Ben Ball Roundup: Washington Game Notes

The Humpday Ben Ball round up starts with a note of concern. PAA has been sick since he returned from the Arizona trip. From the LA Tiimes:

It was a quiet and somewhat gaunt-looking Alfred Aboya who showed up to speak with reporters Tuesday, wearing a black sweat suit with a hood pulled over his head.

The UCLA center, suffering from flu-like symptoms, said he had not eaten solid food in two days.

"You know how much I eat, right?" the 6-foot-9, 245-pound senior said. "So two days for me is like a year for you."

Aboya fell ill Sunday after the team returned from two losses in Arizona. A doctor told him it was a virus.

Per the report it is "unclear" whether PAA will be ready for Thursday night. However, I think it's a good bet that he will not miss that game given what is at stake. All his team-mates are expecting him to play on Thursday night.

BTW this is not the first time UCLA athletes have gotten sick in their trip to Arizona. Brian Dohn reports in the Daily News:

The flu bug hit the Bruins last week when power forward Nikola Dragovic and Collison were affected, but neither was as sick as Aboya, who said all he ingested for three days was ginger ale.

"He had severe vomiting and also diarrhea, and couldn't eat," Howland said. "This is different. They didn't have the same symptoms. The gymnastics team went to Arizona, ironically, and came back and they got sick, more like what Alfred's experiencing now."

Thanks for the details coach. We really needed to see that in print. lol

On a more serious note if PAA is not fully 100 percent by tomorrow night, we will probably see lot more of DG and hopefully some good mins from JMM. Remember JMM logged some decent mins against Washington in Seattle during which he provided a little offensive spark.

While we are going to need big games from DG/JMM and PAA and have to worry about how DC/JH defende the speedy UDub guards, we will also have to watch out for Quincy Poindexter. From Sportsline.com:

Junior forward Quincy Pondexter, who seemingly never lived up to the massive hype that followed him from high school, has been critical to the Huskies' surge to the top of the Pac-10 standings.

Pondexter scored 20 points in UW's 103-84 rout of Oregon, and has averaged 18.0 over the current four-game stretch.

That's quite a change from the previous two seasons, where Pondexter often seemed lost, and certainly paled in comparison two his two former central California high school teammates, Stanford stars Brook and Robin Lopez.

"I did feel a lot of pressure on myself," Pondexter told the Seattle Times. "I found there were a lot of times when I would just be in my room and just wondering when it was ever going to be great here. Now I think it's turning around into that fairy tale, and I'm loving every minute of it."

Brockman said Pondexter has learned how to just play the game, and not stress over it so much.

"I think the biggest thing Quincy has done is taken the pressure off himself," Brockman said. "He's taken the whole NBA thing out of the deal and just said to himself, 'Forget about that. I'm going to think about the team. I'm going to think about our season instead of worrying about my future.'

Pondexter has been making solid contributions all season averaging 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds. JS is going to have his hands full guarding Pondexter tomorrow night.

What JS and his team-mates cannot do tomorrow night is to allow Pondexter (who had 4 offensive rebounds and 2 steals against the Bruins in Seattle) and the Huskies to outhustle and outough the Bruins. Moreover, Bruins will have to play through the predictable inconsistent calls of SPTRs. Lot of our young guys have been taken aback by the officiating this year which has even prompted a usually reserved Howland to contact the Pac-10 officials (from the OC Register):

Howland said he spoke with the Pac-10 officiating supervisor, Bill McCabe, about an offensive foul called on Darren Collison with 39 seconds left at Arizona State. Had the play been ruled a block and Collison (a 92-percent free-throw shooter) made a foul shot, UCLA would have taken the lead.

A similar thing happened to USC guard Daniel Hackett near the end of the Trojans' loss at ASU Sunday.

Howland didn't want to comment publicly, but not all players were so diplomatic. A few felt they should have received more free throws in that game at Washington. The Huskies shot 43 to the Bruins' 15.

"It happens to us pretty much every game, even here," freshman Jrue Holiday said. "We do get some calls here, but here and away, we really don't get calls. We're just going to have to be more aggressive and make the refs make calls."On the season, UCLA has shot 436 free throws. Its opponents have shot 465.

Well the best way to address this issue again is for our guys to attack the basket with a purpose and not settle for jumpshots. They cannot allow the Huskies to dominate the lane like they did in Seattle. If the Bruins can defend the paint and attack from both inside and out tomorrow night, they will have a good chance to regaining the lost momentum in Arizona. It will certainly make PAA and rest of the Bruin Nation feel better tomorrow night.

GO BRUINS.

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