I'm not going to go too deep into game analysis here because it looks like everyone else in BN is already all over that. And while I drove back down from the Bay Area in god-awful weather today, the blogosphere was abuzz putting most of my thoughts on the game on to paper (well, onto a computer screen).
So I'm just going to add few brief things that I haven't seen mentioned and give a bit of a write-up of the Maples experience. Firstly, Alfred's three (first ever?) was just awesome-- I don't even think we need to get into it. Amazing. Secondly, it seems like the epitome of a Ben Howland player is that he does twice as much as what shows up in the score sheet. This is particularly true of our "blue collar" guys in Alfred, LoMaRe, Luc et al. But it is also true of our freshman phenom, Kevin Love. Not only was he an offensive force (that's in the score sheet), he forced the Lopezes to follow him out to the free throw line and beyond which created for a lot easier looks at the basket once we penetrated. After having had to watch us lose to Florida two years in a row (remember how they were swatting Collison last year?), this is an amazing luxury to have. And I'm sure our guards appreciate it way more than any of us.
Also, to the Howland doubters, what "issue" with our team didn't seem completely addressed tonight? The zone attack? Solid. Love's touches? Plenty. Slow start? I guess you could call 6-0 a "slow start", but we were never in a serious hole. The guys looked pumped and ready to go for Pac 10 play and I can't help but imagine that has a lot to do with the big guy in charge. That's not to say there aren't plenty of issues to be worked out, but it's clear that he sees them before any of us do, and fixes them better than any of us could. I'm over the whole timeout thing also. Yes, it's unorthodox. Whatever-- he's the guy in charge and given his results, I'll let him do whatever he goddamn pleases.
As someone who was at the game I have to say that our fans kicked ass last night. I just got done watching the game (tivo'd) and could definitely hear us for large portions of the game. Wish I could go to the Cal game but I'm sure we'll be well represented there too.
I'd never been to Maples and it's a pretty cool little gym. Made me really anxious for the Pauley renovation. Stanford fans seemed like good people, and we thanked them for beating sc after the game.
Now it's all about the Bears. Game on. Go Bruins.