We have reset the countdown clock so that it keys on Weber State. As expected all the papers today are playing up the themes of Ben Howland Regional. However, as mentioned last night here on BN, at least on the home page, we are not going to get caught up any potential matchups, and just focus only on the Bruins’ next opponent. Bruins are taking on a Weber State team, which Dohn reports has a history of pulling big upsets around this time of the year:
The Wildcats (20-11), who won the Big Sky Tournament title with 10 new players, are well-versed in NCAA upset lore. As a 14th seed, they defeated North Carolina in 1999, and Michigan State in 1995.
In order to make sure there is no repeat of the embarrassment of last Thursday night Coach Howland is getting back to basics:
Point guard Darren Collison, seven for 30 from the field over the last two games, was defiantly unconcerned about shooting.
"I'm worried about defense," Collison said. "That's where it starts. We're not an offensive team. It all starts with defense."
While it seemed more eye-opening that Afflalo had only three points in the Cal loss, what was more revealing, the junior said, was how the Bears shot 54.2% from the field while building a 37-25 halftime lead.
"All season we took pride in our defense," he said. "As a team we have to realize that (we) can't falter."
"We had a very hard practice, and it feels like we're a winning team again," Afflalo said. "It was real competitive, very intense. Coach mixed up the teams and it made it very competitive."
"I benched more than I ever benched before. It's funny how it gives you that inspiration," he said. "Our strength coach told me that lifting weights gets rid of nervous energy, any kind of anxiety, any type of frustration, and it's true. After I lifted, I felt a little calmer as if I had done something positive for myself, coming off such a negative game. It was good. Confidence was there and I'm ready to play."