Thursday, March 16, 2006

UCLA vs. Belmont: Game Day Stories

By Bruin Basketball Report

Stories from outside the L.A. Writer's Beat Beltway

Bruins winning gritty way: Exit the UCLA campus in Westwood, drive west on Sunset Boulevard, and a visitor lands in Brentwood and Santa Monica. Drive east, and the next towns in line are Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Is it any wonder the school is not a place normally associated with blue-collar work? Union Tribune

UCLA learning Howland's mantra: Defense: In the 2002-03 season, storied UCLA men's basketball broke apart like a $10 Times Square Rolex. The Bruins finished 10-19 and coach Steve Lavin was finished, seven years after the stunning firing of Jim Harrick because of allegations of impropriety. Fix-it man Ben Howland was summoned and, like clockwork, the pieces were gradually put back together with an emphasis on defense and obsessive attention to detail. USA Today

Belmont hopes to have UCLA singing a sad song: The lights went out on Belmont coach Rick Byrd as he talked in a soft Southern twang about the thrill of being a rookie in the NCAA tournament. The 15th-seeded Bruins hope their time in the spotlight doesn't have the same rude ending. "If I'd have known how great this was, I would've really dreamed about it and worried about it and I'd have been crushed if we hadn't gotten here,'' Byrd said Wednesday, "but I wouldn't have known what I'd missed until this happened.'' ESPN

UCLA's season bittersweet for ex-Capital star Fey: Rather than leading UCLA in minutes, rebounds or blocked shots, Michael Fey is a team leader in less desirable stats. Like tape used, bench time and trainer's sessions. It's not the season Fey, who was rated as the 10th best center in the country coming out of Capital High School, dreamed of going into his senior year as a Bruin. Instead of a last hurrah it's been a lasting hurt. Injury following injury. The Olympian

Hoop hopes high at underdog Belmont: Whether or not the Belmont Bruins basketball team wins today's game in San Diego, Belmont University students are revved up for a sort of campus holiday to celebrate just how far their team has come. "There's a real buzz on campus," said Belmont student Mitchell Hastings, 21. "It's the topic of conversation. You can overhear it just about anywhere." The Tennessean

Hare’s NCAA trip started in Rome : The kid who once scored 55 points in a youth-league game at the Rome-Floyd YMCA is all grown up now. He’s a well-built 6-foot-3 college sophomore. And yeah, he’s still scoring. Justin Hare, who was born and spent his early childhood in Rome, is presently the leading scorer for the Belmont Bruins, averaging 15.9 points per game for the Nashville, Tenn., school. Rome-News Tribune


(photo credit: Union Tribune)


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