Just one more day till the Bruins get going in the Pac-10 tournament. Yesterday we heard how AA was concerned about the state of team’s mind following the Washington loss. Today from Dohn’s report it sounds like Bruins are working very hard to put that meaningless loss behind him, but learn from it and get ready for the tournament. Bruins led by AA sound excited and yet at the same time are realistic about what can happen over next few days:
"There's three teams in this conference that beat us this year, so we're beatable."
Of those three teams - Oregon, Stanford and Washington - the Bruins could face two of them en route to a possible championship repeat. Fourth-seed Oregon plays fifth-seeded Arizona in Thursday's first game, with the winner meeting the winner of the UCLA-Cal/Oregon State game.
Stanford and Washington are on the other side of the bracket, meaning UCLA could only face those schools in the title game.
The Huskies provide UCLA's most recent motivation. The Bruins dropped a 61-51, uninspiring decision at Washington on Saturday in what was UCLA's worst effort of the season.
"I think it was an eye-opener," UCLA wing Josh Shipp said. "We had a team meeting. I think we regrouped and we'll be ready. We watched the film and we talked. The film was great. It was rough."
Coach Ben Howland said he thought the slump had little to do with shot selection or fatigue.
"I think he's been taking pretty good shots," Howland said. "I think a lot of it was, coming back from Arizona and having a lot of attention, and maybe getting a little bit caught up in that."
Besides DC another concern for our team is AA2’s health. More on his situation from Kuwada:
The 6-foot-8 forward/center had a left knee contusion and did not play in the regular-season-ending loss at Washington, a game in which the UCLA post players were pushed around by the Huskies' 7-foot center Spencer Hawes and forward Jon Brockman. […]
Aboya went through 90percent of the practice, held out only during a conversion defense drill, and said that he was not worried about the prospect of playing three consecutive days on the knee. He already has had surgery twice on his left knee.
"I don't want that to get in my head. I just want to go and play and forget about that,"he said. "The way I practiced today, I didn't think about it and I don't know why I would think about it when I play on Thursday or Friday or Saturday. I'll just play hard as I usually do and if it hurts, I will just have to sit down again and if it doesn't great.''
Elsewhere, as some of you pointed out already AA was chosen as one of ESPN’s five All Americans. Make sure to check out this link to great photos of those All Americans. The link includes a picture AA, which IMHO clearly portrays what kind of player he is and what he means to our basketball program. I will end today’s round up another comment from AA concerning the expectations surrounding the Bruin hoops team heading into the Pac-10 tourney (via Dohn):