For folks who have wondered how we started using the term Ben Ball warriors more than four years ago. Here is the first post with the title "Warrior" from January 27, 2006, following a brutal street fight against Washington State:
These kids are warriors. As A wrote below - what Howland is doing right now with these kids is truely amazing. With basically frosh. and sophs. we are freaking undefeated on the road this season. And we are doing it like a gritty, hard nosed Big-East basketball team with rebounding and a smothering, tenacious D
I followed that with this post - also titled "Warrior" - on March 19, 2006, following out second round win in the Big Dance:
I have written this before and I will be probably writing this few more times before he is done in Westwood - Arron is the most fearless leader a major UCLA sports team has had since the days of Cade and Ed O'Bannon. He is something special and he showed it front of a national television audience last night why he is one of the most money players in this game:
Then the term "Ben Ball Warriors" officially emerged in the title of post on November 15, 2006 while commenting on the following excerpt concerning UCLA practices:
It is a drive, a determination, born of competitiveness and confidence.
Jordan Farmar had it, took it with him to the NBA. But UCLA coach Ben Howland said Darren Collison, who replaces Farmar as the Bruins' point guard this season, has it as well. To prove it, he points to a practice from last season. He can dig up the tape, if need be.
Collison, then a freshman, was getting harassed by Farmar, poked and pushed around.
"Jordan was trying to establish him by punking him a little bit," Howland said.
It went on for a while. And, finally, Collison had enough. Pushed too far, he reared back and popped Farmar.
"Darren punched him right in the face," Howland said. "That's when we knew we were going to be really good. We have it on tape, somewhere. I think he gained respect from Jordan - you know, 'I'm not taking anything.'"
Hmm. I am not giving Brendan Lane any ideas (because I don't want him to be slammed through glass cases) but you get the picture.
I just hope Coach Howland thinks back hard to what made that team from 2006 so special which established the foundation for 3 memorable years in what became know as Howlandwood. They did it with heart, desire, intensity, effort and MOST IMPORTANTLY focus on defense (not lazy 3 point shot attempts).