Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bruins Survive RedHawk Scare, Advance to Semis

By Bruin Basketball Report


Box Score


UCLA faced an early season challenge Thursday night facing a veteran Miami (OH) team in the second round of the 2K Sports Classic. In a defensive battle, the Bruins outlasted the RedHawks, 64-59, before 7,802 concerned fans at Pauley Pavilion.


A senior-laden team, Miami was confident, well coached and played a strong hard-nosed game. Guard Michael Bramos scored 22 points and almost single-handedly led an upset but the Bruins superior talent and homecourt were just too much to overcome.


Darren Collison scored 16 points including 8 points down the stretch to lead the Bruins. Josh Shipp also chipped in 16 as UCLA improved to 2-0 on the season.


Freshman Jrue Holiday picked up two early fouls and was never able to get in gear and was not a factor in the game. He was removed with five minutes remaining in the game after committing two turnovers. Holiday finished with just 5 points.


Michael Roll helped pick up the slack by hitting 3 of 5 three-pointers and finishing with 9 points in 22 minutes. Roll shot with confidence and appears to be fully recovered from his foot injury.


Miami did a good job in the second half spreading the floor and negating UCLA's help defense. RedHawk guards Kenny Haynes and Michael Bramos took the Bruin guards off the dribble and found open teammates on the wing. Miami shot 50% in the second half and 48.8% for the game.


Offensively, UCLA struggled again with its inside game.


James Keefe played another subpar game, finishing with 3 points on 1 of 3 shooting and missing another easy layup. The junior is playing with a lack of confidence and its showing on both ends of the court. Keefe had just 3 rebounds in 24 minutes. He'll need to step forward soon as the Bruins lack veteran depth up front.


Senior center Alfred Aboya did another yeoman's job in the paint, sitting picks and disrupting offenses with his activity, but his 6 points and 6 rebounds paired with Keefe's minute contributions will not be enough production for UCLA when it faces teams with even more talent than they've faced.


Its not time to panic in Westwood yet, but a clear warning bell has been sounded.


With an unproductive inside game and five freshmen playing major roles, UCLA will be vulnerable in the early going.


The freshmen are extremely talented but they will be inconsistent as they learn how to play at the Division I level.


Post men Drew Gordon and J'mison Morgan played just a combined 10 minutes against Miami. UCLA will need these two to gain more playing time and experience especially before Pac-10 play starts much less NCAA tournament time.


While Holiday, Malcolm Lee, and Jerime Anderson have shown glimpses of brilliance over the past few games it has been matched equally by evidence of uncertain play and inconsistency.


There will be growing pains. UCLA fans will need to be patient.


Next week the Bruins will face Michigan at New York's Madison Square Garden in the semifinals of the tournament. Wolverine coach John Beilein always plays Ben Howland teams tough. If UCLA advances past Michigan it will face either No. 8 Duke or Southern Illinois in the championship game.


(photo credit: AP)

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35 Comments:

At Nov 13, 2008, 4:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh oh. Michigan isn't looking so easy.
What is up with Aboya? Everyball he touches bounces off his hands. Between that and Dragovic jacking up bricks from 3 point land, they almost caused an upset.

 
At Nov 13, 2008, 4:55:00 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

they need to at least establish the post and throw the ball down there...they'll get the ball back out but they need to keep the defense honest. there will be nights when collison and shipp won't be on and ucla will lose...keefe and aboya can't make anything down there...oh how i miss k love and luc...

 
At Nov 13, 2008, 5:14:00 PM, Anonymous Martha L. said...

Regarding the above, "What is up with Aboya?" Everyball [sic] he touches bounces off his hands". Nothing new there... this is the same thing we've seen for the past 3 years. It's the Michael Fey syndrome. Same with "Dragovic jacking up bricks from 3 point land". It's the Brandon (cry baby) Lyod syndrome.

