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Basketball End Notes ...

I feel much better this morning. As I said yesterday Coach is doing allright. From AP (via BBR):

The 95-year-old Hall of Fame coach was going to be fine, Howland said. He was in a Los Angeles-area hospital for an undisclosed condition, but team spokesman Bill Bennett said it wasn't life-threatening and Wooden should be home in the next day or two.

But Wooden means so much to UCLA -- all of college basketball, really -- that Howland couldn't help but get emotional.

"He's the patriarch," Howland said Monday night. "He is why this program is where it is. It's one of the elite programs in the country, and has been since he started that job in 1948.

"I was really hoping we would play really well tonight, so he and his family could enjoy that in the hospital room."
Coach is set to leave the hospital today according to LA Times report this am (linked below). And Coach Howland need not worry about Monday night. Next year the Coach is going to be in Atlanta watching the Bruins bringing home banner no. 12. As for this year Bruins finish the season as no. 2 team in the nation according to AP.

Lots to look forward to next season. Earlier in the season we pretty much put moratorium on talks of Jordan/AA going pro. It looks all but certain that both of them are coming back for at least one more year. In AA's case - to me he pretty much made an emphatic and emotional committment after the game to come back next year:
Teary-eyed, with his voice breaking and his nose running, Afflalo took the blame.

"I feel like it's my fault," he said. "I had no points at halftime. Clearly I have to work harder for next year. I need to find a way to be a better leader. I need to be a better shooter. I need to be a better defender."
AA will leave Westwood as a Champion. As for Jordan - he may test the NBA waters - but it seems more than a safe bet that he will probably be coming back for at least one more year:
[Farmar] was non-committal after the loss to the Gators, and he and his family are expected to research his draft status, and a trip to the NBA's pre-draft camp is not out of the question.

However, several NBA scouts project Farmar as a second-round pick, and it's unlikely he would leave without being a guaranteed first-rounder. His erratic play in the NCAA Tournament showcased his skills, but also demonstrated areas in which he needs to grow.
I am sure Jordan will want to come back just so he can disperse the silly notions of him being ... uhm ... "over-rated."

Meanwhile - the coaches are already hitting the recruting trail hard, and according to Coach Keating recruiting picture couldn't look much brighter for Bruin Basketball:
The 34-year-old Keating, named among the top recruiters in the nation by various publications, hit the ground running Tuesday upon returning from the Final Four in Indianapolis, working the phones in pursuit of the Bruins of the future.

UCLA's future looks bright. This was a team top-heavy in freshmen and sophomores, none of whom appear ready to consider the NBA, because of age limitation or stage of development.

"It was a long road for us," Keating said, "but I think, because of our success, we have already accomplished a lot in terms of recruiting. We've been selling this program for the last three years, saying that we are going to be playing for national championships. This gives us a little more validity, this was a pretty powerful thing. Now they believe you because they've seen it. It can only help."

So can the fact that a relatively young team experienced the pressure cooker of the NCAA tournament and all the distractions and expectations that go along with it.
Yeap ... things couldn't look brighter for UCLA hoops right about now. And, one last note on the tourney. Don't think I forgot about BruinsNation bracket's contest. "UCLA All the Way" (naturally) won our pool with 105 points. Here is our top-10 BN denizens, posted in the extended entry box. So whoever you are "UCLA All the Way" send us an email at and we will get you all set up with your home page post sometime soon. Perhaps you can do a compare and contrast between Howland and Dorrell? (I keed). Anyways ... gotta run. Let's keep it going. As you can see from the diary section on the right we have lot of grounds to cover and lot of great subjects like this one to cover and discuss. GO BRUINS!

BruinsNation Bracket Contest Top-10

1      UCLA All the Way    105
2      Bruins    101
3      hang12    98
4      threeyardsanaacloudofdust    97
5      son of westwood    94
6      Ranelar    92
7      LunardiTossesDuke'sSalad    92
8      Howlin' Howland    91
9      Seitz    90
10      Bruins are back!    89