Welcome to Saturday morning, and wait for a nationally televised matchup against the Oregon Ducks in New Pauley Pavilion. Spero Dedes and Doug Gottlieb will be on the call for CBS, so unfortunately no fun Bill Walton stories today. The Bruins are currently riding a 10 game winning streak, and have won their first five games in Pac-12 play. Vegas has us at about a 5 point favorite (I think, I can't read betting lines to save my life) but we'll see if the Bruins can get ready to play 1.) early-ish (hey, 1pm can be early for a college student) and 2.) on a short turnaround. Since our recruits aren't from California, hopefully they will be ready to play before friends and family watching all across the country.
- The Daily News and Jack Wang has this game marked as a "big" game. The Duckies are 15-2, 4-0 in Pac-12 play. Kyle Anderson admitted that he was excited for the Oregon game, and Howland was disappointed to hear one of his players was looking ahead to the next game. Maybe that's only a small part of the reason why we lost a 18 (was it 18? Did we hit 20 at one point) point lead on Thursday. The players better be focused on today and not looking ahead to Arizona next week.
- The OC Register hit on the same notes with Howland, repeating the "one game at a time" mantra and reminding the players of the importance of the game, with Oregon at 29 in RPI. Oregon is a very balanced team, with five players averaging in double digits. A quick snippet mentions that Howland is very happy with Tony Parker's play on Thursday, and he should get more minutes. Hey Tony, maybe you'll get five minutes today! We can use you to go up against Arselan Kazemi of Oregon, a rebounding machine. Watch the rebounding numbers today.
- Circling over to the LA Times, they quoted Howland in regards to the team's tendency to let teams back into the game as a "good problem to have" since it hasn't come back to bite them in the behind. YET. Personally I'd rather blow the team out by 20 and put in the walk-ons to finish a game, but hey if you want to overuse your players to keep teams like Oregon State at bay, by all means. Hopefully they're not too tired for Oregon. At least we're not traveling.
- On the women's basketball front, the women's team traveled to Maples and lost to #6 Stanford by a score of 75-49. Stanford recently saw their home court win streak and then their conference home court win streak snapped over the last couple of weeks, so they seized on the opportunity to reassert their dominance. Alyssia Brewer had 14 points. Stanford opened the second half on a 13-2 run and the Bruins could not mount a comeback. The women play Cal on Sunday.
That's your basketball Bruin Bites for a game that will be beamed into television sets across the country. Let's hope the Bruins come out and pass the eye test and make that Cal Poly loss fade away in the memories of college basketball fans, or there will be continued doubt out there about exactly what type of UCLA team we have this year.
Let's go, Bruins.