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Healing Up

Injuries to DC and Mata are the big stories for this game week. And it sounds like those two guys are feeling better. First, here is Dohn on DC:

"If I feel well after practice (Tuesday), I should be fine Thursday," Collison said. "It felt pretty fine shooting. I can't really extend my left arm all the way, but for the most part (the coaches) said I shot the ball pretty well.

Howland said Collison, who is second on the fifth-ranked Bruins in scoring at 13 points per game, would be held out of contact during Tuesday's practice.

"I'm cautiously optimistic by Thursday game time he'll be able to start for us," Howland said. "Right now, it's a game-time thing."
Per BBR DC took 180 shots at practice yesterday without experiencing any pain. The kid is doing everything he can to heal up so that he can get back into action by Thursday night:
"If you sprain your ankle, you still feel that pain. You can still walk on it, but you can still feel that pain," Collison said, "and that's how it feels for me. ...If I continue to do the necessary things to get better, I should be all right.

"I understand that this is the most critical time of the season, Pac-10, and I'm going to have to be out there on the floor with my teammates."
DC will likely be held out of contact during today’s practice as well. I think it will be great if he can provide some minutes against ASU. But the game the Bruins are going to really need him for is the one they play on Saturday.

As for Mata per OC Register he is feeling much better.
Mata did not play in the second half in the Bruins' loss at West Virginia because of the injury, which started to bother him when he awoke Saturday morning. The 6-foot-9 junior said he was feeling much better.

"I've got my own bed now, so I'm good. My bed is the one I need," Mata said.

And he was confident he would be healthy, though he jokingly suggested Howland knows his health better than he does.

"I mean, I'm sure I'll be playing. But that's not my decision. That's on the big boss over there," he said.
Gotta love Mata’s attitude. He is a warrior. I’d imagine he will be in Thursday night helping out Bruin D up against Pendergraph and co.

Back to DC, Bruin coaches are working with Westbrook, who had to step in for the Bruin superstar in extremely difficult circumstances last Saturday. LA Times on how the Bruin coaches and player are working with the young freshman so that he can learn from that experience:
Freshman guard Russell Westbrook sat down Monday with assistant coach Kerry Keating to watch film of the West Virginia game, his first college start. The reviews weren't positive.

"We were just talking about the passes I should have made, the timing of shots," said Westbrook, who made one of 11 shots and had three turnovers in 32 minutes.

Howland noted that six of Westbrook's shots were either airballs, blocked or hit the backboard without touching the rim.

"So, really, he had like nine turnovers, which is a lot of turnovers," Howland said.

Collison also made his first start as a freshman in the wake of an injury to a regular — but his came against Delaware State at Pauley Pavilion, not against West Virginia in front of one of the largest home crowds to ever watch the Mountaineers. Was that about the worst Westbrook could have played?

"Hopefully," Collison said. "I just told him to keep his head up. Everybody's been in that position. When you're a freshman, you have bad games. It's part of his whole experience. I think he will do good the next opportunity he has."
Great to see DC taking a mentoring role here and encouraging his younger team-mate. I love Westbrook’s game. I love his mentality to constantly attack the rim and wreak havoc on offense. He shakes things up and injects a new level of energy into his team-mates. He just has to figure out how to use that energy so that he can make optimum contributions to his team. He will get it done.

I have no doubt Westbrook is going to come through for the Bruins sometime very soon. Sounds like the coaches and his team-mate are doing all the necessary things to make sure that Westbrook is mentally ready for his next game. They are all working to heal up and regroup both physically and emotionally together as a team. That’s a sign of a healthy program with great leadership, something we are not accustomed to following during football seasons.