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Ben Ball: Game Day Roundup

The Number 1 Bruins are taking on Oakland tonight at Pauley. The tip off is scheduled for 5 pm PST. Diane Pucin from the Times writes about how Shipp is coming along with these notes on Bruin defensive stats:

Pac-10 statistics give the perfect snapshot of UCLA's success. The Bruins lead the league in steals and in turnover margin, which makes up for their ranking of 10th in three-point field goal defense and seventh in field goal percentage defense.

Point guard Darren Collison is second in the league in assists and first in steals. Junior Arron Afflalo is seventh in scoring at 16.6 points a game.
I think we will see our numbers on 3 pt. defense and FG% defense move up as we get into the conference schedule.

Dohn also has his notes on tonight's game. He hones in on DC's turnover issues from last two games:
Bruins point guard Darren Collison turned the ball over 11 times in the last two games, after he committed 15 in the first six games. Howland said there are a variety of reasons for it.

"I think against Fullerton, they did a good job pressuring him," Howland said. "I think he probably lost a little focus and concentration a couple of times. He's got a lot on his shoulders here. Everything goes through him."

However, Collison's penchant for dribbling the ball too high is still an issue.

"It's been his thing we've tried to work on," Howland said. "Until he gets it down lower, he's going to continue to have more turnovers than you'd like him to have at times. He plays low, but his dribble is still above his waist, and sometimes it's up by his shoulders."
DC is still learning and I expect he will improve on this issue as the season goes along. Again, we need to keep in mind that this kid is only a sophomore. I think, given the fact that we made the astounding run last season to the NCAA finals led by sophomores and freshmen with crucial contributions from two senior role players, people keep forgetting how young our Bruin team is.

Anyways, as mentioned above, the game is not on TV. So, if you are in Southern California, go to this game. BBR published this email from the Athletic Dept., which details how folks can exchange tickets if they cannot attend the games. Let's fill up Pauley folks.