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Hoop time ...

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We have been slowly shifting into full on hoops mode over here. This is the week UCLA basketball season is going to kick into full gear as the conference games started in the Pac-10. Bruins right now are sitting pretty with a 10-1 record compiled without Josh Shipp.  We are number 11 in both main polls and as mentioned before have a pretty high RPI based on a pretty strong schedule (if you want to see what an easy schedule looks like click here).

Lot of the local rags are doing their Pac-10 kickoff stories and JD has a roundup of those over at HoopScoop. UBB thinks UCLA will finish at the top of the conference.  I think we are going to finish in the top-3.  I still think it is going to be Washington and Arizona who will roundup the first two slots in the conference.  But then again Howland and his boys can prove me wrong.  Right now though I am looking forward to Thursday night.  I just want this program to end Stanford's ridiculous streak of 9 straight wins at Pauley. We badly need to get that monkey off our back.

Staying on basketball - briefly want to mention recruiting.  Right now are all set for next year as we have commitments from one of the top power forward seniors in the country in James Keefe and a kid from Serbia named Spica, who sounds like has a lot of potential.  But the recruiting junkies in BruinsNation have been holding their breath over two kids from Oregon: Kevin Love and Kyle Singler. Why?  Well, Gregg Doyle of CBS Sportsline sums it up pretty nicely here:

This isn't a place for holiday gift ideas. Not normally. This is a place where we prefer to rap knuckles and smack heads. But today, we've got a gift idea. A pretty package.

Kevin Love and Kyle Singler to UCLA.


Right now, UCLA is awfully good. The Bruins are ranked No. 12, and that's probably about right. They're good, and they're getting better. Nine of their top 12 players are freshmen or sophomore, including sophomore guards Jordan Farmar, Arron Afflalo and Josh Shipp. Assuming none of those guys gets silly and becomes the next Marcus Taylor -- you listening, Mr. Farmar? -- UCLA will be even better next season when stud power forward James Keefe enrolls.

And then in 2007-08, when all of this season's sophomores are seniors, and this season's freshmen are juniors, and Keefe is a sophomore, the Bruins could introduce Love and Singler, two of the West's best recruits from the class of 2007. Love is a 6-foot-9 post player, the No. 3 player nationally according to Singler is a 6-8 small forward, and the No. 6 player overall. With Love and Singler, UCLA would be back. John Wooden-era back. Believe that.
Well then ... good to know. Honestly, I don't want to hold my breath over this. If this happens, that would be really be incredible. But right now I just want this program to stay on its current track of moving up the rankings by playing solid Howland basketball. As cliché as it sounds, if we keep taking care of business they we have been so far this season, everything is going to be fine.  And it starts again this Holiday season by ending that 9 game streak against Stanford. It would be yet another exorcizing (psychological) demons we accumulated during our previous head coach. I feel good about Thursday. GO BRUINS.