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Evening Love

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Yes we are having a hoops "Love Fest" on the Nation less than 40 days before the start of our football season. But who cares? As I have written multiple times already this is the biggest UCLA hoops recruiting commitment since the day Walton committed to Coach Wooden. Some early evening reports are in already.

The press conference video is available on BRO ($). Here is Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports:

Love admitted it was a difficult decision, but ultimately felt his relationship with head coach Ben Howland, as well as factors such as location and style of play pointed him to Los Angeles.

"With all due respect to both coaches, Coach Howland is the best," Love said. "I've got a lot of love for him and can't wait to play for him. It was a very tough decision, but when it came down to it I wanted to stay close to my family and friends."
And you wonder why we keep arguing how good coaching makes all the difference in reviving a major college program. More on the Love/Howland dynamics from Andy Katz on ESPN:
Ben Howland was so ecstatic that, according to Kevin Love, the UCLA coach was near tears.

Howland has had plenty of big-time coaching experiences, notably reaching the national title game last April before losing to Florida. Still, Howland has never signed a player rated as high as Love.

Tuesday, Howland's four-year recruitment of the best big man in the class of 2007 paid off when the 6-9 Love announced he would go to UCLA, choosing the Bruins over North Carolina.

"He recruited me the longest, since eighth grade when he first got the job, and he ended up with me," said Love, who will return to his native Oregon (he's from Lake Oswego) during Pac-10 play in 2007-08. "When I told him he almost started crying he was so happy."
BTW speaking of Katz, Love also told Katz how he basically was toying with folks (just as yours truly suspected) when he told him earlier in the day that he was going to shock some people with his announcement:
Love said he tried to throw off UCLA and North Carolina fans by saying Monday that he was going to shock people. He said as late as a few weeks ago it was real close. But over the last 10 days he came to the realization that he fit best at UCLA where he has a chance to be the next legendary big man at the school.
Gotta love the gamesmanship from Kevin. The pre-game press conferences are going to be fun with him in 2007. CBS's Sportsline also has this on the announcement reporting that Afflalo was present at the press conference. I think one can start assuming this means there is a good chance that AA just may come back for his senior season in Westwood. Imagine all the open looks AA, Roll, Shipp and co. will be getting with Love, AA2 in the paint. wow. There is lot to celebrate if you are fan of Bruin basketball:

Photo via

People across America's college basketball landscape (who follow the sport religiously (cough*UNC fans*cough)) are finding out how the sleeping giant is awake and roaring in Westwood. We dominated this sport under Wooden and Coach Howland is putting us in position to make our mark again.

If there are other articles on Love showing up online late this evening please share them in the comment thread. Will shift the BN gear back to football tomorrow. Enjoy the evening folks.