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Roundup From The BN Walk: News & Notes

Now that we are in the off season, we can officially start our multi-sports/topic Bruin roundups. I think we will call these Roundup From the BN Walk (very original, I know).

We will start with the baseball team which lost to Pepperdine yesterday, failing to continue the momentum it gained in Seattle. Per the DB report one bad inning made the difference in a 2-6 loss. Hopefully, the team gets back in grove against LMU today, giving them a boost heading into the big weekend series against ASU.

Moving on to football, Ben Olson decided to have surgery on his broken right foot. From Jill Painter in the Daily News:

Olson's recovery time is expected to be six to eight weeks, which was the same time frame had he elected to not have the surgery. Olson will have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal. He is expected to be back sometime in June. Training camp begins in August.

"Everybody I talked to with this type of fracture said the screw is probably the way to go," Olson told the Daily News last week. "I want to do the thing that is best for my body and get back as fast as I can. The screw sounds like the way to go."
Good luck to Ben and we wish him a speedy recovery. Hopefully his rehab goes well and he can also make the best use of that time by familiarizing himself even more with all the ins and outs of Chow’s offensive scheme.

Speaking of a Bruin who has persevered through injuries, LMR is in the news today. Dohn reports about LMR eyeing a career in the Spanish professional league for all the right reasons:
Mata-Real, a center who was part of coach Ben Howland's first recruiting class, said he will try to work out for NBA teams. But, in being realistic, he said if an opportunity doesn't surface in North America's top league, he wants to play in Spain's top league, the Asociaci n de Clubs de Baloncesto.

"It's Spanish-speaking, and it's one of the best leagues (in Europe)," Mata-Real said. "You get paid a lot over there, and tax-free."

Mata-Real's motivation for going overseas isn't greed, but rather his conscience. His mother, Reyna Real, raised him alone, and now he wants to pay her back.

"I just want to help my mom out," Mata-Real said. "That's the first thing I want to do, help my mom retire and make it so she can get out of work."

After starting for UCLA's Final Four team in 2007 and playing a significant role on the 2006 squad that lost in the title game to Florida, Mata-Real was relegated to a bit role with the arrival of All-American Kevin Love this past season.

Yet, Mata-Real never complained, even as his minutes dwindled, which won him the admiration of UCLA's fan base. He averaged 3.1 points and 3.5rebounds per game as a senior.
Well, I think I speak for everyone here in saying thousands of us are going to be rooting for this kid. LMR is graduating this spring with a major in history. Hopefully, he will make all the right connections in getting himself a pro K in Spain and realizing his dream. I would think Coach Howland and his staff with their connections in the greater basketball community will be able to set this kid up.

And since we are on the topic of Coach Howland and his staff’s connection to international hoops, especially Spain, according to Jeff Eisenberg of the Press Enterprise, Donny Daniels recently flew to Spain to check out British 7 footer Phillip Wait:
As part of UCLA's last-ditch search to find a center for next year's recruiting class, assistant coach Donny Daniels recently flew to Spain to see 7-footer Philip Wait, a native of Manchester England now playing at the Gran Canaria Basketball Academy. Daniels had been tracking Wait through director Rob Orellana, an assistant under Daniels at Cal State Fullerton.
While I've been unable to track down Orellana thus far, I did reach Wait's former high school coach at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. Gregor Makechnie said Wait has received interest from UCLA, Arizona State, Kentucky and Nebraska among others, but he also might opt to play professionally in Europe instead.
Wait needs to work on his strength, footwork and toughness, according to Makechnie, but his upside is high. The 21-year-old wants to go to a school where he would be challenged academically and feel comfortable. "The thing UCLA has to determine is if he's a guy who comes in and makes an immediate impact," Makechnie said. "Two years ago he was a work in progress. I haven't seen him this year, but now he might have developed further."
We will see how this angle all works out. Either way, given the shape we are in, UCLA has the luxury to be patient. If Daniels thinks Wait is up to UCLA standards, and he is interested in coming in, then we are all for it. If not, we will move on to the next plan under Coach Howland. There is always a plan in place with Coach Howland in charge.