ability. He pulled down just 4.8 defensive rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted last season, which ranked as one the worst rates in our database amongst collegiate power forwards. His lack of strength, explosiveness and at times toughness hurts him here, which is something he'll have to continue to work on moving forward.
Despite turning 22 recently, Wear still has two years of NCAA eligibility remaining. With the spotlight on UCLA likely to increase substantially, Wear has a chance to prove that he is capable of carving out a niche for himself in the NBA, particularly if he's able to expand his range and show he can consistently make an open jump-shot, as well as prove that he won't be a liability defensively and as a rebounder at his position.