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Uhm, why do I feel different inside when I read, write and post about Ben Ball updates as opposed to writing about you know what?

From Andy Katz at WWL:

UCLA finally started school last week, allowing head coach Ben Howland the chance to work out his players individually.

That meant getting a chance to see Josh Shipp and his surgically repaired hip. Well, Shipp's hip is doing fine thank you. And so is the rest of his game.

"He's shooting the ball real well," said Howland, who was in Connecticut and Massachusetts the past few days to recruit.

Shipp will be counted on to replace Arron Afflalo's perimeter production. Meanwhile, point guard Darren Collison continues to play unselfishly, according to Howland. Howland claims Collison's team beat Baron Davis' team in a pickup game at Pauley Pavilion, which of course had Howland (who couldn't help but exclaim "and we love Baron Davis!") brimming with pride.

Meanwhile, John Calipari can have China, but Howland is going to Cameroon. While the Memphis head coach tries to mine China for talent, Howland is looking to further his finds from Cameroon. He said he's planning on going to Cameroon, the homeland current Bruins Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alfred Aboya.

Mbah a Moute helped lead Cameroon to a second-place finish behind Angola in the Afrobasket tourney this summer. Cameroon qualified to be in the qualifying tournament next spring for the Beijing Olympics in August 2008.

Not only does Howland want to watch Cameroon try to qualify for the Olympics, but he also wants to conduct clinics in Cameroon and continue the pipeline.

Why does he love his two Cameroonians?

"They're great competitors and they're men," Howland said. "They eat snakes, from pythons to boas. Aflred has even eaten elephants
There are so many little gems packed in that little update than the three/four daily reports we get during football reason regurgitating Karl Dorrell's BS.

More from the post on Coach Howland's documentary recommendation:
Howland's must-see watch right now is "The War," the seven-part documentary that focuses on World War II. The Ken Burns documentary deals with four cities: Mobile, Ala., Sacaremento, Waterbury, Conn., and Luverne, Minn., and how the war impacted the lives of the people in these towns.

Howland has been wowed by the project. His later father, Robert, was a minister and served in World War II. War, and the affects of it, were quite vivid for Howland, considering that his father spoke out against the Vietnam War in the early 1970s while Howland was living in Santa Barbara.
Now that is amazing. We have been watching "The War" series on PBS for last couple of weeks and we had the exact same reactions. I have been wondering whether I was going to write about it (since I wrote about "Band of Brothers" (w/ its own Bruin angle) before), but Coach Howland served it up for BN. Man it is just a joy to listen to our basketball coach, who talks and thinks like a normal Bruin unlike the buffoon leading our football program.

Thank you Lord for Ben Howland.

Just 37 days to go.