First, to echo Achilles' post, which we will keep at top through the whole night, our thoughts and prayers go to any one here on BN and everyone back home who may be affected by these terrible fires. Please stay safe and for rest of you who are out of harms way, you can do your part to send positive thoughts by sharing those in the comment thread. With let's get to some Ben Ball notes.
Once again we have Ben Ball practice news and notes to lighten the dark football mood of BN. AA2 is getting ready to beat up all of our opponents by getting physical in his own special way:
Aboya fell right on him and a loud thud resonated throughout Pauley Pavilion. Mbah a Moute got off the floor immediately and was credited with a charge. Luckily for UCLA, he wasn't injured.
"What an unbelievable collision," Ben Howland said. "I was more happy to see (Mbah a Moute) take the charge. I wasn't worried about him getting hurt. I was wondering what Alfred was doing."
Aboya said he didn't even see Mbah a Moute.
"It hurt, but I have no choice," Mbah a Moute said.
"I think so," Mbah a Moute said. "You put Kevin in there. You put Lorenzo (Mata-Real) in there. All these guys. It's as physical as it's been since the first day I've been here. Hopefully, it's going to help us. The Pac-10 is very physical."
"You saw us do our press offense, five-on-zero today, we're going to see some presses early in the year, we've got to attack presses aggressively, just so many things to put in: late-game situations, how you attack a box-and-one, a triangle-and-two, junk defenses, all sorts of stuff.
"Our big thing is health."
Howland noted that Saturday morning's practice went on without Kevin Love and Lorenzo Mata-Real due to injuries and then "Luc [Richard Mbah A Moute] woke up and his back had a knot in it and he couldn't go," so the Bruins were down to seven scholarship players. He praised Josh Shipp and Darren Collison for their consistency . . . and good health.
Going back to Howland's comments, it is just amazing to hear all the details from him concerning the all the in game situations he is getting ready his players for. Again, the difference with the garbage we hear out of football press conferences is nothing short of dramatic.
Anyway, Perelman had another post up on our two freshmen. I know we all have been reading about Love, so let's start with his notes on Chace, who right off the bat starts with a subtle reference to fundamentals before talking about early impression on his introduction to UCLA academics:
He noted the stark differences between his senior year at Fairfax and playing during the summer and in current practices against college players. "Everybody is at 20 pounds heavier than they were in high school," he said. "I think if I get stronger, I'll be able to play a lot better." He's already gained 15 pounds thanks to an aggressive weightlifting program. "We really didn't follow through that much during the season," he said about lifting in high school, but he knows he will be continuing with it at UCLA. Far from worrying about gaining weight, he explained that the lifting program will help to keep his weight up during the season, when the exertions of practices, games and classes tend to make players lose weight.
Stanback said he's been surprised - as are many freshmen - at how time-consuming the schoolwork is in college, even though the amount of class time each week is less than in high school: "So many essays, the reading. In high school, you probably read 100 pages a year, and here you read, what, 20,000 a year?"
"I'm trying to be a Comm major, so I'm taking Comm 1, then the WAC [World Arts & Culture] class we're going to right now and then I have Art & Architecture . . . and that's a fun class that I chose."
``I'm learning a lot of things from him,'' Love said. ``Just keeping basketball on my mind all the time.'