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The Return of Vintage DC

Kevin Love is coming off a spectacular road trip. However, if our online poll is any indication Darren Collison’s All American performance against the Oregon schools weren’t missed by members of the Bruin community.

DC’s superlative performance was even more satisfying considering what he has had to go through this season. Pucin in the LA Times provides a little reset on DC:

Collison had ambitious plans for this season. Watching film, he'd picked up bits and pieces of how opposing guards scooted in front of him, disrupting the pick-and-roll play that is critical to UCLA's offense.

Two and sometimes three times a day, Collison worked out. He also lifted weights.

He worked on basketball moves at Los Osos High with other major college players from the Inland Empire, Sean Marshall from Boston College and Anthony Goods from Stanford. He attended Steve Nash's guard camp in New Jersey. His former youth coach, Keith Howard, accompanied him here, there and everywhere.

"By the time the season got here," Howard said, "Darren was just raring to go."

Early in that first exhibition game against Azusa Pacific, Dennis Collison turned to June and said, "Darren is dragging his left leg."

June didn't see it and Darren kept playing, but when the game was over a message was given to the Collisons that they should come to the locker room.

"When I got downstairs I could see the frustration in Darren's eyes," June said. "I looked at his knee and it wasn't swollen. That's what I kept saying. It wasn't swollen."

It was, however, loose and painful, and the sprain that was at first expected to keep Collison out a couple of weeks kept him away from the game a month. And, even after he returned, away from being himself, a whirling dervish capable of playing the best on-ball defense in the country according to UCLA Coach Ben Howland.
Well that changed this past road trip. And Pucin reports that DC’s performance against Oregon was especially worthy of a Ben Ball warrior as he was playing through pain without talking about it:
After practice on Jan. 22, Collison said he wasn't sure if he could play against the Ducks. Knowing that teammates Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Lorenzo Mata-Real were both unlikely to play because of concussions, Collison kept quiet about his hip.

"It was really paining me and I wasn't sure how it was going to come out," he said. "But with Luc and Lorenzo hurting, Mike Roll out, all the factors, I just went out and played. I took control and all of a sudden, I just realized, my instincts were back."
Well DC is now back. However, I still hope the kid keeps his long term career in mind while playing through pain and makes sure he doesn’t risk any kind of damage. But it was still awesome to see the old DC. I imagine he is going to be pretty fired up tonight playing against team anchored by one of his old team-mates from Etiwanda High.

Can’t wait to see more of the vintage DC tonight.