Saturday, January 13, 2007

UCLA Bigs Get It Done, Afflalo Hits Game Winner

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

His teammates knew it.  The crowd knew it.  The entire USC team knew too.  But it didn't matter.  Nothing was going to stop Arron Afflalo from taking the last shot with the game on the line. 

With 4.7 seconds remaining and UCLA down by one point, Afflalo rose above the defense and hit a 15-foot jumper to beat USC, 65-64, in a memorable first game at the new Galen Center between the crosstown rivals.

The victory did not come easy for No.3/No. 4 ranked UCLA.  Down 31-26 at halftime, the Bruin deficit grew to as large as 10 points in the second.

With 8:23 remaining and down 55-49, UCLA started their rally going  on a 9-0 run capped off by an Arron Afflalo three-pointer with 3:51 remaining to put UCLA ahead 58-55 and to set the stage for a wild final minute of play.

UCLA guard Darren Collison misfired on a three-pointer but Lorenzo Mata grabbed the offensive rebound and put it back in for a 63-57 UCLA lead with 58 seconds remaining in the game.

Gabe Pruitt of USC took the inbound pass and went behind a screen to knock down a three-pointer to pull the Trojans within three.

USC then intentionally fouled Lorenzo Mata to send him to the line for two foul shots.  Mata a 32% free throw shooter missed both attempts. 

The Trojans rebounded and Nick Young worked himself loose for a three-pointer from the corner.  Young swished the shot and then was clipped on the right leg on his follow through by Darren Collison sending him to the line for a rare four-point play to put USC ahead 64-63.

On the ensuing play Michael Roll found Arron Afflalo working himself free near the sideline of the UCLA bench and nearly threw the ball away but Afflalo was able to corral it in. Afflalo guarded closely by USC's Lodrick Stewart then drove across to the free-throw line for a jump shot and hung for what seemed like an eternity with Stewart's hand in his face and swished it in for the game winner.

USC had one more opportunity on the inbound pass but Luc Richard Mbah a Moute tipped Taj Gibson's pass to Gabe Pruitt which forced him to take an off-balanced shot from the backcourt which sailed in the air harmlessly as time expired.

Afflalo finished with 15 points, scoring 13 of them after intermission.  Darren Collison scored a career-high 17 points including three big three-pointers to help UCLA rally in the second-half.

Challenged by USC freshman phenom Taj Gibson, UCLA's big men in the middle rose to the occasion combining for a total of 19 points and 17 rebounds while holding Gibson to an almost double-double, 9 points and 8 rebounds.  Lorenzo Mata scored 12 points and shared team-high honors of 8 rebounds with Alfred Aboya who also scored 5 points.  Ryan Wright scored two points on a tip-in in his two two minutes of play.

As well as UCLA played to rally and win, USC suffered a number of miscues down the stretch which cost them the game including misses on the front ends of three one-and-one opportunities in the last five minutes of the game.  In addition, Lodrick Stewart took two off-balanced three-pointers in the same span to hurt the Trojan cause.

The Bruins shot only 38.6% from the field while the Trojans were 45.3%, but UCLA outrebounded them 37-30 including 10-5 on the offensive boards. 

After committing ten turnovers in the first-half, the Bruins committed only two more the rest of the way.

UCLA improved its record to 15-1 overall and 4-1 in Pac-10 conference play while USC fall to 13-5 and 3-2.

The Bruins return to Pauley Pavilion next week to host the Arizona schools.

BBR Notes: Even though UCLA's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute contributed quietly in the box score ( 5 points and 7 rebounds), his value, read intangibles, to the team was loud enough for Coach Ben Howland to play him 34 minutes in the contest despite suffering from tendinitis in his knees.

(photo credit: AP and Jack Rosenfeld)


Just Like Football, UCLA Wins 65-64

Box Score | AP Recap

(photo credit: AP)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

UCLA vs. USC - Game Preview

By Bruin Basketball Report

The UCLA Bruins make their inaugural visit to the Galen Center on Saturday to face the surging USC Trojans.

