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Ben Ball News & Notes: Digger Still Is A Wimp

We will start today’s Ben Ball round up with some really cool news out of Oregon. A very classy gesture from University of Oregon:

Oregon's athletic director has apologized to UCLA for the behavior of Ducks fans toward Bruins freshman Kevin Love last week.

Pat Kilkenny left messages Monday for coach Ben Howland, athletic director Dan Guerrero and Love's father Stan, who starred for Oregon in the early 1970s.
You have to tip your hat to Kilkenny for that move. Well done and I think that will make lot of Ducks’ alums proud. For our part let’s move on.

We also have some good news from our team. Luc is back in practice. From LAT’s report sounds like he is doing all right and will play against ASU tomorrow night:
Starting forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who sat out games last week against Oregon and Oregon State because of a concussion, returned to practice Tuesday and was expected to play Thursday night when the Bruins play Arizona State at Pauley Pavilion.

Mbah a Moute, averaging 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, was cleared after a CT scan came back negative, Coach Ben Howland said.

The 6-foot-8 junior was injured Jan. 19 against USC and hadn't practiced until a light workout Monday.

"He worked out for about an hour and felt fine afterward so hopefully he'll have a good result again," Howland said before practice.

"I definitely feel better," Mbah a Moute said. "There isn't anything you can do about a concussion. You just go out there and play."
Luc’s return will be a huge boost to our defense as we have discussed a number of times in last few days. Also speaking of injuries apparently Howland told reporters that Roll is still "at least a few weeks" away from returning. Achilles thinks Roll will redshirt. Folks I have to say I trust A’s hunches on stuff like this a lot. So I am not going to hold my breath over Roll’s return at this point.

Speaking of returning some great news from Dohn:
The chances of UCLA losing multiple underclassmen to the NBA draft is high, especially in the cases of projected mid-level first-round picks Love and point guard Darren Collison, but junior wing Josh Shipp said not to count him in the mix of players who could leave early.

"I'll be here," Shipp said. "I have another year of basketball. Why wouldn't I want to play at UCLA? I'm here at UCLA, it's a great place, and I enjoy my time here. I definitely would love to stay here."

Shipp, who is UCLA's second-leading scorer at 14.2points per game, is projected as a middle second-round selection in several mock drafts.
I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by this. I thought Shipp would be gone for sure/ Who knows if he blows up down the line he still may go. But Coach Howland has to be really happy about this. Shipp and Westbrook (if he comes back next season as well) will be the man and focal point of our offense and will provide key veteran leadership and experience to guide all the young cubs who are coming in next season. But this is exciting stuff nonetheless.

Speaking of exciting stuff looks like the Den will get to make fun of Digger Phelps in person this Saturday at Pauley. WWL clowns are coming to town:
ESPN's College Game Day for basketball will originate from Pauley Pavilion this Saturday. It begins at 8 a.m., but don't pack your gear just yet. UCLA is allowing only members of the "The Den,'' which is the student section, in for the game.
I was told the decision was made independent of the men's basketball program, and a UCLA official said the decision was made as a way to reward the students.
We will be very interested to hear what the Den has planned for this. So guys as always use this place to get the word out and we will do what we can to help you out. And remember – Digger still sucks is a wimp.