 
At Nov 13, 2008, 11:17:00 PM, Anonymous dee said...

definitely agree with Joe. a couple times early on i saw Gordon establishing good post position, but it seems like the guards are unwilling to throw the ball down to them. If they can do that simple entry pass (which UCLA has been unable to do under howland's era even with Love), this will attract double teams, and allow them to pass it back out for our 3 point shooters to drain the open 3. I just don't get it.
we are getting burn on our 3 spot again, this has been our weak spot the past 3 years as well... Douglass-Roberts burnt us, Brewer killed us, so did the James guy from Texas. This is when we sorely miss LRMM... our guards are not tall enough, our big men are not quick enough. Last night I thought Keefe probably will have the best chance against Bramos kid.
I really think Keefe can play better, but he doesn't get enough touches to establish himself... I really don't like that the only times our post get the ball is when the guards penetrate and dish it to them, it is really hard for big men with bad hands (ex. aboya). I think they will have more success if they can catch it at mid or high post and establish themselves. Keefe definitely has the range to do something good if he can get the ball at high post

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 5:04:00 AM, Anonymous jojoenglish said...

I am die-hard Bruins fan, unfortunately, it was a very disappointing win, and the red flag is raised. Two major concerns - Free Throws percentage and turnover.
UCLA made 10/18 Free Throws in the Prairie View A&M game and committed 24 Turnovers.
UCLA made 13/20 Free Throws in the Miami (OH) game and committed 7 Turnovers which improved from the first game.
Remember Bruins fans, on our first and second trip to Final Four (two years ago), the teams had the same problems, and we know that Free Throws is one of the most important deciding factors to win tight ball games. And I recall that there were a few games that we lost was because of a very poor free throws shooting night.
We definitely need to improve on those areas. Also, from the last game against Miami (OH), the rebounds are just 25 to 20 in our favor, with such a small rebound margin. We could be killed on the board when we face Michigan Wolverines (DeShawn Sims -avg. 9.5 Re/g last year), Duke Blue Devils (Kyle Singler - avg. 9.0 Re/g last year), Texas (Damion James - avg. 10.3 Re/g last year), DePaul Blue Demons (Mac Koshwal - avg. 8.4 Re/g last year), Washington Huskies (Jon Brockman - avg. 11.6 Re/g last year) or even when we get a chance to play UNC at the semi-final of the NCAA tournament (because UNC will be get to the "MIDWEST (Indianapolis) & Greensboro" and UCLA will get to the "WEST (Arizona) & Portland". In short, assuming if everything goes smoothly this year, UCLA will have to face UNC and beat UNC beat before to earn a trip to the final at Detroit. This will be very very tough!
By the way, our guys are so thin and as Malcolm Lee was interviewed on the radio that he agreed the "strength" is one of the areas that needs to be improved. Guys needs to take initiative and go to the gym. more often during off basketball practice hours.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 5:09:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Excellent points all- I noticed the same thing last night. Even I, from up in the stands, can see that the ball is not being rotated to the post much. Part of the problem, however, is that the post players are not good at establishing (and holding) their position. Too often they're being pushed out by stronger, or more determined, defensive players. I think Aboya and Bobo have the best chance at establishing position, but they're standing far too upright to keep the position. If they made themselves wider at the base (legs), they would be more stable. And they need to provide a target for the others to pass to (holding up their hands, etc.) This wasn't happening at all last night. They established position, but didn't help the guards get it into them.
The other point that was pointed out was the fact that the guards and forwards don't make the entry pass. I think this is because the post players can't catch. Why throw the ball inside if it's just going to be fumbled out of bounds (e.g. Holiday to Dragovich to turnover last night). Unbelievable. Small hands may be the problem. They all need to work on the fundamentals of post play.
Personally, I think it's time to get Gordon off the bench to start at PF. It's apparent that Keefe can't play with the first team. Gordon may not be ready either, but he brings more energy to the table. Keefe looked asleep most of the game.
Defensively, the post players aren't rotating to the weak side to assist the guards who just got blown by. Too many times did I see Aboya, Keefe, and Gordon watching instead of reacting. And they've got to learn to never give up the baseline drive. I don't remember who it was, but someone got "schooled" on the baseline last night. Embarassing!
Thank goodness the wings and guards did what they were supposed to do...play tough defense and score, despite their underachieving post players.
No post play means no championship as far as I'm concerned.
But, it's still early. A lot can change. I'm still hopeful...

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 5:38:00 AM, Anonymous DW said...

I think Keefe is a spark off the bench type of guy, not a starter. We lost (in my opinion) the most crucial piece of our 3 final four run in LRMM. He did all the things these guys struggle with very well. He was a big game player too. I thought he should have been on Rose the whole game last year. Hurry and learn the game Gordo!!!!

