Friday, April 04, 2008

UCLA vs. Memphis: Game Day Stories

By Bruin Basketball Report

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

Tigers loose, free in trip to San Antonio: In an odd way, even the news Wednesday night that backup point guard Andre Allen was suspended for failing a drug test seemed to be business as usual. "It's sad to say; I don't want to say we're used to it, but there has been a couple incidents even with myself getting in trouble," said junior Robert Dozier, referencing his one-game suspension in February for violating team rules. "Guys just learn to look past that. You can't worry about it and harp on it, because that'll affect how you play and how your team thinks." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Tigers, fans have reason to be giddy: None of the other Final Four teams answered questions Friday about the places they represent. UCLA center Kevin Love was not asked about Watts. Does this mean that Memphis fans care more about their program than UCLA fans care about theirs? Of course not. But it does speak to the bond between the city and the team, a bond unlike almost any other you'll find. Lousville, maybe. UNLV in the glory days. But UCLA does not have a grip on Los Angeles the way the Tigers have a grip on Memphis this morning. Los Angeles has the Lakers, for one thing. And the beach. Memphis has this basketball team, and this trip to the Final Four, and who knows when it will happen again? Memphis Commercial Appeal

Bruins Have a Fan on the Charts: Last month, when U.C.L.A. went to overtime against Stanford, the Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson convinced his bandmates to not take the stage for a concert in Las Vegas until the game ended. The move paid off for Delson, who got to watch the Bruins close out a 77-67 victory. “We had to see the end of the game,” Delson, a founding member of the Grammy-winning rock band and a 1999 graduate of U.C.L.A., said in a telephone interview. “It worked out pretty good.” New York Times

Memphis plays no-respect card: "We are here and we are looking forward to this," junior forward Robert Dozier said. "People are saying it is us against the world, but we are just focusing on ourselves. "We are starting to get a little respect, but we are not focusing on that. We are just concerning ourselves with what we do." Topeka Capital Journal

Memphis More Than Party Crasher: It's all so pedigreed. And then there's Memphis. Somebody obviously forgot to call the barons of Kentucky, because John Calipari and his peasants showed up in their place. Ladies and gentlemen, refined taste has left the building. (Sorry about the Elvis reference, but it is Memphis.) "Between UCLA and Memphis, we've won 11 national titles," Calipari said at the Alamodome Friday, a day before his team meets the Bruins in the semifinals. UCLA 11, Memphis 0. Hartford Courant

Bruins all business: "This is a business trip," said Collison, who averages 14.8 points and 3.8 assists for the Bruins. "It is not about the Final Four; it is about the final one. We want to be the final one." Collison said that this year's Final Four mindset is much different than the past two seasons. "The last couple of years we were happy to make it to the Final Four, but this year we are just trying to take it one game at a time," he said. Topeka Capital Journal

Dorsey avoids trash talk on Love: "I watched Love a lot this year for UCLA," Dorsey said. "He's a great passer out of the post. The outlet passes that he throws like Wes Unseld, that's incredible. It's going to be a big key to the team." Somewhere in the Alamodome, Tigers coach John Calipari probably exhaled. That's because in the same building last year, Dorsey had a very different tone when speaking of another center before the Tigers played Ohio State in the South Regional final. Dorsey was asked if he thought he could raise his stock among scouts with his play against Buckeyes center Greg Oden. Oregonian

Brown has connections with all four in semis: The 2008 Final Four might be subtitled the Larry Brown Invitational. Not only did the Long Beach High School product coach the San Antonio Spurs in the ABA many years ago, he has a connection with three of the participating schools and with the coach of the fourth. Brown attended North Carolina, led UCLA to the 1980 championship game and was the coach when Kansas earned its most recent national title in 1988. He also gave Memphis coach John Calipari his first full-time job when he hired him at Kansas in 1983. Newsday

UCLA may be team to beat if Shipp can find his shot: Shipp said he wouldn't qualify it as a slump, but said, "I'm just not shooting the ball as well as I usually do. I'm a shooter . . . I can't second-guess myself.'' It's the outside influences that have been the most annoying thing. He's getting advice from everyone about his shooting. "Man, it is ridiculous,'' he said. "It has been crazy.''The best advice?
"Most of the advice I have received is to shoot more and stay confident,'' he said. He's tried to block out a lot of outside influences. Tucson Citizen Times

Rose's phenomenal tournament run has drawn attention of NBA, nation: Highly regarded for years in basketball circles and a lead-pipe lottery cinch before he took his first dribble for the Tigers, Rose's play over the past few weeks has propelled him into something approaching superstardom. No one would now be surprised to see him go first overall in June's NBA Draft, should he decide to enter it. Memphis Commercial Appeal

(photo credit: AP)



At Apr 4, 2008, 7:49:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

much love to the BBR...but I refuse to read this stuff....
u r a good man for posting BUT
we play defense and these Tigers do not know what is coming at them...their joy ride/coasting is over....
UCLA by 11...
Ya know it is funny how nobody mentions that Westbrook is the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year...the guy is salivating to stop Rose and shut up the East Coast reporters...Shipp, score 8 and we win automatically
Represent's our time....

At Apr 4, 2008, 7:56:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

oh and P.S. Shipp, drive to the basket...u r better at slashing....if the 3 is open take it...score 8 points and we win....that's ya magic number...
slash, drive and dish....that's ya priority....don't listen to anybody else, listen to me...haha..but I'm right
I don't lose!

At Apr 4, 2008, 11:22:00 PM, Anonymous Alex said...