USC and UCLA split their series last season with each team winning its home game, the Bruins winning 66-45 on Jan. 18 and the Trojans winning 71-68 on Feb. 19. 

After a sweep of the Oregon schools last week, the Trojans (14-4, 3-1) are in a four-way tie atop the Pac-10 and have quality wins over three ranked teams.  They have surprised many with their early season play on both ends of the court.

Since Trojan Coach Tim Floyd was hired before the start of last season, he has stressed to his team good shot-selection and solid defense, and it appears his philosophy has finally taken hold with his players.  The Trojans are shooting 48.8% from the field, and are holding opponents to just 35% shooting which ranks third-best in the nation.

USC has a good blend of underclassmen and experienced players in the starting line-up.  In the past few games they have gone with a four-guard alignment on offense to take advantage of their athleticism on the perimeter and ability to take opponents off the dribble. 

The Bruins have had trouble with their perimeter defense and keeping players in front of them. If they allow the Trojans, or any team for that matter, to easily dribble penetrate into the paint the Bruins will have a difficult time winning any game in the Pac-10 this season.

Defensively, the Trojans will alternate between a man-to-man and an aggressive match-up zone.  UCLA has had problems all year executing their offense against the zone, and will need to be much quicker moving the ball on the perimeter and attacking the seams of the zone with quick dribble penetration.

With Josh Shipp injured with a slight hamstring tear, Michael Roll will get the start and his presence on the court may deter the Trojans from using their zone as often, still, expect the Bruins to be tested again if they can beat the zone.

The Trojans started the season with a number of question marks in the backcourt.  With the tragic loss of standout guard Ryan Francis over the summer, they were left without a proven player at the point.  Then Gabe Pruitt, a player they expected to help fill the void at point-guard, was ruled academically ineligible until December. 

However, the Trojans have received significant contributions from two freshmen, Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett, both who only gained eligibility right before the start of the season.

Taj Gibson (Fr, 6'9, 210) has been one of the big reasons for the Trojans success thus far.  He is averaging 13.6 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 65.7% from the field.  He already has eight double-doubles on the season and has reached double figures in scoring 15 of 17 games.

The 21 year-old freshman is extremely active down low and is quick off his feet.  An intimidating force in the low blocks, he is averaging 1.9 blocks per game including seven blocked shots against Oregon last week.  However, Gibson tends to turnover the ball often (3.1) and is foul-prone at times.

UCLA's Lorenzo Mata will have quite a challenge keeping Gibson off the boards.  Mata has struggled with inconsistency of late and has had a problem holding on to the ball down low.  Alfred Aboya is perhaps a better match-up against Gibson physically, but Mata is due to rebound from his poor performances and may bother Gibson with his physical presence. 

Although Gibson is only an adequate low-post scorer, look for the Bruins to double-down on him aggressively whenever he receives the ball inside in order to force a possible turnover.

With the reinstatement of Gabe Pruitt (Jr, 6'4, 170) to the team six games ago, the Trojans gained more experience in the backcourt.  He is an athletic player who can hit from the outside and finish at the basket with the best. 

While he is still adjusting to the point-guard spot and learning to help create shot opportunities for teammates rather than himself,  he has helped the Trojans significantly cut down on their turnovers from 17.5 to just 12.3 per contest since his insertion into the starting line-up against Washington.

In one of the big key match-ups of the game, Darren Collison will likely start off defensively against Pruitt.  He needs to do a good job sealing off Pruitt from penetrating into the paint, and just as importantly, Collison needs to use his quickness advantage to pressure Pruitt on the perimeter to make it difficult for him to get the Trojans into their offense and to create turnovers for easy Bruin transition baskets. 