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 5:55:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

passing down low to the post is incredibly easy job to do. I did so with ease all 4 years in highschooll ball.
The biggest factor is swinging the ball faster as well as establishing the position. Another is players nowadays arent as good in doing so because they just dont practice nor think about it much at all.
Lots of players arent used to the level of competition at the next level since in highschool great point guards usually have a very easy time passing the ball everywhere due to the defenders backing off from him.
To pass the ball, players need to be decisive and mixed their entry pass to the post all the time. You just cant expect the defender to stand in front of you and allow you to just dump it over him. You gotta ball fake, jab step pretending to drive and/or fake shooting the ball and pass.
Establishing position down low is important to get a good spot to pose a threat once you get the ball, but it isnt as important if you just want to ge the ball to the post.
Sealing off players down low makes you more of a threat to score once you get the ball, but it is really not a make it or break it deal when it comes to getting the ball.
If you got a great defender down low denying the entry pass, best thing to do is swing the ball fast and catch the post man ON THE MOVE to their spot and not wait till he gets to the spot to pass it. By then it would take too long and defenders are set.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 6:38:00 AM, Anonymous gotodaily said...

our Bruins are well represented in the NBA:
http://www.nba.com/rookies/rankings_081112.html
all three UCLA rookies are in the top ten ranking. way to go Bruins!

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 6:41:00 AM, Anonymous jojoenglish said...

Former UCLA 2009 Prospect - Michael Snear finally commits.....to Florida State over Kansas and Marquette among his 3 school finalist after taking his time to the early National Signing period!

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 6:42:00 AM, Anonymous Rose Bowler said...

Lookin' sloppy and weak on the offensive execution. We can't expect DC and Shipp to do it all alone with acrobatics.
Roll did well! Drago looked really good the first 5 minutes, penetrating, even playing hard defense, then went back to relying on slinging them from El Segundo.
Morgan looks lost to me but Gordon shows promise with time. Lee has Westbrook potential but needs to stay in control... and hit the gym.
Also, I don't see Holiday nearly at the level of an O.J. Mayo at the same stage. JH needs to come back next year...period!!!
Gang, we may realisitcally be looking at 2009/10 for a deep tourny run.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 8:06:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

jojoenglish - Don't know about you, but I just never really had a good feeling about Snaer anyway. We want players who want us:
Storied Tradition
Most NCAA Championships
The Wizard
Best Coach (Currently)
Best chance to go to the next level
The Snaers, Stephensons, Sidneys can go their merry way for all I care... Add Brandon Jennings to that lot too.
BTW, the beer bottle broke in my hand last night I was so tense watching us squeak by those mighty Red Hawks.
I think all our concerns are valid...

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 8:17:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Oh I think I have to agree with Rose Bowler (though I hate to marinate in negativity) but also think Holiday is not a one&done from what I have seen so far. Love's first year, DC's first year, you knew these guys were special. Maybe Jrue is just testing the waters before he explodes. Can't wait for the contest he let's loose and takes over the game.
And much as I hate to admit Mayo showed brilliance from day one at SUC. Even though he made his share of mistakes you knew he was capable of elevating above everyone at any time.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 8:37:00 AM, Anonymous DW said...

Snaer went to Florida St. so he wouldn't have to go to class.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 8:43:00 AM, Anonymous gtd said...

it's tough to lose a local guy like Snaer. i'm dumbfounded as to why Snaer would choose Florida State over UCLA and Kansas.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous george said...