At Apr 4, 2008, 11:35:00 PM, Anonymous mem tiger said...

joy ride? coasting? thats interesting, wish we got to play Xavier in the elite eight instead of a road game in Houston, but no worries. For one, i hate that no one is mentioning westbrook, its probably gonna give him more motivation and hes scary good on d and could be a huge factor, although there is no one in the pac10 much less the country as fast with the ball than derrick rose..youll see. The love dorsey matchup will be the biggest if joey is in fould trouble early it could be a long game.

At Apr 5, 2008, 3:33:00 AM, Anonymous JacB said...

mem tigers..."joyride" in the easy competition Memphis faces in the C-USA

At Apr 5, 2008, 4:48:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Calipari will be out coached today by Howland end of story! I'll be puttin several beers down at Yankee Doodles before, during, and after we spank some Memphis ass!

At Apr 5, 2008, 10:16:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

As I have been saying all season, UCLA defense isnt that good and their players arent too impressive and lack consistency.
This game should have been all about trying to establish Love down low however it takes to do so. UCLA had a good chance when Taggard and Dorsey was in foul trouble early in the second half, yet Bruins did not take advantage of getting the ball inside to Love. This game also needed Shipp to step up and do his thing as well as other Bruins making outside shots. This didnt happen as well since outside shooting were horrible and Memphis was able to sag down inside.
The game was also said to come down to how Rose handles pressure and if he does well, they win. In reality, Collison and Westbrook should rarely be on the floor at the same time. It should have been Westbrook on Rose, Shipp on Roberts.
UCLA's one dimensional defense and offense really was exposed today as well as their reliance on opponents turnover to score.
It is a shame to come this far and lose like this but in reality, this team had so much flaws that were masked by many areas.
Memphis is before, during, and after the game a better team than UCLA. As much as I love UCLA I have stated before that Memphis is better at every position except Center. Also non of the Bruin players are going to make any immediate real impact in the NBA.
Collison's NBA stock just dropped 15 spots most likely. Again they all need better outside shooting to play in the next level.
Memphis did exactly what I said would beat the Bruins and that is to drive in instead of shooting outside. To take advantage of both guard positions.
UCLA just didnt try to put the ball inside enough to Love and the refusal to have a zone defense meant UCLA was destined to get killed by the penetration. I said if Memphis just shoots outside, it would be good for the Bruins. If UCLA had used zone, it would probably slow down Memphis guard play.
In either case, good season for UCLA but the yearlong flaws finally got exposed. Here goes to hopefully Love come back next year with the nice recruiting class coming in.
I dont know what Collison will do, but this game probably dropped him to second round since the NBA are full of big guards.

At Apr 5, 2008, 10:27:00 AM, Anonymous Mike Chavez said...

INEXCUSABLE LOSS!!!! Why was the ball not pounded into Love in the second half when Dorsey and Taggart had 3 fouls early? If Collison's ass did not want to get the ball inside then put his ass on the bench. Ben Howland needs to figure out how to coach OFFENSE. The was a completely winnable game. Just Horrible.

At Apr 5, 2008, 10:48:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

Memphis did what I said UCLA needed to do win. They penetrate, dish the ball, and attacked the rim more. They also pass the ball a lot to make UCLA work on the defensive end.
Bruins dribble side to side too much.

At Apr 5, 2008, 11:08:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

BBR I just wanted to thank you for putting this site together. I check everyday for updates and it is the best bruin site out there. It was a good season with a disappointing ending. I am looking forward to next season and reading each week about our new group coming in. Keep up us to date on who is coming back and keep up the good work. Thanks again.

At Apr 5, 2008, 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous Grrr said...

he main problem here was the match ups. The Bruins had the offense flowing with Westbrook at the point. There was a moment where Westbrook was on Rose, Aboya covered C.D.R., and the Memphis offense was stagnant. Collison had a better chance defending the taller, but less talented, Anderson.
As it was said before, it came down to Shipp and the Bruins not making their open shots. Not getting the ball in the middle wasn’t Love’s fault at all. Love was even forced to get the ball out of the paint and shoot mid-range jumpers that went in and out. There were a few mindless mistakes that cost the Bruins in the long run. Love’s two bad passes, a few missed easy rebounds by the Bruin’s bigs, and Keefe dropping a rebound out of bounds, sums up how the day went for them.
I wish Howland let Westbrook run the point since he seemed to be getting in the middle at will. Having Collison be the second scoring option against average college teams is fine, but in this case, Westbrook needed to be the second or first option. Hopefully, Howland will run the offense through Love and Westbrook next year, if they both come back.
I think the Bruins used up their nine-lives during the last week of the season. Maybe, Howland will hire an affective offensive coordinator and the new recruits will come in as advertised.
All in all, it was a fun year. Go Bruins!

At Apr 5, 2008, 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Grrr said...

I second what Bruin 2005 said. Thank you so much for maintaining this site. It is the best college basketball site for Bruin fans!

At Apr 5, 2008, 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous MI Bruin fan said...

Give Memphis credit- they did a good job doubling down on Love in the 2nd half making it for him to receive the ball. That being said, there were a lot of missed opportunities and the perimeter D just didn't get it done. DC and Shipp got beaten off the dribble too easily. I wished our boys would have played with more fire. I was hoping that brief run at the end of the first half would ignite something or somebody but to no avail.
BBR, outstanding job this year. This site is all class.

At Apr 5, 2008, 12:26:00 PM, Anonymous jcm said...

Wow!! definitely disappointing to come short again!! Memphis did everything
right at the right time!! Next year is
going to be interesting!! we can't really
speculate about love,collison,or westbrook. I'm still glad that coach howland is still on our side!!!Thanks again for all the great info!!! You keep the off season not boring!! go bruins!!
2008-9 hopefully another final 4 and maybe a championship!!

At Apr 5, 2008, 2:22:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

You're welcome. Great season Bruins!


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