Tuesday, April 04, 2006

BBR: UCLA's Remarkable 2005-06 Season

By Bruin Basketball Report

The 2005-06 UCLA basketball season will be remembered for the exciting journey through the Pac-10 regular-season championship, Pac-10 tourney title, and NCAA Final Four.

Despite multiple injuries which sidelined key players throughout the year, and in some cases for the season, this team and their coaches never gave up and provided Bruin faithful with one of the most memorable runs through the NCAA postseason tournament.

Who will ever forget Arron Afflalo's last-shot defensive effort against Alabama's Richard Steele; or Jordan Farmar and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute connecting for the winning basket in the miraculous comeback against Gonzaga, or the stifling 45 point defensive efforts against Memphis and LSU?

The players on the UCLA basketball team were a cohesive group of young men who displayed impeccable character and grace in both victory and defeat.

Fifth-year senior Cedric Bozeman, who fought back against a series of injuries and inconsistent play as an underclassmen, finished his Bruin career proudly and will forever be placed along side the favorites who ever played at UCLA for his unselfishness and leadership on and off the court.

Senior Ryan Hollins had a rather undistinguished first three 3 1/2 years at UCLA, but his strong inside presence in the latter part of this season was a key to the Bruin's postseason success. His play during the tournament will likely earn him a deserved spot on a NBA roster next season.

The Bruin sophomore guards, and undisputed leaders on the team, Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo, willingly carried the team all year. These two young men best represent the revival of the UCLA basketball program, and their determination and leadership is an example for all future Bruins who follow them in the program.

The freshman class, led by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, provided the team with contributions all season. Due to injuries, they were forced into larger roles on the team than expected, and each took advantage of the playing time, providing depth at every position.

There is no doubt UCLA will return one of the finest freshman and sophomore classes in the nation next season; in addition, Josh Shipp will return as a red-shirt sophomore.

Each young player will be a year more experienced, and no doubt will work hard during the offseason to be ready for another outstanding season in 2006-07.

The Bruins will welcome two outstanding recruits next year in McDonald's All-American high school star James Keefe, and hopefully Marko Spica from Serbia-Montenegro, who will both add depth to an already formidable frontline.

UCLA has the country’s best college coach in Ben Howland who is not the reincarnation of John R. Wooden, but instead is creating his own special legacy at UCLA.

He cares about his players, and understands and embraces his role as coach of the greatest college basketball program in history.

Ben Howland is a worthy caretaker of the UCLA basketball tradition, and we are fortunate to have him in Westwood.

A final eight-clap for our four graduating seniors: Cedric Bozeman, Ryan Hollins, Michael Fey, and Janou Rubin.

They entered the program while it was in transition and at a low point, but due to their dedication and hard work, they all leave the UCLA program in better shape than when they entered. We wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavors in and out of basketball.

Bruin Basketball Report (BBR) has enjoyed sharing the experience of this remarkable season with all its readers.

We will continue to report on UCLA basketball news and information during the offseason, check back regularly and please leave us your comments and email messages. We really do enjoy hearing from you.

October isn't a very long time away. Go Bruins!

Bruin Basketball Report (BBR)
Email: bruinbasketballreport@gmail.com
Domain: http://bruinbasketballreport.com
Domain: http://uclabruinsbasketball.blogspot.com



At Apr 4, 2006, 9:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would personally like to thank each and every player on the UCLA Basketball Team. I really thought about writing this letter to UNR last year, but what you guys did, it was, well fantastic. Forget about my money line parlay bet on the Bulldogs, tied in with the over I had, yeah I am a Bulldog fan. Should have taken the points. But what you guys did, it reminded me a Larry Bird finish I watched once!!!!!

You see, you wiped out the disaster of 1941. Puggy Hunton's 3-7 football team, which caused Gonzaga University to drop Football, tear down the stadium, and build a library.

After, what you guys did, people will finally forget about Gonzaga Football, 1941, and my grandfather.

The Jesuits should be proud of Gonzaga and remember what Gonzaga University is all about. Which seems to be an Education at Brokeback Mountain. Just kidding.

Great Season Zags! Thank you UCLA.

Mike Hunton

At Apr 5, 2006, 8:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much thanks to BBR. I have very much enjoyed reading this site throughout this season's fabulous run. The updats on our recruits was especially interesting. Keep up the good work - and please let us know what happens with Love and Singer!


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