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Howland basketball starts and ends with BRUIN DEFENSE:

"Good teams that win emphasize defense, emphasize rebounding," Howland said. "You look at the NBA right now, the best two teams are the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs. What do they emphasize? They're the best two defensive teams in the league.

"In any sport, to be a consistent winner, and to win the on the road, which is the hardest thing to do, you have to play great defense. And that's the thing you can control more than any other aspect; your effort and your intensity defensively."

Halfway through the Pac-10 schedule, UCLA's 41.5 percent field-goal defense, and 33.9 percent field-goal defense from 3-point range, are second in the league. The Bruins, led by wing Arron Afflalo, are also first in scoring defense at 59.9 points per game.

"Everybody's working as a unit," UCLA senior wing Cedric Bozeman said. "Everybody's working together, and when somebody's beat, somebody's there to help. We're doing a good job."
Also not that we want to look past ASU - here is another to reason to look forward to this Saturday:
Recruiting rhetoric: Saturday will be a huge day for the Bruins - and not just because big-draw Arizona comes to Pauley Pavilion.

Two of UCLA's top targets for the 2007 recruiting class, both from Oregon, plan on making unofficial visits to watch the game. Kevin Love, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Lake Oswego High, and small forward Kyle Singler, a 6-8, 200-pounder from South Medford High, are expected on campus.

The meaning is increased since both players, who are good friends, might make their college decisions before taking official visits in the fall
That was from Dohn as well. Love and Singler together could be the biggest recruiting coup for Bruin basketball since getting the Big Red from San Diego. This visit is huge but I won't get my hopes up to high expecting a committment this weekend (although that'd be incredible). However, it does mean UCLA's chances right now with these two bluechippers are looking very good. I like where Howland has this program right now (cant you tell?) If you want to read a little more on these guys and see a Kevin Love video click here. GO BRUINS.