Ugh. What a tough game to watch. Stagnant offense, poor shooting, out of control play at times. Rich McBride just looked completely lost, not a good sign for a senior. Jamar Smith is clearly still recovering from his ankle sprain. He was a step slow all night. And this was some of the worst defense I've seen from a Bruce Weber team in a while. Lots of open looks for the Terrapins, and outside of some excellent offensive rebounding, the Illini were not a good team last night. Good effort from the Illinois big men, though. Warren Carter pulled down a ton of boards in the first half, and made the only three pointer before the break. Sean Pruitt finished with nice numbers, but I'd like to see him take it to the basket a little stronger. Brian Carlwell provided a nice spark. He's got a lot of work to do, but he's going to be a good one. But boy, this team really needs Brian Randle back. I thought Calvin Brock played a good game as well. 11 points and 4 rebounds in 19 minutes. Not sure why he didn't get more time. He's their most athletic player with Randle on the bench.
Not on TV, but it was nice to see the real leaders getting it done on the offensive end. They combined for 44 points, with the point guards adding another 21. LRMAM hit the boards in the second half, but it looks like he was the only one. The Bruins were killed on the glass by 41-22 margin. That's unacceptable, but having not seen the game, it's tough to see what contributed to that. On the plus side, the Bruins created 23 turn overs, while only guilty of 10 themselves. And 13 of 22 from beyond the arc is going to get it done most of the time. Nice night from Russel Westbrook, including 11 points on 3-3 from three point land. The 0 assists and 2 turnovers aren't much to write home about, though. Of course, this means the Bruins will still be undefeated when UC Riverside shocks the world on Sunday!
On the football front, the Bruins have agreed to meet Florida State in the Emerald Bowl on December 27th. Look, I can't get excited about these games either, and about eight or nine years ago, this would have been a great matchup, but the fact is that going to a bowl game means another full month of practice, and that's too valuable to turn down at the college level.
They still have yet to name a starter for Saturday's game with the women of troy, but after the way the offense operated last game under Cowan, they'd be crazy not to go with Ben Olson. On paper, this is going to be another in a long line of beatdowns. But it's a rivalry game, and stranger things have happened. With their defense, I actually think they have a better chance going into this year's game than they did last year. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
Still no announcement of the potentially worst trade in franchise history, though people in the comments both here and at Halos Heaven are reporting it's a done deal. Don't know what they could be waiting for. For now I'll still hold out hope that this is not going to go down.
Looking at his BBRef page, Santana's closest comps through age 23 are Ben Sheets and Mark Mulder. How did those two fare in their next two seasons? Sheets had an average age 23 season, going 11-13 with a 4.45 ERA, but exploded the year after that, posting a 2.70 ERA while striking out 264. He's struggled with injuries since. Mulder went 34-16 over his next two seasons, posting era+s of 134 and 136. Of course, he had already established himself as an ace at 23, so he's not as good a comp as Sheets. Regardless, there's no reason to think that Santana won't progress, and trading him before he establishes himself for such dreck as Freddie Garcia is mind-bogglingly insane. Not to mention, Santana has destroyed the A's in his first two seasons, going 6-1 with a 1.55 ERA while allowing fewer than a baserunner per inning. Might want to keep a guy around who simply owns your arch-rival.
Like I said, officially, this deal hasn't gone down yet, so I'm still an Angels fan. For now.