Nick Young (Jr, 6'6, 195) is leading the team in scoring with 16.4 points and is second in rebounds with 4.3 rebounds.  Young has improved his shot selection significantly since last season and is shooting 53.8% from the field.  He is also lighting it up from three-point distance shooting 45.2%.  Young is also known for his toughness and athleticism and ability to score in traffic and off the dribble.

Although Luc Richard Mbah a Moute would be a natural match-up position wise, expect UCLA to defend Nick Young with Arron Afflalo to start the game.  Afflalo has defended Young well in the past and does a good job in ball denial which is what you want to do against a multi-talented offensive player like Nick Young. 

The Trojans like to run their offense through Young, and if Afflalo can stop him from getting the ball where he usually likes, it will help disrupt the USC offense from its normal flow.

Lodrick Stewart (Sr, 6'4, 210) is at another guard spot, he is second on the team in scoring at 14.3 points a game and averages 4.2 a game.  A prolific three-point shooter, Stewart shoots 44.2% from beyond the arc.  Against Oregon State last week, he made all six of his three-point shot attempts. The Trojans like to dribble penetrate and kick out to Stewart for the trey. 

Michael Roll will likely get the defensive start against  him.  Although not the quickest player on the team, Roll's perimeter defense is underrated and he should do fine especially with help from his teammates.  Against Oregon, Roll was at times matched up against Taquean Porter on the outside and did a good defensive job on the 5'6 guard.

Russell Westbrook should also see minutes at the shooting guard position alongside Darren Collison on Saturday.  Westbrook had one of his finest game on both ends of the court against Oregon last week which had Howland second-guessing himself afterwards that he should have played the freshman more minutes in the Ducks game.

The fourth guard in the starting Trojan line-up is freshman Dwight Lewis (6'5, 190).  He is a slashing type player who is averaging 6.2 points and 2.5 rebounds a game. He wasn't expected to get many minutes this season but has proven to be a reliable defender on the court.  He is shooting only 38.7% from the field. 

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will likely guard Lewis to start off by default, but Lewis averages 20.2 minutes a game and then the Trojans usually go bigger with either Abdoulaye N'Diaye (Sr, 6'11, 230) or Keith Wilkinson (So, 6'9, 215) off the bench. 

In addition to N'Diaye and Wilkinson off the bench, the Trojans have Daniel Hackett (6'5, 205) who started at point-guard prior to the return of Gabe Pruitt.  The freshman is averaging 5.6 points and 3.4 assists a game and did a good job running the team although he has struggled shooting from the field.  RouSean Cromwell (So, 6'10, 215) has played minutes this season mostly if Taj Gibson gets into foul trouble.

This will be a very tough game for the Bruins especially without their second-leading scorer Josh Shipp.  If they expect to win this game on the road, they will certainly need to solve the Trojan's match-up zone, but ultimately, it will come down to how well the Bruin defense performs.

If UCLA comes out on Saturday and plays defense with high intensity and takes USC out of its offensive game by pressuring on the perimeter with their quickness advantage while preventing dribble penetration, the Bruins should fare well in their first visit to the Galen Center.   

(photo credit: AP)


Pauley Pavilion Renovation Plan Moving Forward

By Bruin Basketball Report

Completion of renovation to coincide with Coach John Wooden's 100th birthday in 2010.

For historical perspective read:  BBR: Will Pauley Pavilion Get Face-lift Soon?

UCLA has taken formal steps toward a major renovation of legendary Pauley Pavilion. The university is committed to restoring Pauley Pavilion, home to championship Basketball, Gymnastics and Volleyball teams, prominent events and essential student-related activities, to a world-class athletic and cultural venue.

Pauley Pavilion is one of the most recognized and historically significant collegiate facilities in the United States. Opened in 1965 at a cost of $5.2 million, the arena, designed by well known architect Welton Becket and Coach John Wooden, was made possible by the philanthropy of Edwin and Barbara Pauley and a group of donors who matched the Pauley family gift.

