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O Captain My Captain: UCLA Basketball Avoids Further Transfers, Wins 82-56

UNCLA Captain Trio get extended run in a 82-56 blowout of Cal State Northridge

Stephen Dunn

UCLA got through the night without another player leaving the program. Unfortunately, given the way freshman Tony Parker limped off the court and didn't return for the rest of the game, an already unthinkable 8 man rotation may now be down to 7. This development is unlikely to bother Howland however, who will now be "forced" to play his captains more minutes. I'm sure he's torn up over this.

In what may be the ultimate example of too little too late in Bruin sports, Howland reacted to the departure of Josh Smith and the subsequent depletion of his front court depth by not starting both Wears and coming out in a 2-3 zone. Whether it was doing what virtually all Bruin fans have been calling for for ages or that CSUN seemed hell bent on setting the NCAA record for airballs, the Matadors were up against it from the very beginning. If it weren't for the Cal Poly collapse that sealed Howland's vote of no confidence from larger Bruin Nation, you could say that this game was never really close or interesting.

Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad got starts and the depleted UCLA roster got out and ran with CSUN. It will be interesting to see if the thin roster frees the freshmen especially to just go out and play and not worry so much about running the so-called offense. After all, what's Howland going to do, bench them? No, Ben is now at the mercy of his freshman class, and the result will undoubtedly be some messy basketball, but should easily be more entertaining than what we've seen in the first six games. The key issue is whether the freshmen realize the power they have, what with their coach being a lame duck and all.