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Diane: Sounding Clueless Again

Here goes Diane Pucin again. Pucin has written up another one of those classic LA Times UCLA articles, which tell us absolutely nothing new, instead gives us a story line that is neither based on facts nor reality, while taking gratuitous baseless shots against UCLA fans.

Pucin profiles Josh Shipp and declares that everything is right with Josh because of the great performance he had last weekend against Arizona. This is how she leads of in today’s article:

As the murmurs grew louder this season, as the critics on Internet message boards suggested Josh Shipp had grown cocky without reason, had given up on playing defense and would never get off his feet high enough to make what might be called a "jump shot," Debbie Shipp smiled.
Of course Pucin doesn’t provide any information on who, where and in what context made such comment about Josh. I have been following the conversation concerning Shipp on Bruin Report Online (BRO). And I can tell you that during those conversations (and I am talking about the discussions on premium hoops board) overwhelming majority of the posters were discussing Josh’s game, not his personality. I wonder why Pucin doesn’t have the courage to cite the specific post based on which she makes that kind of assertion about "internet message boards." Pucin doesn’t stop there. She goes on to write:
Shipp's natural joy in the game exhibits itself in an almost constant smile — which seems to rub some Bruins fans the wrong way. "What's he smiling about?" was a frequent question on UCLA message boards.
Again I am not sure WTF Pucin is referring to. I haven’t seen Josh’s smile being the subject of frequent questions on BRO. It has certainly not been the topic on BN.

What we have been discussing is Josh’s propensity to force 3 point shots all season that have been coming outside the flow of offense.

What we have been talking about here is how Josh should let the game come to him, do the little things such as rebounding, playing defense, slashing to the hoop, which made him such an effective freshman when he came in with Arron and Jordan.

It was convenient for Pucin to go to Mrs. Shipp and get her to say all the sympathetic comments a Mom would naturally make about her son. But if Pucin did a shred of her journalistic due diligence, she would get comments from analysts such as Greg Hicks on BRO, who would probably tell her that UCLA fans have no problem with Josh’s smile. All knowledgeable Bruin fans really want from Josh is to play within himself, play within the team game, and let the game come to him.

Pucin also went on to throw in this comment from Mrs. Shipp:
"The way the offense is set up," she said, "it's not geared for somebody like Josh. Stuff is run for Arron or Darren or sometimes Mike Roll. But I've told Josh it's up to him. He's a really confident kid. He knows what he's capable of doing. He can't do it sitting on the bench. A kid like Josh, you've got to let him play."
I will not criticize Mrs. Shipp because that comment might have been taken out of context by Pucin. But let’s just set aside this notion that somehow UCLA offense is geared for DC or AA. DC or AA are scoring efficiently now because they are looking for their shots within the flow of the game. Remember earlier in the season AA was also forcing the issue a bit, taking unnecessary jump shots here and there. He has cut down on that a lot. Perhaps Josh should do the same. And also the perception of offense just being set up for Roll is just not true. Roll is also someone who only shoots when he is well set up and positioned within the flow of the offense. He is one of those players (just like AA) who is always moving around, cutting when he doesn’t have the ball. If Shipp does more of that and get himself in position to take shots within the flow of the game, it will also look like the Howland offense is set up for him as well.

Luckily we have a Coach who is handling the situation as well as any Coach can. Here is Howland in the same article:
"Josh is being underrated this year," Howland said. "It wasn't just the 24 points against Arizona. He did a great defensive job on [Chase] Budinger. He's been as good defensively as we've needed for him to be this year. He always plays with a lot of confidence and that's a good thing. He can make a little bank shot, Josh has that kind of touch. Old school."
In other words it would be beneficial for UCLA if see lot of that "Old school" Josh in the remaining few games this season. Hopefully the "old school" Josh we saw against Arizona will be a trend, not an aberration rest of this season. Only then one can assert whether Shipp is "ship shape" (in terms of his game) again. If Pucin had the slightest basketball acumen she would grasp that basic reality based on which most of those "critics on internet message boards" have been commenting on Josh’s game. But based on her shoddy work product which we have been forced to read time and time again, it is apparent she really knows nothing about this game.

Speaking of which, I will get the round for the Cal game in a bit. Oh yeah there is a basketball game tonight. Pucin wrote nothing substantive to preview it. And she is supposed to be the LA Times beat writer covering UCLA basketball?