Too often after a tough game, good or bad, there are people saying I told you so and seems to me that CBH is in a no-win scenario with some of the people here. I thought I would layout some markers in advance to keep the L or W in perspective as I think CBH is a good coach deserving of respect whatever happens tonight. However, some things need to happen.
If we lose:
Keep it in perspective, depending on how we lose. These things should happen and will be some positives to take if they do:
1. Did we hustle for 40 minutes?
2. If we lost in part because of close, hustle type foul calls to RN, ML, TH; keep in the PAC-10 the referees are biased toward the home team. In other words if we lose a close game (or are wining/tied toward the later part of the game) and any of those three player's minutes are limited because of marginal foul calls, it is more understandable that we lost. We get an advantage at home as well. This is particularly hard on a young team. It is well documented the home team has an advantage and two of those three are playing their first PAC-10 road game. On the other hand if ML makes stupid reach frustration fouls, etc. this point is off the board.
3. Did we avoid a major dry spell on offense? If our offense again goes major minutes in a row without a FG then that is cause for concern as the team is not improving. We need to score more consistently and need improvement here. If we avoid this (with the caveat of #2 above), it will be a good sign going forward.
If we win:
1. Don't say that CBH should have started TH sooner. Keep in mind TH has been hurt and sick. Someone else wrote that in the first exhibition game in the last 8 minutes when it was close, TH was in as part of "CBH's preferred line up." While I for one am a huge fan of TH, the fact remains it would have been tough to start him sooner when he wasn't a 100% and missed so much time.
2. Don't say ML should have been playing point from the beginning. ML is learning to play within himself, check out some of his TO runs. He has shown glimpses before and is improving but it was necessary to let him learn at 2, while being the shutdown defender (a role he has played great in 2 PAC-10 games) and part time at 1; rather than sink or swim from the beginning at 1.
3. Don't say it is because JA did not start. I don't know how bad JA's injury is but there are a number of other factors as well. One may say if we win a hurt JA is not good enough to start.
Nestor is right, a losing season is not acceptable at UCLA.