Thank God for Ben Ball: Pac-10 Action Starts Tonight

Time to cheer up. We will talk about football more in the coming days. No worries. We are not going to let up. But, in the meanwhile, its time to cheer up and enjoy Ben Ball. We will have our game thread up later on tonight before tip off (7:30 pm PST). GO BRUINS. -N

Luckily, we have Coach Howland and his warriors, who will help us take our minds off yet another Dorrell debacle later tonight. The Bruins start their Pac-10 stretch tonight against a resurgent Washington State (11-1) team. BBR has the preview:

The Cougars are also starting conference play with a full head of steam.  In their last contest, they held a very good San Diego St. team to twenty points below their season's average winning 64-54.  New Head Coach Tony Bennett, son of former coach Dick Bennett, has the Cougars rolling with an 11-1 record including a victory over Gonzaga in Pullman.

Like his Dad, Bennett is still coaching a Princeton-type offense based upon a lot of motion and cuts, however, the younger Bennett has opened up the offense a bit and the Cougars are averaging ten more points a game this season.

In the past, the Cougar teams would take up most of the shot clock before even glancing up at the rim, much less take a shot.  This year Bennett has given his players the green-light to shoot the ball earlier in the clock if they have a high-percentage shot available to them.  In addition, the Cougars are pushing the ball up after missed shots, and even after made baskets, in order to find easy scores in transition.

But the Cougars are still about ball-control, high-percentage shooting, and solid defense, they realize they can't beat most teams, who are likely more athletic, in a wide-open game and instead try to outlast them at the end.

Not surprisingly, they are one of the top teams in the nation in committing the least turnovers averaging only 12.1 per game.  The Cougars have always been proficient at three-point shooting and this year's team is no different averaging 38.7% from beyond the arc.

Washington St. still plays a pressure man-to-man half-court defense.  They are leading the Pac-10 conference in scoring defense allowing just 58 points a game on 40.6% shooting.

The Cougars are a veteran club with players who understand the intricacies of the complex offense they run.  They start one of the conference's top backcourts in Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver. More game notes from Diane Pucin. As noted in the Daily News today, the Pac-10 may be the toughest hoops conference (we know it s*cks donkey b*lls in football) in America. Also, along the same lines, Bruin Hoop Scoop has a list of the Pac-10 hoops previews in the traditional media. So, it will be absolutely crucial for the Bruins to hold serve on our home court.

We will have our open game thread later this evening. We may bump this diary on to home page later on today.

For most of today, we will keep the stories related to yet another Dorrell debacle front and center on BN. I am sure you will understand. We will have plenty of opportunity to revel about Howland starting later tonight, focusing more on hoops here on out.  But today, it is important we pitch in our 2 cents in exposing the Steve Lavin of college football. We need to keep the conversation going on what is so wrong with the Anti-Howland of Westwood.


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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