Hey we are just a basketball school remember.
Forget the fact we have the number 1 ranked baseball team in America or perhaps the best football coaching staff in West (if not the entire nation) working to revive our tradition at the Rose Bowl. We need to get back to nitty gritty of following our Ben Ball warriors.
And the news is a little disconcerting. Pucin has an update on the health of Mata-Real and Luc who are still recovering from the concussions they suffered during Saturday’s game:
Mata-Real took a charge against the Trojans' Daniel Hackett and his head was knocked on the floor by Hackett's knee. Howland said Mbah a Moute ran into USC's Keith Wilkinson on an offensive play.
"On the film, I've watched it a number of times, Luc went up, got his head caught in Wilkinson's chest, caught his head scraping across," Howland said. "Luc hit his neck, got a shot blocked, got it back and kind of keeled over. We didn't know he was completely out of it and there were four plays he normally doesn't make, three on defense, one on offense. The adrenaline took over and he tried to keep going."
Howland said Mata-Real still had a headache at 6 p.m. Monday.
"The doctors do computerized tests," Howland said. " . . . If the headache had gone away he could have worked out after 6 Tuesday. I'm not optimistic about Lorenzo."
Howland said by using the same computerized program Mbah a Moute was "a little further ahead," though Mbah a Moute didn't practice Tuesday.
"I did a poor job in terms of preparation for this team because we were really out of sorts," Howland said. "Our transition defense was very poor. I can't remember giving up that many dunks or layups to a team in a long time. I can't even remember the last time."
Howland said UCLA will work on its transition defense this week, but also said shot selection was a problem late in the game.
"I didn't do a good job," Howland said. "I should have put Chace in, in retrospect, because Josh, Darren (Collison) and Russell all played the rest of the half after the first two minutes of the (second) half. That was just poor coaching. You just can't expect guys to play that long."
"You never want to go on a road trip with a man down, or with two men down. If it does happen, that we're that short, I think I'm more than capable of stepping in."
I will try to put together some notes on Oregon later tonight or tomorrow. Again this is going to be tough game as those guys themselves are smarting from a dispirting loss against Washington State. They are going to try to get better by knocking off a top-10 UCLA team (and I am sure their student section will be looking to rush the court … again).
So our guys will have to be ready and come in with the same focus and (calibrated) intensity they came in with during their first Pac-10 road trip of the season.