Man where to start. There are so many good reads in the papers and other national sites today about the Bruins. What we saw yesterday at Corvallis is just the latest proof of Howland building something special in Westwood - implications of which we are going to feel - IMHO for years to come. We are just getting started with the rebirth of yet another Golden Era of Bruin Basketball. We are at the very beginning of it. We can see it. We can taste it, but we are not quiet there yet. Keep in mind we have shot to the top of the Pac-10 with an injured Josh Shipp (who was and pivotal cog in last year's freshman class, and was poised to have a huge sophomore season), and Mata who was just starting to make his presence felt in the center. Yet here we are - as Dohn writes - despite the injuries and adversities things coming together for our beloved Bruins:
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute led a balanced UCLA offense with 14 points. Although Afflalo continued his shooting slump by going 4 of 14 from the floor, he manufactured 11 points and added a career-high 10 rebounds.
And Farmar, who had nine turnovers in his Pac-10 debut last season at Gill, repeatedly broke down Oregon State's defense with dribble-penetration, which led to easy baskets. Howland called Farmar's play "magical," and the sophomore said making a pair of 3-pointers early aided his ability to drive to the basket late.
It is awesome to watch a team in control. Even when I was watching Arron struggling with his shots yesterday afternoon, I knew everything was going to be all right. The kid was not pouting, not holding his head down, instead he was locking up Chris Stephens on defense, hauling in boards, and manufacturing points. He basically was doing what his Coach had been preaching to him last two weeks. Drive, draw fouls, get points, and play TEAM DEFENSE. It got the Beaver Head Coach's attention:
John was especially impressed with Afflalo, shooting slump or not.
"Chris Stephens was defended by an NBA guy in Arron Afflalo," John said. "He did a great job in that he didn't let Chris have looks. They just did a good job of taking a lot of our weapons away."
Another thing is becoming a clear. We are getting in other team's heads. There is a reason why we are playing bunch of cold-blooded assassins on the road. These kids under Howland's coaching playing ferocious defense are creating a mental edge for themselves. Here is Oregon's coach again:
"We had a point when we cracked," John said. "When people start throwing dunks down, they've created a competitive edge."