clock menu more-arrow no yes

That's the word coming into mind while going through the news clips today over last night's gut wrenching 63-61 win over Washington State. DC was the late game hero going coast to coast in lightning quick drive that would have made a certain no. 11 proud. AA had another huge game and Jordan fought through the pain. Freshmen were key again (more on Roll below). Of course another game and another injury. This time it's Zo Mata (after getting a broken nose in the last game) suffering a hyper extended knee from a collision with Jordan:

The injury to Mata came as he was racing down the court after a loose ball. The Bruins' starting center collided with teammate Jordan Farmar, the two banging knees. Mata was already playing with a fractured nose suffered last weekend against Arizona State, an injury that has forced him to play with a mask.

Mata had an MRI exam late Thursday night, and the results will be revealed today.

"He has tree-trunk legs," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said. "If anybody can bang knees, but avoid a serious injury, it's Lorenzo."
It's good to see Howland is maintaining his sense of humor and his warriors are following his lead. Just check out what Dick Bennet, Wazzu's head coach had to say about the Bruins in first half (via BBR):
Although Dick Bennett's Cougars entered the game with a reputation for a patient, precise offense, but it was the Bruins who were executing their half court offense magnificently in the first half - UCLA shot 54% in the half.

UCLA's execution in the first half was a thing of beauty," Bennett said. "Their screens, their cuts, their timing was perfect.
Something else worked well for us last night - our defense. Howland was impressed:
"I thought our defense in the first half was phenomenal," Howland said. "That was our best defensive effort of the year."
And perhaps one of the key in the defensive effort was the inspire play of Roll.  More from BBR:
Freshman Michael Roll got the starting assignment at small forward, replacing the injured Josh Shipp, and he responded. Roll scored 10 points on 4-8 shooting, although interestingly, it was his solid defense which earned him the start with coach Howland.

He has really improved his defense, Howland said of Roll "he works really hard on his defense at practices and it's so great for a coach to see a player develop and improve like he has".
Roll is going to need to have another huge game this weekend against Saturday. It is almost a given that Mata is not going to be available. Apparently Howland said that according the trainers Mata did not have any structural damages to his knee, but we are not going to know the results of his MRI until today (fingers crossed). In any event - we can almost assume it will up to Wright and Aboya to pick up the burden at 5, and perhaps may be we will have to resort to using Fellins (groan).

Huge win last night, and I know this is starting to sound boring - but another huge game this weekend against pre-season favorite Washington Huskies. We still have Aaron, Aaron, DC, and Prince Luc. I still think any other program would have folded by now if they had the kind of injuries ravaging our roster. But we are hanging in there and we are playing like warriors. It gives me hope for this Saturday. GO BRUINS.