Bumped to keep above the football post from today. -N
This is a banner Sunday on BruinsNation. Sometime earlier this morning we passed the 100,000 visitors mark. Pretty cool stuff considering our humble beginnings back in July. I will write a little bit more on this topic sometime later this week, but the real season I am feeling jazzed this cold Sunday morning was last afternoon's quality (some can call it a breakthrough win) win in Michigan. Steve Springer from LA Times nails the reason Bruins finished the Wolverines:
It was also about defense. Bruin Coach Ben Howland may be determined not to resort to a zone defense, but he has no hesitancy about double-teaming in the post. It worked nearly to perfection against Michigan center Courtney Sims.
The Big Ten player of the week last week, Sims, with Lorenzo Mata, Ryan Hollins, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and any other available body in his face, had only two shot attempts, making one. Sims, who had been averaging 16.4 points, finished with six.
That basically finished the Wolverines
Their predominantly freshman team faced Big Ten power Michigan State last December and lost by 12 points in East Lansing.
Saturday afternoon at Chrisler Arena was proof of just how far they've come.
"I think that experience last season helped us so much today," guard Jordan Farmar said after the No. 14 Bruins defeated Michican 68-61.
"That was the first time a lot of us were in snow and on ESPN. It was our first trip to the Midwest and I think we were pretty overwhelmed. Today just felt right. We came here today and did our job."
Not only did Farmer score 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half after Arron Afflalo scored 17 of his 20 in the first, the pair of sophomores kept UCLA centered after Michigan cut a 13-point deficit to just four with just more than a minute to play.
Photo Credit: Duane Burelson, AP
Lastly gotta point this out. Here we are often bringing up the comparisons between Howland and Dorrell. They both took over our two major programs at the same time (albeit at different stages ... football needed a jump start, while the hoops was burnt into the ground). Anyways, here is Adam a BN blogger in the comment section on last night's game making a comparison based on the most crucial play of the game:
It's interesting, from today's AP account of the game:
Afflalo gave the credit to Howland for pointing out one of Horton's tendencies.
"We watched so much film and saw Horton is always running away from the ball when a big man gets the rebound," Afflalo said. "It was a crucial point, and I saw an opportunity because I saw the big man wasn't paying too much attention."
The most important play of the game, the one that sealed the victory, and from a first look seemed like a great individual play by AA. But, in actuality it was something that had been spotted as a weakness by Coach Howland, and gone over in practice. That's amazing. What an attention to detail, and it really made the difference today. Meanwhile, with three weeks to prepare, we still get demolished by SC. What a joke. Go Bruins!