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Ben Ball Roundup

Well look here. Trojans have sold out their first basketball game thanks to thousands of Bruins. From the LA Times Trojan beat:

Will the first capacity crowd in the history of the Galen Center go down as a sellout for USC or UCLA?

While the cross-town rivalry game Saturday is officially sold out, there has been speculation that Bruins fans have gobbled up sizable chunks of tickets considering the Trojans' spotty attendance record in their new building.

USC has averaged only 4,026 spectators for home games in the 10,258-seat facility. A school spokesman said Wednesday that the ticket office was unsure how many tickets were bought by UCLA fans because of the anonymity of Internet purchases. UCLA's official ticket allotment was only 500.

"I heard they bought about 6,000 tickets," Trojans junior swingman Nick Young said. "It's just funny how UCLA can come over and do such a thing like that, buy so many tickets, and when we go over to Pauley Pavilion we barely see cardinal and gold."
And, that is just another example why they are JustSC no matter what happens this Saturday.

Meanwhile, the LA Times has yet another reporter covering the UCLA beat. This time its some guy named Jerry Crowe, whose work appears to be just as mediocre of Diane Pucin (and her predecessors). Crowe has a write up starting with the theme of how Bruins are not invincible (like any Bruin fan in their right mind were expecting us to go undefeated and cruise to a Pac-10/National championship). The write up does though has these candid reflections from Coach Howland on our defense in our last game:
"We didn't do a good job of staying in front of the ball," Coach Ben Howland said. "Brooks continually beat us off the dribble. ...

"We've had other teams that have been driving on us. For Darren, he gets too close to his man; he's got to try to stay an arm's distance away and keep a little more of a gap when he's guarding.

"In retrospect, I kick myself for taking Afflalo off [Brooks]. We should have left Arron on him because Arron is the one guy on our team that takes it personally when anything happens when he's guarding someone."
Note how Coach Howland is not blaming his player for not executing his defense strategy or blaming coaches or anyone else.

That's what I like about this guy so much. He is so clear in this thinking and articulating exactly what went wrong, why it went wrong, and then taking responsibility for it. Thanks to losers like Toledo, Lavin, and now Dorrell, as a Bruin fan I have gotten beyond cynical about coachspeak. Thank God for Howland who every week keeps setting example of responsibility and leadership, which is so clearly lacking in our football program.

Anyways it will be interesting to see whether Coach Howland has AA exclusively guard Young.

On other note I am sure many of you guys took note of this. That should help our RPI. So rankings be damned.