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Storylines From A Routine Win

From the reports this morning, sounds like Bruins cruised to a dominating, ho-hum win over Western Illinois. The star of the night was this guy:

Photo Credit: Jack Rosenfeld

Here is the top line from Diane Pucin’s report on last night’s game:

The Leathernecks arrived about 40 minutes before tip-off. It took them 90 minutes to travel from their Los Angeles airport hotel. It took less than 14 minutes in the game for them to trail by 21 points and show they had little to offer besides an unthreatening zone defense.

Freshman Love led UCLA (10-1) with 16 points and seven rebounds and he was a perfect five for five from the field (including one of one from three-point range) and five for five from the foul line. Westbrook had eight points, seven assists and only one turnover.

In last Saturday's 89-49 win over Idaho State, walk-on senior Matt Lee scored a last-second 40-footer and left the court to a big ovation.

Tuesday it was walk-on Kevin Schmidt, a 6-foot-7 water polo player who also fills in as a basketball practice body, who tipped in an offensive rebound at the buzzer and scored his first basket as a Bruin. Those two points made UCLA the second-half winner, but just barely, 35-33.
Guess the main thing that sticks out from the box score was how the tied up the Bruins in rebounding (30-30). I am sure that is something our guys will be hearing from Coach Howland heading into this weekend’s game against Michigan.

It sounds like we can’t take much out of a game in which we went up by a score of 42-19 at half time. So what does Jill Painter from the Daily News do to come up with a compelling storyline? She makes up a little faux ‘controversy’ between Howland and Love:
Love didn't miss Ben Howland's comments about his conditioning status, either.

Howland made comments at his weekly press conference on Monday and said Love was at 80 percent of where he should be conditioning-wise.

Love wasn't available to weigh in with a response since he wasn't there ... until Tuesday.

"I wouldn't say I'm out of shape," Love said after the game while signing autographs. "I know Coach Howland said that in the press. I don't know where that came from."
Painter goes on:
"I maybe need to drop some body fat, but other than that, I'm just playing basketball," Love said. "It's not like I'm running a marathon."

Yet in the next breath, Love admitted he probably needed to drop some more body fat and that he respects Howland and his advice. Love said he's lost nine pounds in the last four weeks, and that stemmed from a meeting the two had recently.

Love seemed more irked that the comments were made public than the comments themselves.

"We did sit down in his office and we looked over (things) that if I want to be the best player I possibly can and I want to be a top draft pick in the future, then I'm going to have to shed some weight," Love said. "That motivated me. That was constructive criticism. He's just looking out for me. I'm going to take whatever he says to heart, and I'm going to try to work my butt off to shed that weight."

That conversation prompted Love, a freshman, to eat healthier.

Love attributed his weight loss to diet and getting enough sleep.

He joked that he's trying to do the opposite of the freshman 15.

But he didn't seem to be joking about his displeasure over the publicity of his weight issue.

"I just don't see what justice that did for me, to tell you the truth," Love said.
And I just don’t see the point on Painter pushing this story.

So Coach Howland made some frank comments about his star freshman about how he told him exactly what he needs to hear, and he was transparent about in public. If Love is a little irked about it BFD. He is a big boy (and a freshman) and will get over it. And as reflected in his comments he took Howland’s words to heart and worked to get better accordingly.

Anyone who has been watching Howland basketball for few years can discern, Love needs a few more games to get in the same game shape as Mata, AA2 and rest of his team-mates. That is expected and not surprising at all from any freshman who just started in Howland’s program. It is just pathetic on the part of Painter to spend so many grafs on something that is really not a big deal, instead of reporting what actually happened in the game. But then again these this kind of garbage is hardly a surprising coming from these morons who cover UCLA.

Anyway, I am sure no one is going to care about Painter’s little attempt to create this faux controversy. Bruins will get ready for Michigan this Saturday, which will be the second to last OOC game before heading into the conference season.