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"It's UCLA": Ben Ball Roundup

I thought this quote from Mr. Stan Love was pretty special on number 42's official debut at the Cathedral of college hoops:

"It's UCLA," Stan Love said. "I've grown up with all the UCLA people, the Waltons and the Alcindors. The tradition and the history, to watch your kid walk on that floor is heavy.

"It's emotional. It's joyous. It's everything. A lot of emotions. I know Kevin feels the same way, he's just trying to keep it all under control, being 19."
And more the center of attention (at least last night) himself:
The Love affair might last only one year, but Love showed it should be one UCLA won't forget.

Love nearly had a double double by halftime and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds - the most rebounds by a UCLA freshman in his debut - as the Bruins blasted Portland State 69-48 Friday in the season opener in front of 9,854 at Pauley Pavilion.

He'd been waiting for this moment for a long time.

"My whole life, really," Love said. "It feels great. It finally kicked off officially. It felt good to come out and have a solid game."
Now our team is more than about the best freshman in America. Diane has this report filling us on Howland's impression and also on Shipp, who had a sterling opener despite recovering from injury:
Coach Ben Howland took mostly positives from the game. He was satisfied with Love's production even while noting: "Kevin got a little winded in the second half and started to cramp up a bit."

He was pleased that the Vikings had only 52 shots and even more pleased they made only 18 (34.6%).

And he was most happy that Shipp, given the defensive assignment on Portland State's top returning scorer, held Dupree Lucas scoreless.

"Josh did a very good job defensively," Howland said. "Lucas is a good player and he had zero points. I'm excited to see Josh take on that challenge."

Aboya had the Bruins' first two-point basket, Shipp had the first three, Love had the first rebound and UCLA threw an intimidating mixture of inside-outside at the Vikings, who had four starters 6 feet 6 or shorter. It was 5-foot-6 Jeremiah Dominguez who most baffled the Bruins, scoring a team-high 11 points and causing Shipp to say, "I didn't see him a couple of times."

Besides Love, the constant was the controlled dominance of Shipp, the redshirt junior who has had two hip surgeries in the last two years. He scored 18 points, including back-to-back three-pointers after the Vikings had crept to within 13 points with 17:59 left.

Shipp even got some minutes at point guard, an experience he said was eye-opening.

"Man, I didn't even know the plays at the point spot," he said. "I was running around, trying to get out of way."
Looks like Shipp might be getting some more time at pg every now and then because RW has some work to do. He had a little trouble last night. From Wong at Bruin Basketball Report (BBR):
While the defense was stellar, the offense sputtered at time and should have scored more than 69 points against an overmatched team such as Portland State.

One reason for the offensive woes was the uninspired play at the point by Russell Wesbrook. Although he scored 10 points and had 5 assists, he also committed 6 turnovers.

Viking's 5'6 pesky guard Jeremiah Dominguez gave Westbrook problems all game including a clean pick at halfcourt for an easy lay-up just before halftime. Afterwards, it appeared Westbrook's became more tentative in his play and the Bruins offense never really got going again.
I am sure Coach Howland will work closely with Russell in the coming days. I have no doubt his game will come around by the time Pac-10 season rolls around. Howland was not satisfied with our rebounding efforts:
Also, UCLA only outrebounded the Portland State by four, a stat that disappointed UCLA Coach Ben Howland. "I was disappointed we didn't outboard this team by a few more."

"He (Love) was very good rebounding the ball defensively, to the point where a lot of our guys were taking off early, expecting him to get every rebound," Howland said. "That's not going to happen."
This is also probably a matter of conditioning. I imagine this is not going to be an issue for rest of the season. Wong also has interesting note on Luc's game last night. Make sure to read his entire post.

All around what a wonderful treat to read these roundups. It starts off our Dorrellian Saturday on a perfect note.