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Ben Ball Roundup

So we have some minor injury issues to deal with. Omnigeno already diaried up the news concerning DC, who per UCLA suffered a grade one ankle sprain on his left ankle yesterday during practice. Also on the injury front Shipp jammed his left thumb. Dohn reports Shipp says he is "fine." This may impact his shooting ability, which means hopefully he will not be jacking up those long range bombs. I am not really all that worried about these injuries. These things happen when you have a Coach like Howland running intense practices. I am sure our team is going to be fine.

BBR has its Weber State preview up with some solid info. on the Wildcat’s style of play:

Weber State prefers to play a half-court game, running set plays on offense every time down since they don't have the offensive firepower to keep up against more athletic teams. For the most part they've been effective in running their offense, shooting 49.3% from the field as a team (11th best in the nation).

Although they are a good three-point shooting team, averaging 39.8% from beyond the arc (18th best in the nation), their offense isn't predicated on shooting the trifecta. Weber State averages 15 three-point shot attempts a game, in contrast UCLA averages 18.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they commit quite a number of turnovers, more than 16 a game, which plays into the hands of UCLA's transition game. If the Bruins' come out with a focused effort and quick on the defensive end, especially on the perimeter, they'll have the chance to put this game away early.

On defense, Weber State has solid defensive players on the perimeter but they are a bit undersized and soft in the interior. The Bruins should be able to exploit their advantage in the paint, if not eventually wear down the Weber State by games end with their physicality along the front-court.
As usual make sure to read the whole preview.

Again IMHO the key will be how the Bruins come out in first 5 mins of this game. Given what transpired in our last two game, I sure hope our players will be in the mindset to make a statement playing a full 40 minute game, which hopefully will give them momentum through rest of the tournament.

Elsewhere, Dohn has a profile of AA:
"He's a leader, and he sets an example," UCLA sophomore point guard Darren Collison said. "He never gets into trouble. That's something you always want from your captain. We don't have any seniors on our team, but I think everyone on the team looks up to Arron like he is a senior."

Each time the Bruins play the rest of the season, it could be Afflalo's last game in a UCLA uniform. Although he has one year of eligibility remaining, Afflalo is eyeing a move to the NBA.

His play as both UCLA's defensive stopper and leading scorer (16.7 points per game) - not to mention being the "heart and soul" of the team, according to Howland - has improved his standing among NBA scouts, sources said, although it is yet to be determined whether it is enough to move him into the first round.

If Afflalo returns, which sources said has 40 percent chance of happening, he has an opportunity to cement a legacy as one of the top players in school history, which he said is important to him.

Either way, though, Afflalo's legacy off the court is already in place.

"Arron is the kind of kid, and I say this all the time," Palmer said, "if I had a daughter who was looking for a husband, I would want her to find him."
I can never read enough of these articles on Arron.

Also over at Bruin Hoop Scoop, JD has put together an overload of Ben Ball multimedia, listing a number of links to Bruin hoops related video and audio. Good stuff.

We just need to get through one more day. BTW if you are thinking about joining the BN pool on facebook (over 150 entries already!) make sure to fill out your bracket by 9 am tomorrow.