Howland Q&A, etc.

In case you haven't seen it, Luke Winn has a Q&A with Ben Howland.  Some good stuff, including how Love is going to fit in position-wise as well as his progress this summer:

Luke Winn: With super-recruit Kevin Love on the way in, and Arron gone to the draft, how will your lineup be restructured next season? Is it as easy as putting Love at center, and shifting Lorenzo Mata, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Josh Shipp [last year's five, four and three, respectively] down a position?

Ben Howland: Actually, when Kevin plays alongside Lorenzo, [Love] will probably end up playing the four on defense as opposed to the five. And we're definitely going to be playing Lorenzo and Kevin together at times. On offense, though, Kevin will be able to play both the four and the five. He works [at the five] because he'll probably be our best rebounder, if not one of our top two. He has very good low-post moves, plus he can step out and shoot the three, and he's good from the foul line. But the biggest thing is what Kevin can do around the basket. We haven't had a great low-post scorer since I've been here.


LW: Love has been on campus for a while now. What has he been up to this summer?

BH: He's been to summer school in both sessions, and he actually went down with Darren Collison and played in a camp [the Adidas Nations Basketball Experience] in New Orleans. All reports out of there were that Kevin was one of the best players in the whole thing. He's working real hard. On campus they play regular pickup at the Men's Gym [in the Student Activities Center]. Kevin Garnett was there this week. Emeka Okafor's been there; he played against [Love]. Baron Davis has been there, so has Earl Watson and Sam Cassell. The list goes on and on. It's great competition.

This sounds about right- Lorenzo seems like a better fit taking on the defensive responsibilities of the 5 spot.  Not to mention how refreshing it is to hear a coach showing some command talking about his sport.  And I just love (pun intended) that he's getting to work out with BD and the rest at Men's Gym, er, SAC.  This is also consistent with what Love recently told Dohn:

Bruins big man Kevin Love stopped by football practice earlier this week, and told me he is working out like a fiend and is seeing the results already. Love said he's lost 12 pounds under Doc Kreis' program, and that he can tell how much strong he is already.

Love also said his schedule is incredibly busy, between class, lifting weights three or four times a week and playing pickup in the men's gym with teammates, and some NBA guys. (By the way, Kevin Garnett and Baron Davis were on campus playing this week).

It's also easy to tell how much Love is anticipating the season, because he remarked several time during out conversation how eager he was to get things going.

And why wouldn't you be excited for this upcoming season?  It's going to be special.  Some other interesting tidbits from the Howland interview about Luc and Josh:

LW: You have a lot of talent returning this year, but how do you expect to pick up the defensive slack from Arron's departure? He was regarded as a great lock-down guy on the perimeter.

BH: We're going to play Luc at the three this year, and the biggest difference from that move will come on defense. He's so versatile that he can guard a point guard all the way up to a five, and there are very few players you can say that about. Luc will definitely end up guarding some of the other team's best wings.

LW: Josh Shipp is going to have to play a huge role this year. How is his rehab work coming after that left-hip surgery?

BH: Josh actually played five-on-five yesterday for the first time since he had the surgery on April 20, and he apparently played well. He's going to play again tomorrow, which means he's ahead of schedule now from where I expected him to be. It looks like he'll be ready to go once practice starts in October. Initially I thought he wouldn't start playing five-on-five until mid-September.

Man, I'm getting pretty excited about football, I must admit.  But I'm gonna be going out of my mind by the time hoops gets into gear.  At least all is right with that part of the world.


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