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Ben Ball Game Day Roundup & Notes

Let's start our Ben Ball game day roundup focusing on the Beavers. KSW over at Bruin Basketball Report has the preview up:

The Beavers are averaging 60.5 points a game on 38.3% shooting from the field and an embarrassing 27.9% on three-pointers.

The lone bright spot on the team has been the play of sophomore wing Seth Tarver (6'5, 205). After a rough freshman season when he battled injuries, he leads the team in scoring with 12.0 a game and is averaging 5.4 rebounds.

Tarver's brother, Josh, however has struggled from the point this season. All his numbers are down from his frosh year, he's averaging 7.5 points on just 33.6% shooting.

Seth and Josh's older brother, Shon, played at UCLA for four years (1991-1994). He led the Bruins in scoring in 1993.
That's pretty cool. I was thinking about Shon as soon as I saw the last name Tarver. Shon as some of you will remember came into UCLA with Ed O'Bannon as the two recruits who were destined to go to UNLV before Tark's house of cards (aka "USC of college basketball") crumbled under NCAA sanctions. I have written a number of times about my feelings towards King Ed. I will add tha Shon was also a great guy and a pretty solid player when he was at UCLA.

As for our guys from Dohn's this morning's report sounds like Luc or Lorenzo might see some action today:
UCLA's frontcourt could receive a boost with the possible return of backup center Lorenzo Mata-Real for tonight's game at Oregon State.

Bruins coach Ben Howland termed Mata-Real's status as "probable," but said starting forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was "questionable" to play against the Beavers. Both missed Thursday's win at Oregon because of lingering effects from concussions.

"They did some shooting, along with a couple of other guys," Howland said. "It was 20, 25 minutes. (Friday) morning after breakfast, Luc had taken a big ride."

Mbah a Moute said after watching the win against Oregon that he did not have a headache, but his problem had been in the morning. In days prior, he went to bed headache free, but awoke in the morning with a headache.

As per UCLA policy, players must be symptom-free for 24 hours, than have a "contact practice" before being cleared to play in a game.
I hope UCLA plays it safe with these guys. I rather have Keefe, Dragovic and Stanback rack up some heavy mins today than having to go to those two guys. This way we can have them completely ready for next week.

Elsewhere Pucin (LAT) and Dohn (DN) spent a lot of time today writing about Oregon Ducks fan behavior at Mac. Coach Howland had to say this about some of the comments hurled towards Love and his family (Dohn):
"What was really impressive was how poised he was, considering how vicious the personal attacks were that were going on in the stands," Howland said Friday. "I don't see it, but I hear about it after the games and it's like, `Oh, you're kidding me.' You guys (the media) saw it.

"They even wrote about it in one of the local papers, and one of the lines was, `It's not the worst ever at Mac,' and I thought, `Really?' After hearing what they were saying, well, what was the worst? That would be a good question.

"There were some really vile, disgusting, inappropriate innuendos ... just the whole deal. I feel bad when that happens to anybody. And at UCLA the students have been bad in years past. I don't think they've been that bad, at least, since I've been here."
And the Oregon administration had this (extremely lame) response (Pucin):
Greg Walker, a spokesman for the Oregon athletic department, acknowledged that some of the chants and signs were in poor taste. "But the other side of this is a free speech issue," Walker said. "We don't have the authority to take away signs. We don't agree with all the things that were said or that they were in the best of taste. We're aware of everything that was said and we're not always proud. But there is a right to free speech."
I personally don't get all that riled up about words coming out of student sections in college basketball arenas. And I see nothing wrong with showing and expressing emotion and expressing disdain towards the losers from South Central when they come to our house.

However, that said Walker's explanation doesn't jibe at all. This is not an issue of "free speech" if I understand it correctly. Mac Court is not a public place where free speech rights are applicable. I am presuming those students pay tickets to attend their games at Mac and in doing so they agree to set of agreements printed out in those tickets (which essentially serves as a "license"). So those students can be kicked out by the University administration if they violate any of terms of that agreement. And again I am presuming any such agreement wrt to tickets for Oregon athletics do not give those students the right to hurl words that cannot be printed. So in other words Walker's excuse is total BS and comes across as the effort of an administrative hack who is trying to deliberatively mislead and obfuscate assuming that no one is going to call him out on it.

Anyway, I am not going to worry too much about this. I have complete confidence in the leaders of our Bruin Den that they will deal with this issue when Malik Hairston comes to Pauley and get his last taste of playing on a college basketball court that features a Final-4 caliber program.

Let's keep our focus on Oregon State. It's a huge game for our Ben Ball warriors. They need to take care of business to keep control over the conference.