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In Motion

Following last week’s games in NYC, we have heard a lot of discussion about how Coach Howland might need to make some adjustments in our offense. Well, it looka like a little change might be already in "motion":

Usually, Bruins coach Ben Howland calls the plays from the bench in halfcourt sets, but several players said Tuesday they believed the unscripted motion offense - in which passes, screens and quick cuts to the basket are the focal point and dribbling is minimized - will be used markedly more than in the past.

"We've been working on motion every day in practice," UCLA senior wing Josh Shipp said. "A lot of teams know what we're going to run. They're going to take away our first and second options, so after that, all we have is our motion."

UCLA senior center Alfred Aboya said the players believe utilizing a motion offense, which the Bruins have done periodically in the past, will produce better results than running set plays.

"I think coach feels this team will be a better team running motion offense instead of running all the time," Aboya said. "By running motion, it doesn't mean only one guy has to have the ball and others set screens. It means everybody's got to be able to pass, cut and (do) all the little stuff.

"First, we have to master the motion offense, and so far we're not close to that. Hopefully, by conference (play), I think we'll be ready."

If you are interested in getting an animated description of motion offense check out this link at the Coach's Clipboard, a website which provides solid explanation of various offensive and defensive sets for a basketball junkie.

I am not expecting any dramatic results right off the bat but we will probably see some of the adjustments this weekend against FIU. In addition to tweaking the offense a bit, CBH wants JS to stay under control:

Howland talked about other adjustments. He says he thinks Shipp is trying to force things on offense and wants Collison, who has made 61% of his shots, to shoulder more of the scoring burden.

And DC to take more shots:

"Darren Collison should take the most shots on the team," Howland said. "He's our best shooter."

The point guard seemed a bit reticent, insisting there are a lot of good players on the team who need to be scoring. He vowed to be more aggressive in attacking defenses and getting to the paint.

Again, I think it might not be a bad idea to try out JH at 1 every now and then setting up DC from the peremeter. He is pretty deadly from outside, so why not use JH’s natural pg skills to set up who I think might be the most accurate long range bomber in the team.

In addition to changing up his offense, Howland and his warriors are working to address issues concerning TOs and team defense:

Howland said his two biggest concerns four games into the season are the number of turnovers and opponents' shooting percentage. UCLA is turning the ball over 14.8times per game, and opponents are shooting 45percent from the field.

"Every time we had a turnover (in Monday's practice), the team that turned it over had to run," Howland said. "There's got to be accountability. Every time you make a mistake, there's got to be consequences, because that's how it is in the game."

With Coach Howland in charge I am not worried about "accountability" in our program. These guys will develop and improve with every practice. It will take time. It might even take the entire season to gel, just like it did in 2005-06. I don’t think it helps to get all stressed out over it. I think the best way to enjoy this team is to watch their development in motion. We have seen it before.