Ben Ball warriors start their home part of the Pac-10 season tonight against Washington. As the Bruins get ready to take on a team which has beaten us at Pauley 2 out of last 3 years, beat reporters are obsessing over our depth. Dohn has a huge article today pondering how Howland is going to find a way to compensate for Roll’s absence who was averaging more than 14 mins a game. Dohn implies that Roll’s absence may negatively impact the Bruins down the stretch referring to the Gators team from last two years that had 9 players averaging substantial mins. Coach Howland for his part is getting annoyed with beat reporter’s current obsession over the depth issue:
And how will he do it?
"It'll happen," Howland said curtly.
Whether it starts tonight when UCLA (14-1, 2-0 Pac-10) hosts Washington (9-5, 0-1) remains to be seen, since Howland wasn't interested in explaining how Keefe's and Stanback's minutes would increase
"We're comfortable with it. We work hard at conditioning. It shouldn't be a problem for us."
Anyway lot of people are going to keep an eye on Keefe tonight who averaged 4 mins a game in his first two appearances of the season. OC Register’s Kuwada focuses on Keefe today in which he notes Keefe’s 4 mins against Cal were pretty productive:
A scant four minutes a game certainly is not what Keefe had in mind when agreeing to come out of his redshirt.
"Obviously," he said, "that's not the ideal situation."
But that, too, seemingly would require an adjustment. Because of the surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, Keefe still has some restraints in the weight room and his strength and conditioning could become issues as they were through most of his freshman season. Before the surgery in August, he had built his body significantly, but much of that muscle through the chest and shoulders. That bulk and strength went away during three months of rehab work.
"I think it's going to take long time to get back to that, and, also, coming from having nothing and trying to build up muscle during the season is kind of impractical," Keefe said. "Usually, during the season, you're lifting to maintain what you have rather than trying to gain weight, which is a really difficult thing to do. But I'm comfortable with my strength right now, my conditioning, for this season, and then when the season ends Ill focus more on it.
"In the games, you've just got to use everything you have to your advantage. It's more the effort than the strength that you have. Just go hard, and see what happens.
As for the game tonight Keefe will have to come in and help out Love, AA2, Luc and Mata-Real take on the Washington front court anchored by Brockman. More on the game from Bruin Basketball Report’s preview:
From last season's club, Washington lost center Spencer Hawes to the NBA draft, and sophomores Adrian Oliver and Phil Nelson who both transferred from the program. However, the Huskies return a bevy of talented lettermen and welcome some new players who are playing a big role on the team this season.
Coach Romar has shuffled the line-up all season in search of the right fit, the Huskies have started six different line-ups thus far. The current five starters are Jon Brockman, Ryan Appleby, Tim Morris, Artem Wallace, and Joel Smith.
Pac-10 conference star Jon Brockman (6'7, 255, Jr), is as wide as he is tall. The forward is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds this season. He is leading the team in scoring at 18.4 game and shooting 54.1% from the field while averaging a conference-leading 11.4 rebounds a game.
The physical forward is a big load in the low post who can knock around opponents on his way to the basket, in addition, he possesses a consistent midrange jumper. He will initially be guarded by UCLA'a Alfred Aboya although we'll likely see Brockman go head-to-head against Kevin Love in a true battle of the titans underneath.
The Bruins will need to put a body on Brockman to keep the junior off the offensive boards and check him down low with a double in the post often.
Anyway, the game will be on FSN prime for those who are wondering. We will have the game thread up later on tonight.