Well, trying to get a bit back into posting diaries here. A few brief notes on the game:
- Obviously, as N and others have already mentioned, a huge win. This victory sets the tone for UCLA's season, going into Maples and coming out with a solid victory. It also puts pressure on the rest of the Pac-10's upper echelon, who will have to do the same to keep up with the Bruins (and effectively puts the Trees 2 games back to start the year).
- The player of the game was not, hard as it may be to believe given his stellar shooting, Josh Shipp. That honor, in my opinion, belongs to Russell Westbrook. He had one of the most efficient games I've ever seen, with 15 points on 6-7 shooting (1-2 on 3s, 2-2 at the line). In addition, he had 6 assists and 2 steals, with 0 turnovers. Despite coming off the bench, he played nearly the whole game (35 minutes), valuable given the loss of Roll and Collison's periodic struggles. An excellent all-around effort.
- That having been said, Shipp was huge. Even assuming he won't always be quite that hot from behind the arc (5-8, with several shots well behind the 3-pt line), if he can simply present that kind of threat in a consistent fashion the interior should open up for Love and Luc.
- As a team, the defense against Brook Lopez was outstanding, forcing him into a 5-14 night offensively. As an individual, Love showed he can guard players even when they have a significant height advantage on him, which is a major positive.
- Alfred Aboya's 3-pointer: early contender for shot of the year? I say yes.