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"[P]assion, purpose, and desire"

The long time readers of BN know what we think of Andy Katz of ESPN. We have given him a lot of hell over time for his observations on college hoops (i.e. comparing Coach K’s accomplishments to those of Wooden). So it’s only fair that I give him his due for writing a really good report following last night’s debacle at Staples. Katz report on last night’s lapse includes some interesting observations from our coaching staff :

The Bruins' coaching staff wasn't pleased with the 14 turnovers -- seven by point guard Darren Collison. They also lamented UCLA's inability to get critical stops in both regulation and overtime. More than anything, though, the staff is convinced that all the postseason praise heaped on Collison and Arron Afflalo (Pac-10 Player of the Year, first team All-American) went to their heads. Afflalo shot just 1-for-7 from the field, 0-for-5 on 3s.

So, now that the Bruins have been "told how good they are," the staff is hoping reality will set in, since their next loss will be their last.

Howland was quick to point out that the Bruins haven't fallen too far, since they did win the league title just a week ago. Still, there needs to be a quick change of attitude, beginning in practice and with their preparation, according to the head coach.

"We are a team that has to play at its peak performance to have a chance to win against anybody, whether it's Sam Houston State or Kentucky," Howland said. "Anybody can beat us on a given day, and we can beat anybody. This just proves there is so much parity in college basketball."
I think lost amidst the season ending run of last season and this year’s regular season is how the Bruins have been consistently winning not based on their sheer talent, but based on their passion, desire, and intensity in which they out-willed their opponents in every game. It’s clear lot of our opponents have adjusted their mindset while taking on our guys, and I think it us up to our guys to readjust and refocus and find that peak intensity level they were able to sustain up until the Florida game. They have had that intensity for most of the season this year and specially displayed it against Washington State at Pullman. But then they being human and 18-20 year old kids they are turned it off. They need to find "it" back. More Katz:
A No. 1 or No. 2 seed won't matter if the Bruins don't stop feeling sorry for themselves; instead, they must play with passion, purpose and desire, like they did just one week ago in Pullman.
Let’s hope AA, DC and rest of their team-mates can rediscover their "passion, purpose and desire" by the end of next week. Otherwise we are going to be done with the Big Dance real soon.