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Getting the Job Done ...

Different week, same story. Bruins are getting ready for yet another huge set of games this week. Dohn reports that players are getting ready for their annual "rivalry" game at Pauley:

The Trojans are No. 19 in the Associated Press rankings heading into Wednesday's showdown with No. 2 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, adding visibility to a rivalry that's been viewed as being primarily about football.

As far as the Bruins are concerned, it's always a rivalry game.

"I really don't care (about the rankings) because it's going to be a rivalry no matter what," Bruins point guard Darren Collison said. "It's going to be a challenge, and you know me, I like challenges like this. When you're playing a good team, and a team that's a rival ... it's not always fun just to have an easy victory against a rival team."

Guard Arron Afflalo and wing Josh Shipp also said USC's ranking didn't change the meaning of the game.
As usual, AA and his team-mates are saying all the right things and making sure they are showing respect to their next opponent. Dohn also reported that following the blowout win over Oregon State, the Bruins were expecting a hard Howlandian workout on Monday.

One thing that will be different from last time Bruins beat the Trojans is the availability of Shipp. Also from Dohn:
Shipp's return: When UCLA got a last-second bucket from Afflalo to win at USC last month, the Bruins were playing without Shipp, their second-leading scorer. He missed the game with a hamstring injury, but he will be in the lineup this time.

That could slant things heavily in UCLA's favor.

"It makes everybody's job easier," Afflalo said. "We're a team where we rely on everybody for something. Whether it's scoring, rebounding, defending, everybody has to play their part. When Josh is out, it makes it harder on me, harder on Darren, harder on other players."
Let’s hope Shipp brings his defense on Wednesday night. He might be paired up against Nick Young. Last time it was Luc who drew that assignment. Luc may draw the same assignment this time. However, it won't be a surprise if Shipp finds himself guarding one of the best shooters in college hoops. And if Shipp is not focused on his defensive assignment, that matchup could turn out to be a liability for the Bruins. Let’s hope Shipp is focused, and he gets plenty of help from his team-mates around the parameter. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are switch ups on defense when Howland decides to put AA on Young.

Speaking of Young, the LAT has a story on how Young had to get help from Farmar to prepare for his SAT. I am sure many of you already knew that.

Elsewhere, in the LAT, Pucin is back again, and this time she has a story on Russell Westbrook. Nothing new in what Pucin writes. Apparently, Westbrook loves attacking the basket. Go figure. It took Pucin 22 games to figure that out. Brilliant.

In any event, Bruins will need Westbrook to stay in that attacking mode on Wednesday night. Just like the last two games, they are going to need to stay focused, aggressive and attack for the entire 40 minutes from start to finish, to get the job done on Wednesday.