Pauley Pavilion has become an integral part of UCLA's campus, positively enriching UCLA's academic and athletic programs and the Los Angeles community. It has served as the home court for 38 NCAA championship teams, hosted renowned entertainers including Frank Sinatra and Luciano Pavarotti, welcomed the world during the 1984 Olympics, hosted a 1988 Presidential debate, and staged graduation ceremonies for thousands of UCLA alumni. These special moments have made Pauley Pavilion a remarkable destination.

Improvements to Pauley Pavilion's arena floor level include adding new locker rooms in addition to upgrading the arena's existing locker rooms, and adding a video room, a media room, a medical treatment area and dedicated practice facilities. Additional concession areas, restrooms and modern arena technology will enhance students' and fans' game-day experience. The facility's life-safety and security features will also be upgraded with improvements including handrails in vertical aisle ways and modified stairwells. Designs under consideration include a main lobby that would serve as a central entrance and would celebrate UCLA's illustrious athletic tradition and redevelopment of the area between Spaulding Field and the arena, both of which may be used by the broader UCLA community. Other concepts being considered include a new retractable seating system that will bring fans (behind the baselines) closer to the court and other seating changes to improve fan experience.

UCLA Athletics, led by Director of Athletics, Dan Guerrero, has established an active volunteer leadership committee to assist in the design and funding of this exciting and timely project. Coach John Wooden has agreed to serve as the committee's Honorary Chair. Committee members include Chair, Richard Bergman, who previously served as Chair of the UCLA College of Letters and Science Capital Campaign Committee; Vice Chair, Matthew Pauley, who is the grandson of Edwin Pauley; Vice Chair, Ron Conway, a longtime Bruin supporter, and several other distinguished UCLA community leaders and former student-athletes.

UCLA Athletics is presently in the process of generating funding for the project and has developed a list of potential naming opportunities for prospective donors to be recognized for various levels of contributions to the project. The goal is to dedicate the restored Pauley Pavilion on October 14, 2010, to honor Coach John Wooden on his 100th birthday.

UCLA Capital Programs recently published a request for qualifications (RFQ)(see link) to begin the formal process to retain an Executive Architect for the renovation and expansion of Pauley Pavilion. Interested parties have until January 16, 2007 to respond with a package documenting their relevant experience. UCLA has formed a selection committee to evaluate potential candidates and anticipates having an Executive Architect in place during the first quarter of 2007.

Source: UCLA Athletics


Pac-10 and Big 12 To Go Head-to Head-Next Season

By Bruin Basketball Report

The Pac-10 and Big 12 Conferences have announced an agreement to play a four-year men's basketball series of 12 annual games between the two leagues, starting with the 2007-08 season.

"This series of games with the Pac-10 will showcase some of the best college basketball in the country," Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg said. "Our two conferences annually produce highly rated teams and multiple NCAA Tournament teams. This series will provide quality match-ups that will help to build the strength of our teams' non-conference schedules. We are excited to have the opportunity to do this with the Pac-10 in a way that allows all of our teams to participate."

The series will continue in 2008, with games slated for December 4-7. The contests scheduled will be return games of the matchups from 2007, but may not be scheduled for the same day of the week. The games in the series in 2009 will be played December 3-6, 2009, while matchups in 2010 will be played December 2-5, 2010.

"We are pleased to make this scheduling arrangement with the Big 12 Conference and its members," Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen noted. "It will enable both conferences to provide exciting, high-level basketball competition. The games will spotlight college basketball in early December and will be excellent programming for our television partners. I commend the coaches of the two conferences for embracing the competition which will enhance the power ratings of all participants."

Additional components of the series, including the name of the event, television and sponsorship will be announced at a later date.


Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007
Oregon at Kansas State
Oklahoma at USC

Friday, Nov. 30, 2007
Washington State at Baylor
Iowa State at Oregon State

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007
Washington at Oklahoma State
Missouri at California

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007
Arizona State at Nebraska
Stanford at Colorado
Texas at UCLA
Texas A&M at Arizona

Outside the 10-game series window
Arizona at Kansas (Sun., Nov. 25, 2007)
Stanford vs. Texas Tech (Sat., Dec. 22, 2007)
[Neutral Site To Be Determined]

Source: Pac-10 Conference


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

UCLA Superlative Statistics 1/11

By Bruin Basketball Report

College basketball fans are familiar with published statistics such as rebounds, assists, points scored, and field goal and free throw percentage as a marker of a player's performance and contribution to his team.

Those who follow UCLA basketball and know the value Head Coach Ben Howland places on hustle, toughness, and performance under pressure will appreciate a different set of statistics kept by the team.  Statistics are referred to as the "Superlative Statistics".

Charges Taken
1. Lorenzo Mata - 8
1. Alfred Aboya - 8
3. Ryan Wright - 3
3. Russell Westbrook - 3
5. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute -2
UCLA 26, Opponents 14   

Dives For Loose Balls
1. Lorenzo Mata - 16
2. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 8
3. Darren Collison - 6
4. Alfred Aboya - 5
4. Ryan Wright - 5
6. Russell Westbrook - 4
UCLA 53, Opponents 35

Second Chance Points
1. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 37
2. Josh Shipp - 32
3. Lorenzo Mata - 19
4. Alfred Aboya - 15
5. Arron Afflalo  - 12
UCLA 142, Opponents 103

Points in the Paint
1. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 80
1. Josh Shipp - 80
3. Lorenzo Mata - 72
4. Arron Afflalo  - 68
5. Darren Collison - 64
UCLA 446, Opponents 292

3-PT Plays Attempted
1. Josh Shipp - 5
2. Arron Afflalo - 4
3. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 3
UCLA 20, Opponents 25

FT% Last Four Minutes in Game
1. Darren Collison - 13 of 14 (.929)
2. Arron Afflalo - 6 of 8 (.750)
3. James Keefe - 3 of 4 (.750)
4. Josh Shipp - 5 of 7 (.714)
5. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute -2 of 3 (.667)
UCLA 29 of 40 (.725), Opponents 20 of 32 (.625)

*statistics as of 1/3/07


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Shipp Injures Hamstring, Will Miss USC Game

By Bruin Basketball Report

Josh Shipp will miss Saturday's game against cross-town rival USC due to a hamstring injury he suffered in the Oregon game.

An ultrasound test revealed a slight tear in his right hamstring.  Shipp felt tightness in his leg at halftime but toughed it out and hobbled through the remainder of the contest.  He finished with 14 points in 35 minutes.

The red-shirt sophomore had injured his right ankle a few weeks ago which limited his practice time and conditioning. Against the Washington Huskies, Shipp developed severe leg cramps and had to leave the game early for treatment.  UCLA Coach Ben Howland believes the hamstring is a manifestation of the earlier leg injuries.

"He wants to play, of course," Howland said, "but I'm very worried about this becoming something that can get worse. Hamstrings are very, very tough injuries because you always run the risk of tearing it worse."

"We have to look at the long term," Howland said. " I don't want to see this turn into a thing where he's going to be out for three weeks, a month, two months.  Its a long season and we want to treat this injury conservatively."

Shipp sat out last season due to a hip injury which required surgery, but returned strong this season and has been a key to the Bruins fast start.

Paired with Arron Afflalo this season, the two give the Bruin offense a potent scoring option on both wings.  Shipp is the team's second-leading scorer with 14.7 points while shooting 46.7% from the field and is third in rebounds with 4.1 caroms a game.

"It's definitely tough. I mean, this is our rival game," Shipp said. "I really wanted to give it my all and try to go out there and play, but I just can't do it."

Howland indicated Michael Roll would likely start in place of Shipp.  In addition, he indicated Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could slide down to play at the three-spot and Russell Westbrook's minutes would increase. 

"I thought Russell played great for us on Saturday," Howland said. "I probably should have played him more minutes the way he was playing.  He's going to get more time now especially with Josh out."