UCLA should save some money. I would propose that UCLA fire Coach BH for some flimsy reason that would allow them to get out from under the contract to same the few million $$ he is costing. Now, wait. Don't get all so excited - I have a plan!!!
We should hire DB as head coach so that he could teach these talented players how to "pass down low to the post." After all, that is an "incredibly easy thing to do" and he "did so with ease all 4 years in highschool ball." Since it is so easy, and since our talented roster isn't doing it, CBH obviously is not doing his job and should be fired.
Secondly, let's fire the assistant coaches. In their stead, let's hire KDL1984. He can make sure that our bigs are "wide at the base" and can ensure that Coach DB (let's call him dumb bastard for short) gets Gordon off the bench to start. Obviously, KDL (let's call him Koach DorrelL) can see what CBH can't - that "Keefe can't play with the first team." After all, it is so "apparent!" Why can't CBH see it?
Maybe if CBH would just do his job, make sure that our players learned the things that are so "easy" that a "high school" poster could teach it and learned to see what is so "apparent" to a casual observer, last night would have been a 65 point blow out.
BTW, it was "obvious" to BrewIn by the SECOND GAME of DC's freshman year (behind Farmar) that he was "special" and he hasn't seen anything "special" in Jrue by the second game? All of you - GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! This is a relatively young team and last night was the second game. I was biting my nails in Pauley with the rest of you. I was saying a quick prayer for DC's ice in the veins free throws too. Most of the fun this year will come from watching this team mature and gel. THAT is what is exciting about watching a CBH team. Watching Mayo or Derozan or Rose or Beasley dominate is entertaining for a couple games. Watching a CBH team mature and gel as the season progresses (does anyone other than me and Jojo remember Farmar and Aflalo and Hollins) is FAR FAR FAR more satisfying and fun.
Relax and enjoy it!!
Oh...and GO BRUINS!!!!!

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 11:45:00 AM, Anonymous smilin said...

Correct George - we won. Look at the storied KU program, for the SECOND year in a row, they lost AT HOME, to a nobody!!!
CBH will get them where they need to be come time for Pac 10 play and beyond!

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 11:59:00 AM, Anonymous gotodaily said...

Luc had a big night...
http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281114029
Go Bruins!

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous gotodaily said...

Westbrook also had a great night...
http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281114018
19 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.
but lost the game.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 1:40:00 PM, Anonymous ASK said...

That is a great line for Luc. I didn't get to catch that game but I am pretty sure he was even better off the ball and on the defensive side.
I am glad to see he is doing so good so early.
I wasn't surprised at Love leaving early and Westbrook had to go being a lottery pick. I knew that Luc was on the fence and I was praying he would return for his senior year. I think we miss him more than I initially tought.
Gordon reminds me of a tad shorter but beefier Hollins. So far Lee has been the most impressive frosh by far.
Howland is a great coach. Right now we are definately not the #4 team in the nation. That being said, I think this team can become very special come March. We have a great core of experienced personel. The freshman are very talented and obviously have a lot to learn (more so learning Howlands system and the defensive coaching he does so well than other basketball skills).
We will take our lumps early but I bet no one will want to be placed in their bracket come March. And with 4 fantastic recruits signing this week, we are going to have a realistic chance at winning a NC for years to come.

 
At Nov 14, 2008, 3:15:00 PM, Anonymous DorianGraysBlues said...

The coach sees the big picture. I was hoping that aboya and keefe (who i think has potential) would play better, but the season is early. Coach is doing the right thing by starting them now, so that if, and when, he has to bench them, it will be because they lost it, not because it was given to someone else. The great news is that gordon and morgan have enough talent to play college ball. We will take our lumps early, but we will deliver them late. The great thing about ben howlands teams is that they have always gone further in the tournament than the experts predict. By the way, i'll bet anyone out there that jrue holiday will be a better college and pro player than o.j. mayo. Also, its great to see roll playing so well, he deserves it. And if shipp keeps going to the hole, like coach wants him to, he might make 1st team all pac ten. Maybe even some honorable mention all american teams.
i'm so happy the season has begun.

 
At Nov 15, 2008, 5:26:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

No inside game...that's our red flag

 
At Nov 15, 2008, 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous Robwash said...

Let's keep in mind that last year was the only year under Howland that we had a go-to guy down low. Everything else down low has always been set offensive plays. That's what we will get better and better at as the season goes on. This is teachable, so the upside is huge. I also believe that this team will shoot a lot better than previous Howland teams, which will make us less vulnerable to zones and teams packing the paint. I also think we will see Morgan and others develop their inside games A LOT over the next 2 to 3 months. Should be fun watching this team evolve.

 
At Nov 15, 2008, 2:37:00 PM, Anonymous bruin66 said...

Good point, Robwash - let us appreciate the "getting there," not just the "being there." In the 1963-64 season we were underdogs the whole way. That was the first and the best.

 
At Nov 16, 2008, 9:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George,
IMO, if the forwards and centers had the same amount of desire as your negativity, there's nothing that can stop us.
Please, allow the others to express their opinions. That's what makes this site fantastic...the ability of all to share ideas and thoughts.
I'm sure the glass is half empty for you, but don't take it out on your fellow bruins.

