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Ben Ball News & Notes

Let’s start with our (fresh)man in the middle. Kevin Love was named player of the week:

UCLA center Kevin Love has been named the U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 21 - 27, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.

Love, a freshman from Lake Oswego, Ore., led the Bruins to two road wins last week at Oregon and Oregon State. In the 80-75 win against the Ducks, Love scored 26 points and broke his own UCLA record with 18 rebounds. He made 8-of-11 (.727) shots from the field, including both three-pointers he attempted. At Oregon State, Love scored 16 points and improved his total rebounding record to 21, becoming the first Bruin to record more than 20 rebounds in a game in more than 30 years. The Bruins went on to defeat the Beavers 85-62.

In the games last week, Love recorded his 10th and 11th double-doubles of the year and averaged 21.0 points and 19.5 rebounds per game. He also shot 63.6 percent (14-for-22) from the field and 50.0 (2-for-4) from three-point range.

This is the third weekly honor for Love and UCLA's 48th Player of the Week all-time.
Would have been cool if Pac-10 made both KL and DC co player of the week. Oh well.

For their efforts Bruins jumped up to number 5 in both polls.

Elsewhere some encouraging notes re. the health of LM, LRMAM, and MR in the Daily Bruin:
With 12:05 to go in the first half, UCLA center Lorenzo Mata-Real checked into the Bruins’ game against Oregon State.

Mata-Real had been out since the USC game on Jan. 19 with a concussion, and although he was projected as doubtful for the entire road trip, he managed to suit up and contribute five points and five rebounds.

He also threw down a couple of dunks that helped to contribute to the eerie silence of the Oregon State crowd.

"It felt really good to play," Mata-Real said. "I worked on (those dunks) a little in warm-ups."

With Mata-Real healthy, forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (out with a concussion) improving enough to participate in pregame warm-ups before Saturday’s game, and guard Mike Roll expected to be out just another two weeks, the Bruins could finally be approaching full health again.
Let’s hope Luc can return this week. We are not going to hold our breath and hope for Roll to rush back. But if he can make a return by the next road trip it would be a huge boost for our warriors. As I have said before MR impacts the team in many positive ways. He can knock down clutch shots (again watch the game against Pitt last year), hold his own on D, get his team-mates involved, and more importantly stabilize our rotation, which has a net positive effect on the entire ream. His return will be a big boost for the team. Hope he heals up and can come back when he is ready.