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Game Day News Roundup

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Big game tonight against a team, which is not going to be a pushover. We beat up on Oregon State the first time we played them at Corvallis 63-54, but that doesn't mean it is going to be an easy game tonight. Well considering what transpired in South Central last weekend, nothing is going to be easy from here on out.  First, going back to the comments between Hollins and Afflalo on getting the ball to our bigs inside. AA takes leadership (unlike Hollins) and took the blame upon himself on not getting our big men the ball inside. Here is AA in the LA Times this am:

Asked about Hollins' failure to provide a third scoring option against USC, Afflalo pointed his finger right back at himself and his fellow guards.

"That's our fault," Afflalo said, "We need to give him the ball more. He needs somebody to feed him the ball. You can't always force feed it, but we have to get it to him."
AA showed a lot of maturity in those comments and now it will be up to Hollins to stop playing like a girl auditioning for a spot in Olivier's (Female Lavin) team.

One of the most interesting grafs in that LA Times update was this note on the team's busride back from South Central:
Even though they were only playing across town at the Sports Arena, the bus ride back to Westwood on Sunday night seemed agonizingly long for the Bruins after they lost to the Trojans, 71-68.

"Nobody was talking," forward Alfred Aboya said. "Everybody was into their own heads, thinking about what had happened. It was a pretty sad ride."
That is good to hear.  I like that this team was hurting inside after that game. They should.  It's good to see them burning inside after that horrible defeat. It shows me these kids care - kind of contrast in some of the scenes I have seen on the Bruins sidelines, players smirking, laughing, a little aloof after some of the more devastating losses in hoops and in football under other coaches in recent past.

Anyways, moving on the game - here is the BBR preview:
Good guard play has been problem for the Beavers, especially with Hurd injured and made worst by a struggling Stephens. Turnovers have hindered the Beavers this year; they're averaging 16.0 per game, last in the conference. They are also last in assists at 11.5 per game. Not surprisingly they have a horrendous assist-turnover ration of 0.68.

OSU plays a mix of man-to-man and zone defense; in the game at Corvallis they played mostly former. With the way UCLA has been struggling against zone defenses this year, we may say more zones this time around.

The Bruins will be looking for stronger play in the middle. It is uncertain who will start this week against the Oregon schools. Howland has offered the starting job to the player who performs the best at practice.

"We have four players who will be competing for the starting spot; Alfred Aboya, Ryan Wright, Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey", said Howland. "We're going to base their performance at practice on rebounding, screening percentage, and block outs."

Howland is also looking for better offensive production from another player, not named Afflalo and Farmar.

Cedric Bozeman would be a good option. Howland would like to see Bozeman get to the foul line more often by attacking on offense. Currently, he averages less than 2 free throw attempts per game. Although his shoulder is still sore, it is the tendonitis in his knee which is giving him more problems at this time.
Lot of good stuff in there - again, urge you to read the entire preview. Big game tonight.  A MUST WIN GAME. GO BRUINS.