 
At Nov 16, 2008, 11:41:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

George,
Relax yo, all I am saying is sometimes these very simple things are overlooked by players because it was so easy to do in highschool with their talent.
Just like a lot of great talents cant play defense or team defense well because they are just far superior at the highschool level that when they come to college, they arent able to do well due to the greater level of talent.
There is a such thing as knowning basketball very well even though you arent a coach you know. You dont have to be one to know the game very well. The biggest difference between those who can coach and those who cant, isnt really the knowledge of the game, but the ability to get the message across.
The ability to make those understand your plans.
I do not need to be a coach to know the game well, that is totally two different things. A person can be very good at something, but not as good in teaching it. Why you think most great coaches arent necessarily the best players when they were playing and vice versa.
I was not saying CBH isnt able to do the simple thing as coaching his players the entry pass, but rather many players arent quite there on the basic things of the game cause there was just too great of a difference in parity issue in highschool that they dont even practice them much.
Next time watch freshmen players and you will see what I am talking about. The little things like jab stepping, change of speed, drop step, and other more basic things arent used much yet. This is due to most young players are so much superior in highschool that they just blow by everyone easily.
It is why Klove was so successful in his first year in college. Athletically he wasnt as great, but he knew how to use the basic but extremely effective techniques to be successful. Most young players rely on their talent and atleticism that they struggle when they go against someone equally talented by more polished.
Eventually, the young Bruins will use these more often and be more efficient.

 
At Nov 16, 2008, 2:46:00 PM, Anonymous george said...

DB - Are you seven years old or is English your third language? And, btw, shall we assume that your "game" was pretty crappy in high school since you didn't mention playing in the big leagues?
Dude who won't leave your name - First you insult our forwards and centers who work their arses off for your entertainment and then you tell me not to "take it out on my fellow Bruins." Why, isn't that just the Cardinal calling the Trojan red! BTW, better to have a half empty glass (because it is half full you know) then a completely empty acorn shell.
Yours affectionately,
The Georgemeister.

 
At Nov 16, 2008, 5:09:00 PM, Anonymous Martha said...

George, relax. You're comments on this blog are always so harsh. You seem to take others comments to an extreme. We all love BenBall. Having discussions around the topic is what makes blogs fun and interesting. They aren't meant to be taken as the ultimate word. Think of it this way... even when a bad team wins on TV, they always put their finger up and say "we're number 1". Are they saving this because they REALLY think they are and that OTHERS will believe them too? Of course not. It's just all part of the game and fun. that being said, I love your passion, so keep that up.
Let's go Blue & Gold! Go BRUINS!

 
At Nov 16, 2008, 11:32:00 PM, Anonymous george said...

"I love your passion" but "relax." The two are not really compatible.
Am just curious, why is is OK for these posters to crawl out of the woodwork and "harshly" call out our players who, throughout the season, at games and at practice, work their butts off for same posters' entertainment? After all, these kids are 17, 18, 19 years old and the freshmen, new to CBH's system, have likely never worked so hard in their lives. Then they have some idiot like DB tell them how "easy" it is to get the ball inside. After all, he did it in High School!!! Then, when I, in return, call out these idiots, they whine and have their mommy come out to defend them.
Give me a break!

 
At Nov 17, 2008, 3:19:00 AM, Anonymous bruinalum said...

remember bruins... in 2006.. Ryan hollins didn't really develop into a solid post player until half way into the season and really gave us that spark we needed in the tournament.. So we do have time for these young players to develop

 
At Nov 17, 2008, 5:43:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

George,
Take it easy dude! No sense in getting your blood boiling! We're all just here to discuss our favorite subject. Like anonymous said, everybody has a right to express an opinion, and that includes yours, but do you have to call people "idiots"? Do you know more than everybody else to be able to make that statement? If so, why aren't you coaching the Bruins? Or are you more comfortable putting others down to boost yourself up?
People don't necessarily agree with everything that's been said by others, but you seem to be the only one calling people names. Just have a little respect for others' opinions, that's all.
We all back CBH. That's something we all have in common. And the fact that we all enjoy this site and our Bruins. Don't make it a personal thing. Just go with the flow dude.
As for Anonymous and Martha- thank you for your posts. I think they were right on.

