Friday, November 09, 2007

UCLA vs. Portland State - Liveblog

This should be fun, as I figure to get drunker and drunker as the game goes on. Free internet broadcast courtesy of CSTV. We finally get to see Kevin Love in a Bruins uni.

  • Interesting thing about these broadcasts. They overlay the radio feed with the camera feed from the guys filming the game for scouting purposes. So during commercials, they apparently show what the Pauley scoreboard shows. I was just encouraged to get on my feet and make noise. I can get kind of loud, but not Krakatoa loud.
  • 5th starter tonight is Al Aboya.
  • And Love opens with a defensive board and an outlet pass that leads to a break and two points.
  • Love seal and dunk. He's good. And an easy dunk on the inbounds. Wow.
  • I may be in the minority, but I like the C. You did something good. Flaunt it. And the obvious upshot is that it's going to get mentioned in every game on TV. People are going to ask about it. And game after game, all year, people are going to hear that UCLA was the first school to 100 national championships.
  • Under 16 TO: First impressions? Pretty solid quality on this video. Thanks, CSTV.
  • PSU takes a time out because of dunk we never saw. Here's the problem with this set-up. Love hits a shot inside, and while they're showing replay, he gets a rebound on the other end that leads to a dunk that we don't see. Now the game is back on, but it beat the radio feed. Weird. Niiiiiiiiiiiikolaaaaaaaa into the game.
  • Again, we miss game action for a replay, but that seems to be the way this is going to go.
  • The defense has been awesome, with the typical doubling and flashing UCLA defense that leads to a lot of steals. They look like they could win this game by 100 points if the try.
  • Hey, remember when Lavin was coaching, and you never sure if they'd actually win games like this?
  • 36-17 at the end of the first half. They slowed down a bit. Whether that's because they naturally slowed down, or they took their foot off the gas, but the first ten minutes were very impressive. Impressions:
    • Kevin Love is very good. He's not an overpowering Shaq-type force, but he has a great feel for how to put the ball in the basket, and his passing is as advertised. He can yank down a few boards, too.
    • The defense looks like they're ready to pick up where they left off. Double teams, steals, etc.
    • Dragovic picked up some nice minutes, as did Stanback. Both look like they can contribute 8th and 9th man minutes. When Collison, Keefe, and Roll return, this team can go 11 deep.
  • LRMAM looks like he needs to find a role. Maybe he'll better with Collison, but right now, with Shipp and Love picking up scoring slack, he looks a little lost on the offensive end.
  • Josh Shipp can shoot. He's turning into the scorer that his brother was.
  • Westbrook can be electric, but he's got a lot of learning to do. Fortunately, he gets to learn against the best point guard in college basketball. Much like every day practice against Farmar made Collison a terrific player, Collison's tutelage will help Westbrook improve. And just imagine the guard battles in practice next year with Westbrook, Holliday, Lee, and Anderson.
  • It's really weird watching these games with a clock and scoreboard on the screen.
  • Love just grabbed a board and made a two foot pass to Shipp. Tells me that he's not going to fire outlets to nowhere when the opportunities aren't there. He's got 18 and 11. First in a long line of double doubles.
  • I love Lo Mata-Real, but it's going to be really nice to have a center that you can play on both the offensive and defensive end late in games. Love can make free throws.
  • I can't stop thinking about depth. Their second team (RW, Roll, Chace, Aboya, Lo) would be a heck of a starting five in most conferences. And that doesn't even factor in Keefe or Dragovic. Good God, this can be a freaking 12 man rotation!!
  • An addendum to the last bullet, the top ranked recruit from the Roll, Collison, LRMAM, Aboya class isn't even with the team anymore. Ryan Wright was the "stud" from that class.
  • Westbrook's offense isn't quite as "instant" when he starts. But when DC gets back, he's going to be a super-sub who can fill in a for a few games at a time. This experience is invaluable.
  • Game over. UCLA wins handily. It's not a 50 point win like Duke put up, but then again, Howland doesn't leave his starters in up by 40 with 30 seconds to play.
So that's that. 69-48. K-Love was pretty solid. 22 points, 13 boards. The last Bruins with similar debut numbers was T.J. Cummings. The difference between Love and Cummings is that Kevin's not afraid to get paint on his shoes. I've never seen a player with T.J.'s size who was so reluctant to go anywhere near the basket.

Win. Experience. On to bigger things.

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