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Summer hoops

Three Bruins are going to be playing in a exhibition league this summer to get themselves ready for school:

This summer, Howland and his coaching staff have guided freshmen James Keefe and Russell Westbrook and sophomore Luc Richard Mbah a Moute toward the SayNo/ProCity League, which began on Saturday and runs through Aug. 12.

Keefe, Westbrook and Mbah a Moute are three Bruins confirmed to be participating in the summer league - as compared to the six Bruins in 2005 - but the number of Bruins could still expand. The league rosters are subject to change from week to week, giving players an opportunity to compete as often as possible without a great deal of commitment.

Although Keefe, Westbrook and Mbah a Moute will all be playing for Sinclair's Bruins in the 12-team league, Keefe was the only Bruin to participate in Saturday's game. The freshmen will primarily be focusing on conditioning, as they are trying to prepare for the level of speed and strength required for Pac-10 basketball.

"I am excited to compete in Division I basketball and this is just a part of me getting used to the speed and quickness at the next level," said Keefe, a 6-foot-8-inch power forward out of Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

Assistant coach Kerry Keating recommended the league to him, noting that it was a chance to play with his teammates long before the season begins.

"It's a good way to get a feel for Russell and Luc, and see what they do on the court," Keefe said. "I'm just excited to get going."

Mbah a Moute will be using the exhibition to expand on his offense, especially his jump shot. Mbah a Moute and Howland said repeatedly at press conferences after the season ended that the Cameroonian will be challenged to become more of a two-way threat.

Sounds good. One note though - this summer leagues are great. But sometimes these are also leagues where players pick up bad basketball habits, as they often seem to playing jungle ... er ... Lavin ball. For more on how Bruins like James Keefe are doing in their first game check out BBR.