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Ben Ball News & Notes

Coach Howland is focused on the Huskies:

"Washington is a problem," he said in a news conference on campus on Tuesday. "First of all, [Jon] Brockman is as good a competitor as there is in the conference. And he is so tough physically. He’s just a beast. You’ll see bodies flying when you’re around Jon Brockman. He’s a bull.

"[Ryan] Appleby is now an experienced shooter and can really get hot. He’s a guy you have to have constant awareness of. He’s more dangerous coming off of screens than anything; he has one of the quickest releases in the country. They have some older, experienced guys that won’t be affected by the road. If you watched the Washington-Washington State film from Saturday, it’s as physical a contest as you’ll see in the country. Anybody can beat anybody in this league on a given night."
Bruins will have to be in top form if they want to avoid an upset on Thursday night. As always one of the keys for our Ben Ball warriors will be the play of Darren Collison. Unfortunately for DC right when he seemed to be rounding into form, he suffered a mini setback this past weekend:
Word travels slow from the Inland Empire to Westwood these days. Point guard Darren Collison was hospitalized briefly Sunday because of food poisoning, Howland said, although several Bruins had no idea their starting point guard was ill.

"He was?" UCLA wing Josh Shipp said. "I didn't know."

UCLA was off Sunday, and Monday was an optional workout day, Shipp said.

Howland said Collison took fluids intravenously because of dehydration after he became ill at his family's Rancho Cucamonga home Sunday afternoon. He was released from the hospital the same day.

Collison did not practice Tuesday, and was not available for comment, but he is expected to play Thursday against Washington.
So much for home cooking. Kidding Mrs. Collison. We are joking. I think DC will be all right by tomorrow night. Let’s hope he can play like he did against the Bears during the second half last Saturday. Coach Howland was impressed with DC (from the LAT):
Collison, who missed the first six games while recovering from a sprained left knee, earned praise from Howland for his play against California.

"He played very well Saturday," Howland said. "His best half of the year. All those little pull up jumpers he hit, those are great shots.

"One thing to never lose sight of is his defensive intensity on the ball. His ball pressure is as difficult to deal with as anybody in the country. I've had point guards who can't apply ball pressure. Without that, opposing offenses are so much easier to run. With Darren on you, it's a hard deal."
One guy who will not play Saturday is Roll. However, per Pucin as of right now Howland is not planning to redshirt Roll. Pucin also has some sad news involved Roll:
Howland said he has no plans to redshirt junior Michael Roll. Roll ruptured a tendon in his foot last week and is out three to four weeks. It was the second time Roll hurt the foot. He missed the first seven games of the season and would be eligible to redshirt if he doesn't play again.

Roll is still wearing a walking boot and was away from the team this week to attend the funeral of his grandfather, James Beaumont.

Beaumont, who was 86, flew Hellcat fighter-bombers off the USS Essex in the South Pacific in World War II and had one brother killed in that war.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Roll’s family.

Also re. Pucin’s report today she spent a lot of time on a silly story about how Love wasn’t able to make yesterday’s press conference. Love’s media appearances has been limited to Tuesday press conferences and post game pressers because of overwhelming media requests so Love could focus on the team and more importantly school. This apparently led to some reporters to speculate that UCLA was restricting Love’s media appearance because of the stories re. him not getting enough touches. So when Love didn’t make the press conference yesterday some folks might have thrown a little hissy fit. But as it turned out it was much ado about nothing, as Loved missed that conference because he "was thrown off by new class schedules." And oh by the way he made the honor roll last quarter.

Like I said much a do about nothing. Then again Diane often likes wasting valuable grafs writing about nothing.