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Checking In With Coach Howland And Ben Ball Warriors

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Don't forget we are also a basketball school.

So moutekicksboute reminds us of that in this fanshot, which is a good occasion to check in with Coach Howland and Ben Ball warriors. We have some news bits concerning the upcoming season, great stories (and well tweets) concerning our classic Ben Ball warriors, and Howland's excitement about working with the new ones.

Let's start with moutekicksboute's fanshot about WWL pverviews of the big picture storylines of the upcoming Pac-10 hoops season. Here is their quick outlook on this year's Ben Ball warriors:

This is a whole new era for coach Ben Howland. The Bruins don't have Alfred Aboya, Josh Shipp or Darren Collison for the first time in four years. The three-year Final Four run now seems like distant history. The Bruins will be leaning heavily on potential stud Malcolm Lee as well as Drew Gordon, Nikola Dragovic, Michael Roll, Jerime Anderson, James Keefe and J'mison Morgan -- not exactly national names. But the competition at every position should be as intense as it has been under Howland. He will be searching for an identity for this squad early and often in fall practices. Lee might hold the only lock on a position, while the rest clearly are open. UCLA has a challenging nonconference slate, but the talent should carry this squad toward the top of the Pac-10, getting the Bruins enough wins to make another NCAA tournament appearance.

I think that sounds about right.  They have ND as one of their Key Pac-10 players to watch and marked MM and TH as the two of the conference freshmen they can't wait to see:

Mike Moser, PF, UCLA: Offensively, Moser is a jump shot away from being an all-conference candidate. Defensively, he has the physical attributes to guard all three perimeter positions. [...]

Tyler Honeycutt, WF, UCLA: He may be headed for a redshirt year if his lower back doesn't heal in time. Nonetheless, this late-blooming wing type has a bevy of upside. He can stroke the 3-point shot and pass with the best of them. And his shot-blocking ability is impressive.

We will cross our fingers wrt to TH. There will be enough time in the coming weeks to talk about the team but suffice to say at this point we can expect this team to go through the same growing pains, the team with core of JF/AA/DC/LRMAM did in their early years. I certainly don't think we are going to be one of the favorites to contend for the Pac-10 titles, however, I do know that under Howland's leadership, it will be exciting o see these kids grow and develop into warriors. Meanwhile, speaking of those classic Ben Ball warriors we have pretty cool updates involving LRMAM, PAA, RW and AA. More after the flip.

In case you missed it, Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an awesome piece on the Prince going back to root of his dreams:

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute remembers being 15 or so when he left his home in Cameroon to attend a NBA-sponsored camp in Johannesburg.

When it was over, a woman addressed the young players from across Africa.

Mbah a Moute's English wasn't so good, so this is what he thought he heard her say:

"If you see me again, you will have made it."

Typical teenager he was, Mbah a Moute recalls rolling his eyes and thinking, Who is this person and what is she talking about?

Several years later, when Mbah a Moute was interviewing with Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond before the 2008 draft, the memory resurfaced during their conversation.

The woman, Hammond told him, was Kim Bohuny, the NBA's vice president for international basketball operations.

Suddenly, it all made sense.

"It was funny," Mbah a Moute said Tuesday. "Later, I called her and told her I was

Well last February when Bohuny visited Milwaukee while making her rounds through the NBA, LRMAM took our to dinner to talk about that day in Johannesburg. He completed the dream. Just a beautiful story which you can read in entirety over here.

Meanwhile, while the Prince is living his dream Coach Howland tweeted couple of days ago giving us an update on the President. PAA was back in town this past week. Per Howland he headed to France this past weekend to play for Gravelines, "a professional team in 1st division." Howland said PAA looked "great!"

Howland also had AA, DC, and RW (arguably three of the greatest Ben Ball warriors) at a fundraiser celebrating the First Annual HDSA LA Hoop-A-Thon, which was held at Pauley Pavilion. By all account that event chaired was a huge success. Again just fantastic to see these guys remain such a big part of our program and doing whatever they can to lend Howland's efforts such high profile assists. He was pretty exuberant about how much it meant to him and Mrs. Howland.

Speaking of excitement, Coach Howland is fired up to work with the incoming Ben Ball warriors who he met with last week. He can't wait neither can rest of Bruin Nation.