So the Ben Ball warriors are kind of rolling along in this early part of the season. I think T is on money in saying we are not where we want to be, but we are showing signs of tangible signs progression (compared to the BS talk of "progression" we hear during football press conferences) in this really early part of the season.
Last night’s game was a total mismatch. And we should know better about not taking too much out of it. That said, it was encouraging to see Westbrook’s numbers improve from the first two games. Facing a full court pressure, RW gave Coach Howland a pretty solid 28 mins during which he turned the ball over only once, got 6 assists, and scored 14 points. Again not bad. Hopefully he can build on it going into games featuring much tougher opponents.
Meanwhile, RW’s freshman team-mate Kevin Love had another ho hum, big night. From Bruin Basketball Report:
Love was also instrumental in helping the Bruins break the Coyotes zone press by receiving the ball in the backcourt and throwing over the top of the zone to advance the ball.
In his first three games as a Bruin, Love is averaging 20.7 points and 10.3 rebounds.
While he acknowledges the team has yet to face a quality foe, Love is looking forward to playing higher tier opponents.
"When the bright lights come on, I play better," Love said. "I perform better and I'm more focused."
Sticking with Love, even though he had a good game, one issue stuck out to lot of us last night. I think we need to do a much better job of feeding him the ball down low (this is where we miss Roll because he is probably the best passer in the team in terms of making that entry pass to the paint). Coach Howland commented on the need of getting more touches for the big fella:
"We really need to get him more touches," Howland said. "He's such a good passer, especially at the high post. He just has to get more touches."
As the Bruins put together another dominating win in terms of scoreboard, OC Register’s Kuwada ponders if there is a difference from this year’s team from last year’s one which got off to slow starts against supposedly lesser opponents during first half:
Not this season.
"We're going to go out there and play. We're going to go out there and try to destroy the other team from the get-go," center Lorenzo Mata-Real said after the second of the Bruins' three victories. "People say we have a bull's-eye on our chest, but we're going to go out there every night like they have a bull's-eye on theirs."
The Coyotes, who upset Weber State in the first round of the CBE Classic to get their shot at the Bruins, did inconvenience UCLA some with their press and zone defense.
But the Bruins (3-0) were never in much trouble in dispatching them, even with limited contributions in the first half by freshman Kevin Love, who scored 16 of his team-high 19 points in the second half.
"We're not messing around," the Bruins' Josh Shipp said.
Looking ahead, BBR ended with this in their game wrap which I think is one of the best news of the night:
Lastly, the DN sent Paul Oberjuerge, a "columnist" to cover last night’s game. He came up with a craptacular report that would embarrass the editors of a high school newspaper near you. You can read it if you want, I am not going to bother breaking it down. I will just say it is just tiresome to read these kind of childish pieces filled cheesy lines reinforcing tired narratives (about UCLA just being a hoops school) from the writers of a major metropolitan newspaper. Anyway, onward …
Can’t wait for next Monday. We will try to look up some notes on the Terps by then. Of course if you can’t wait, and are already googling what kind of team Gary Williams has put together this season, please diary it up and share it with rest of BN.