 
At Nov 17, 2008, 10:40:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

Dang George,
What is up with the harsh words? All I have said basically was that high profile freshmen are usually much more superior in their talent and athletic abilities in highschool that they often dont pay attention to the fundamentals as much. This is why they tend to struggle a bit early in college years because the level of competition is that much greater where they cannot just rely on their natural given talents to dominate everyone, every team, and every game.
You are right in that english is my third language of four that I know. I think as such, I am doing a decent job at it especially if I am like you said, 7 years old. I also agree that I have a crappy game which is why I had to practice to get the fundamentals down to the cent since I rely on that more. Not to mention the fact that since I do not play at the next level I am horrid like all others who never did but a tad better than those that never even played highschool I guess.
I guess spending 4 years playing 3 different sports and my lack of talent just made me that crappy of a basketball player that there is just no way I know what I am talking about.
I guess saying something is easy even though a person has practice hard and done so in that area is the wrong thing to say. Even though it was stated more for the people in this forum to get an idea and not directed at the players since they would already know is just so bad it warrants direct assaults from a fellow fan.
I just realized that fans just have never in their lifetime watched their favorite team or player make a mistake and say to themselves "How did he miss that easy play". Because since we arent playing at their level, we cant say anything about their game.
I suppose people can blast young athletes for not wanting to come to their school and play, criticize their personality and family while not knowing them personally. Especially it is ok for these people who may never even played the lowest level of competition organized ball to criticize these kids. Somehow though I get blasted for making a simple comment even with some sort of related experience in the same background about one of the fundamentals of the game.
You are just too talented for me George. I hope you go into politics because you have lots of great qualities for it.
Good thing despite having a crappy game and my poor english skills that I am at least able to buy my own home in southern california, attend Lakers game, and have a great paying job. Looks like I at least did something right!
I am sorry if my comment in this thread offended you George, but let us end it here. You certainly are a better man than me for not ever saying something is easy when it may have been for you. Let us just say you are right, and I am wrong.
Afterall, this is to be a friendly forum regarding Bruins basketball. It certainly wouldnt be fair for others, me, and especially you for us to be going at it in any way.
You win I lose, lets move on.

 
At Nov 17, 2008, 10:50:00 AM, Anonymous Robwash said...

George: there is nothing wrong with having a different opinion on a topic. But we aren't debating the Palestinian problem. How easy (or not easy) a pass to a post player is doesn't really merit a lot of emotion. It's just basketball, and we all love our Bruins.

 
At Nov 17, 2008, 2:29:00 PM, Anonymous george said...

DB:
"passing down low to the post is incredibly easy job to do. I did so with ease all 4 years in highschooll ball."
So easy a caveman could do it.
DB, read what you originally wrote. You did not qualify it and back away from it the way you do in the entry above. It was your demeaning approach to the students who go out and give it their all on the court that I took issue with. After all, if it is so "easy" that you did it "with ease" in high school, then the only explanation for the freshmen not to do it is lack of competitive edge. That or lack of proper coaching.
In any case, now that I understand that English is indeed your fourth language (I was being sarcastic initially - never realized I was right on the money) I have to give it to you - you are doing real well. Keep it up baby!!

 
At Nov 19, 2008, 6:56:00 AM, Anonymous Bee said...

@DB
Good points re: Kevin Love excelling with (relatively) average athleticism but amazing fundamentals. He also played with a lot of heart and did not crumble when the going got tough. To me, those mental aspects are what make Howland players so likeable.
I was hoping for a little more out of Gordon and Bobo, myself, even though they're both freshmen. You can pretty much see from their play that they made their living in high-school dunking on everyone. Hopefully one of them will come around by the end of the season because I do not believe that Aboya is the answer.
The results of the Pitt/Miami game were eye-opening. I had expected Miami (supposedly a solid team) to play Pitt much tougher since they had already played a higher-ranked Howland team. Miami just got man-handled. I guess what I take away from that game is that we are probably ranked a little too high right now...
I agree with BBR (shout out to you for great recap, BTW) that the alarms have been sounded re: interior presence and inconsistency.
Before I go sounding too negative, just want to remind people how one year we beat a Bob Knight-coached Indiana team during the season and got stomped during the NCAAs. Meaning, even though we can look bad early on, with good coaching and hard-working players, we can gel by the end of the season and make some noise in March Madness.

 

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