(photo credit: Jack Rosenfeld)


Monday, January 08, 2007

Bruins Predictably Drop in Polls

By Bruin Basketball Report

For the first time in six weeks UCLA (14-1, 3-1) is not ranked atop the national polls.  After a split 1-1 record in the state of Oregon last week, the Bruins dropped to No.3 in the ESPN/USA Coaches and No.4 in AP national polls.

While UCLA fall in both national polls it still maintained No.1 rating in the RPI and No.2 in strength of schedule (SOS).

North Carolina moved into the top spot in both polls followed by Florida at No.2.  Wisconsin snuck by UCLA to No.3 in the AP while Ohio St. rounded out the top 5 in both polls.

The Bruins suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday losing to the Oregon Ducks 68-66 in Eugene.  UCLA's perimeter defense was unable to shut down Oregon's Aaron Brooks who went for 25 points.  Moreover, the Bruins struggled against the Ducks zone defense which limited them to just 36.4% shooting and one point production between UCLA stars Arron Afflalo and Darren Collison in the first-half.  Despite their struggles, UCLA still managed to have a chance to tie or win in their last possession of the game.

Meanwhile the Ducks' rankings (14-1, 2-1) were relatively unchanged, coming in at No.17 and No.15 spots in the Coaches and AP polls, respectively.

The strength of the Pac-10 this season becomes more evident every week.  UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland has maintained five Pac-10 teams should make the NCAA tournament this season - he may need to consider expanding the total of teams making the tourney to six.

Who would have guessed the best time in the state of Washington this season was located in Pullman?  For the first time since 1983 the Washington St. Cougars (14-2, 3-1) are in the top 25 ranking with the Coaches ranking them at No.23 and the AP No.22.  The Cougars have veteran players and an excellent coach in Coach Tony Bennett.  Washington St. will give teams trouble all season with their outstanding defense.

With splits last week, Arizona (12-2, 3-1) dropped to No.8 in the Coaches and No.10 in the AP while Washington (11-4, 1-3) dropped to No.24 in the Coaches but fall completely out of the AP poll.

The Trojans of USC earned points in both polls for the first time this season.  If the Trojans continue to improve, or if the Lopez twins at Stanford continue to mature, it certainly wouldn't be surprising to find at least six Pac-10 teams in the tourney.

The Pac-10 conference maintains the top RPI ranking among all Division I conferences and have an overall conference record of 90-22 against Division i teams.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (1/8)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Having to take on Lake Oswego phenom Kevin Love is hard enough when he's not hitting 3/4-court shots at the buzzer.  But Love did just that at Thursday's Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High School, and the Lakers cruised past Aloha, 53-38. Oregonian 1/2

Say goodbye to the No. 1 ranking in the state and a long unbeaten streak that dated all the way back to last year’s preseason. Both of those lofty achievements disappeared last weekend when the defending state champion Lake Oswego boys basketball team lost to South Medford last Friday at the Les Schwab Invitational. Kevin Love. Lake Oswego Review 1/3

Kevin Love the UCLA recruit and the nation's top-ranked senior was featured in television highlights on Fox Sports North's coverage, he drew "oohs" when he drained two consecutive three-pointers during warmups, and a massive block during the game earned a "whoa!" Must be pretty heady stuff for a high school senior, right? "Nope, not for me," he said with a chuckle. "It's easy, actually. I come from a family that keeps me grounded and humble. I don't feel any pressure. I just take it in stride. I do know that people are watching me closely. That keeps me going to improve." St. Paul Pioneer Press 1/7

Kevin Love scored 41 points as Lake Oswego, Oregon's top-ranked team, defeated Osseo 74-58. He also had 14 rebounds and seven assists. He drew loud applause on a reverse slam in the first half, and in the second half he blocked a shot by Osseo's Zack Peterson, a 7-foot junior center, and had a jaw-dropping behind-the-back pass to a teammate for an easy basket. St. Paul Pioneer Press 1/7

