Will Shabazz fair better against a Colorado defense likely keying on him? - Douglas C. Pizac-USA Today Sport
UCLA faces a short turnaround before a difficult game.
Although this is the Colorado vs. UCLA hoops gameday edition of Bruin Bites, it has a lot of flashbacks. Why? Well I think the experts and longtime Ben Howland watchers think today is the day that UCLA's eight game win-streak comes to a halt; whether that is in a close game or blowout remains to be seen. Vegas has the first place in Pac-12 Bruins as 3.5 point underdog. Bruins Nation readers will keep in mind the Ben-on-a -very-short turnaround-record (the game is at 11 am today). So this is a good time for the writers to throw out their feel good pieces because the odds are slim that tomorrow's stories are going to look that way.
- We continue to lament the loss of Baxter Holmes at the LA Times. Today's fish wrap story focus on Howland's days at Northern Arizona where his motto was "recruit to shoot." I will give Howland some credit, unlike Arizona's Sean Miller who always says his teams are going to run and never do, Howland is trying hard to deliver on his promise to run.
- Jack Wang brings up the most meaningless statistic UCLA fans have seen in a while: UCLA has the third most efficient defense in the PAC 12. I think it is fair to say it helps to play teams that shoot 50% in layup practice like Stanford. However, he does make a good defensive point but does not realize it. Wang sticks a knife into the heart of UCLA fans, Spencer Dinwiddie wanted to come to UCLA but was ignored. Spencer is one of the conference best defenders and it will be interesting how Shabazz Muhammad (likely) or Jordan Adams does against him.
- Peter "talking points" Yoon over at ESPN brings up the chemistry angle. Chemistry is easy during an 8 game win streak; let's see how it is in a tough road game with a short turnaround. On the other hand Yoon also brings up Travis Wear in an article that I think gives Travis a fair shake. Although the article does not specifically state it, I personally think Travis improved shooting has come from realizing he is not the main option and taking better shots.
- And let me just briefly mention our ranked basketball team, Coach Cori Close' Lady Bruins. They won their fifth in a row with a 78-52 defeat of Washington State last night. In a show of real team chemistry played 10 players (nine double digit minutes) and had four in double figures. Looks like we do have a basketball program to be proud of.