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Saturday News & Notes

I will start the weekend notes with couple of items o Ben Ball. Bruce Pascoe from the Arizona Daily Star published a post-draft Pac-10 outlook. Here is his top-5:

Who's gone: Guard Aaron Afflalo (early).
Comment: Keeping Darren Collison around ensures the Bruins will be considered the team to beat. Josh Shipp is the injury plagued Jawann McClellan of this team but the inside looks much tougher with freshman Kevin Love.

2. Washington State.
Who's gone: Wing Ivory Clark
Comment: Was last season a fluke? I don't think so. This is a smart, fundamentally sound team that is clearly better than the sum of its parts. Cougars will have to deal with being a major target, however.

3. Stanford.
Who's gone: Nobody.
Comment: Is Trent Johnson the right man for this job? We'll find out next season. He has virtually everybody back, including rising stars Lawrence Hill and Anthony Goods, plus the Cardinal kept the Lopez twins around. They should be contenders.

4. Arizona.
Who's gone: Wing Marcus Williams (early), guard Mustafa Shakur, forward Ivan Radenovic.
Comment: Talent level could justify a higher prediction but Wildcats haven't played up to their talent level in a while. This should be a better team chemistry-wise but that was the company line last season, too.

5. Oregon.
Who's gone: Guard Aaron Brooks, backup post Adam Zahn.
Comment: Brooks' departure drops the Ducks two or three notches. They have everybody else back, though.
The gap closers didn't make his cut but if you want to find out where he is predicting them to finish, you will have to check out rest of the list.

Staying with Ben Ball here is another note on Jrueeeeeeeee Holiday. Check out Frank Burlison's post. He compares Jrue Holiday to Dwayne Wade. Nice.

Pivoting to football Dohn shared his pick for the Pac-10 football season, which will be announced on July 16th at the Pac-10 media day. He is expecting Dorrell to finish second in the conference. Not good enough in our book. But at least Dohn is not picking him to finish 4th or 5th with an 8 win season. So its progress.

On the other hand In The Bleachers, a pretty good blog dedicated to college football has high (but reasonable from our pov) for expectations for Karl Dorell this upcoming season:
UCLA - So how can I call UCLA a surprise...well when you are in a conference with USC and Cal, it will be no cakewalk to get a BCS bid. The Bruins return 21 of 22 starters from a team that held USC to 9 points and Notre Dame to a low output. That was USC's lowest output in a long time. Ben Olson will be back at quarterback as he beat out Patrick Cowan in spring ball. So the Bruins have two quarterbacks with starting experience under their belts. In their favor they have Notre Dame, Cal, Oregon, and BYU all at home and have to travel far to play USC. Even if they do lose a conference game, they can keep themselves in the BCS running with a clean slate the rest of the way. We all know that offense wins games but defense wins championships. UCLA definitely has the defense if the Bruins play the way they did against USC and forget about giving up 44 points to Florida State in the Emerald Bowl.
Sounds reasonable to us.

Bruins have the talent. The question is will they play up to the level of their talent or will they choke away victories by playing not to lose?

Dump Dorrell posted another interesting shot of a TrOJan:

Convicts, cheats, thugs, academics rejects, and they literally come in all shapes and sizes I guess.