Kevin Love fell three points short of the Shootout scoring record; Duluth East's Rick Rickert scored 44 against Potomac, Va., during the 2000-01 season. Love, ranked as the top senior center in the country by most scouting services, also had seven assists and three blocked shots for the Lakers (9-1). "Oh, he's excellent," said 7-foot, 300-pound Osseo junior center Zach Peterson. "Without a doubt, a Division I player, an NBA player." Minneapolis Star Tribune 1/7


Renardo Sidney (Artesia) is the top choice. His focus seems to waver at times and he settles for far too many jump shots on the offensive end. And Sidney, the off-season move-in from Mississippi, is incredibly raw, fundamentally. But if continues to work hard on and off the court (remember, even the best high school players need a year's time from their classes' graduation before they can enter the draft, so guys need to be eligible to play in college) and realizes he has a lot to learn about the game, well ... yeah. The proverbial sky is the proverbial limit. Press-Telegram 1/2

St. Andrew's held off a late rally by Campbell Hall in the closing seconds to win a squeaker as a last-second Campbell shot just missed its target, 79-77. Campbell Hall forward Jrue Holiday and St. Andrew's forward Rakim Sanders went toe-to-toe all night long, with Holiday winning the individual scoring battle 28-25 but losing the game. Delmarva Daily Times 1/4

Galena trailed 37-34 at halftime, but outscored Cheyenne 33-18 in the second half. Mauer said he believed that Luke Babbitt had a triple double - a more impressive, untraditional triple double at that - in points, rebounds and blocked shots. Mauer estimated that Babbitt, who scored 37 points, also had about a dozen blocks and rebounds. "He did a phenomenal job," Mauer said. Nevada Appeal 1/5

King, a senior for Santa Ana Mater Dei, put those demons to rest by scoring a career-high 41 points in a 90-58 victory over host Santa Margarita in the Trinity League opener for both teams....The Monarchs played without 6-8 sophomore forward Andy Brown, who injured his hip in the loss to Artesia but should be back soon, King said. Another sophomore, 6-10 forward David Wear, picked up the slack by scoring 18 points. LA Times 1/5

But the ranking that is most important to the Pioneers these days is from the Suburban League, where Artesia sits in first place after Friday's 80-40 rout of host Glenn in the league opener for both teams. Sophomore Renardo Sidney scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Pioneers (13-0, 1-0), ranked eighth in the nation in the latest USA Today poll. Press-Telegram 1/5

With Jones and Mitty's blue-chip junior Drew Gordon colliding in the seventh game of their always-compelling rivalry, the two repeated their first matchup of a year ago and provided more defense than offense. Gordon scored all of his eight points in the first half and pulled down 10 rebounds and had four blocks. Jones scored six points on 3-of-10 shooting, but finished with 17 rebounds and five blocked shots. San Francisco Chronicle 1/6

Brothers Justin and Jrue Holiday traveled with the Campbell Hall of North Hollywood boys' basketball team to Minnesota for the Timberwolves Shootout and helped the Vikings to a 71-61 victory over Hopkins of Minnetonka, Minn., on Saturday, but they didn't have the opportunity to fully enjoy the victory.  Their grades were more important. LA Daily News 1/6

University of Washington recruit Justin Holiday scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to power the North Hollywood, Calif., team past Minnesota's two-time defending Class AAAA champion. Jrue Holiday had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Vikings (11-1). Blake Hoffarber had 24 points for Hopkins (9-1). St. Paul Pioneer Press 1/7

The Galena High boys basketball team couldn't sustain its level of play in the second half in a 63-56 loss at Bishop Gorman on Saturday in Las Vegas. Luke Babbitt scored 17 points, Brice Crook had 14 points and Eric Maupin added 11 points for Galena. Nevada Appeal 1/7

(photo credit: Minneapolis Star Tribune and Press-Telegram)