This should be a big day on Bruins Nation. We are getting set for the NBA draft night. We will have an open thread up around 3 pm PST to follow all the festivities from NYC. We are hoping it will be a good night for DC and who knows perhaps there will be a miracle and JS will get picked in the second. While PAA is the longest of long shot, we will still use the thread to pay one more tribute to him and our other two seniors. Also, later today around noon PST, rye will be posting something very special concerning about our baseball team. I think you will want to come back for that.
Now let's get to some of our news and notes for today. Greg Biggins fom ESPN had a nice write up on the two commitments Neuheisel picked up earlier this week. Wesley Flowers told Biggins how staying close to his family was an important factor in his decision:
"My grandmother has raised me since I was three years old," Flowers said. "She wanted me to stay close by and her sister lives in Los Angeles. I have a lot of other family in Los Angeles as well so it's cool to have a nice support group. Plus Tevin will be with me and like I said, we're real close and always wanted to play together.
"I still want to take my trips, just to have my fun but my commitment is solid. I know I want to check out Washington and a few others. I've only been outside of California one time so I want to see what's out there but I'm solid with UCLA and excited to be a Bruin for sure."
Flowers is also willing to be flexible in terms of where UCLA coaches plug him in:
"So I camped on Sunday and did my thing and they liked me a lot. I worked out at both end and tackle and they asked me where I wanted to play in college. I said I'll play wherever helps the team win. I told them they were the experts and I trusted they would put me in the best place to maximize my ability. I have a frame for defensive end but could easily put on 40 pounds and play tackle so we'll just see how it goes."
Per Biggins Flowers will be playing "all over the line" in his senior year at Edison. So he is on track to develop as multidimensional lineman before coming into UCLA. As for Nottingham the word Biggins used is "polished":
He's very polished and will have a short learning curve when he gets to college, compared to most high school signal callers, because of the coaching he has already received and the pro-style offense he plays in.
As he continues to work out his mechanics, look for Nottingham's arm strength to improve as well. He has a college frame right now, is very accurate and understands where to go with the football.
As I said yesterday it is going to fun to find out what he can do when he is ready to compete for the starting job in about 2-3 years at UCLA. Staying on the topic of recruiting, look who was camping at UCLA:
The youngsters began their camps at UCLA today, and proud papa and former USC star Keyshawn Johnson was there to watch his son, Keyshawn Jr., participate.
LOL. One of my best college sports memories was to see our football team repeatedly beating up Meshawn's bunch from South Central. Of course now if his son wants to come over to the good side we will gladly welcome him just like we did with Tevin McDonald. Still it will be especially hilarious to see Meshawn having to put on a UCLA polo (just like Bill Walton had to out on those ugly red polos during Arizona games few years ago) if Keyshawn Jr. ends up in Westwood. Either way best of luck to the kid.
Speaking of athletes who are all about "me" Jrue Holiday opened his mouth again about life being not "fair" under Coach Howland:
Holiday is a viable option for the Knicks at No. 8. Holiday said Howland initially told him he would be the backup point guard when Collison was out of the game, but that didn't happen. "I didn't complain about it,'' Holiday said. "I asked him if I could play point a bit. But life isn't always fair."
Well few points here to add context for poor poor Mr. Holiday.
Many of us here including yours truly suggested earlier this past season perhaps Howland should have plugged in Holiday a little more at the 1 spot since he seemed to be a natural at him. However, Coach Howland used JA to back up DC for one major reason: he knew Holiday was going to leave after one year in Westwood. He didn't want UCLA to be in a situation going into next season where the roster wouldn't have anyone with legit college experience at the 1 spot. Coach Howland used JA as the backup because he wanted to get him a little seasoned before his sophomore year. In other words, Coach Howland used JA at the 1 spot over Holiday because he had his team's best interest in mind.
So for Holiday to mouth off to the press that "life isn't fair" because he didn't get to play pg at UCLA is just selfish and obnoxious. Yeah, like we are going to sit around and feel sorry for a primadonna who is about to make millions based on sheer hype without ever proving himself at the college game. Whatever.
Anyway, we will see how the NBA draft unfolds tonight. As mentioned up top we will have an open thread up starting around 3 pm PST. Here is to a good night for Ben Ball warriors who always put the team and the four letters above their own interests.