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Happy Returns

So the General is back. Guys I only watched the first half of the game last night. I had to go to sleep early because I had an 8 am appointment with my surgeon who was taking out my 4 wisdom teeth and 2 more impacted ones. But I am back home. Downing some milkshake, ice packs against my face and reading about my Ben Ball warriors.

DC will need couple of more games to get acclimated to in game condition. But he looked liked old DC. From Dohn in DN:

Collison, a preseason All-America guard, looked very much like the old Collison for the 7-0 Bruins, save for the big, bulky knee brace covering his left knee.

It was the perfect tuneup for Collison, since UCLA plays No. 8 Texas on Sunday at Pauley Pavilion. But Collison didn't seem like he needed any fine-tuning. He said he's not 100 percent and still has a little pain in his knee, but nothing was discernible.

"I'm especially pleased to have Darren Collison out there," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "He made a big jump between the first day of practice on Monday to (Tuesday), just having confidence and not thinking about it. Now, he's playing out there, and he's not thinking about his leg.

"It's incredible how well he played having not done anything in 24 days and not having played a game in 26 days."
And AA2 was AA2, banging around, being physical. I guess he fouled out in the second half. But I loved the yellow goggles. Makes total sense since we live in the land of Lakers.

But the main story was Russell. Just wow. People were not kidding around when they were saying he was the most improved player after summer. He is now in total attack mode. And it is great to see him knocking down his FTs, which wasn't doing last season.

Yes the reverse dunk he tried towards the end of half leading to a 5 point switch was not smart. And at least from what I saw on TV, it looked like Coach Howland was all over. But the kid is playing all around game, and it seems like he is syncing in perfectly with DC. If these guys keep playing like this, this back court will end up being a better combo that the one we had in Baron and Earl.

The only thing that bothered me in the second half was the open jump shots GW was getting after we took the lead. We did clamp down a little towards the end of the first half. Wonder if we were able to play a little better perimeter defense in the second. Clue me in the comment thread if you can.

Bruins now  need to get ready for the Longhorns for a huge game on Sunday. Howland has already had a look:
"We really did a good job in the second half, coming out and attacking the press," Howland said. "I was especially pleased with Westbrook's penetration to a jump stop to kicking it back out. He hit Josh for those two threes in a row."

Up next for UCLA is eighth-ranked Texas on Sunday at Pauley. "I just watched them from my living room destroy Tennessee," Howland said of the Longhorns' 97-78 win over the Volunteers last week. "It wasn't even close. And Tennessee is very, very good."

But as George Washington Coach Karl Hobbs said, "UCLA is very good. There is a reason why they are projected to be a Final Four team."
We may be a Final Four caliber team. But we still gotta go through this season game by game. From more on the game make sure to check out the report Bruin Basketball Report.

So a huge test comes up this Sunday, a game I am 100 times more excited about the one on Saturday. I will see if I can put some notes together on those guys tomorrow.

For now though the thoughts of DC coming back and looking good in doing is taking away lot of the pain from my trip to the surgeon today.