Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oregon 57; UCLA 69

Well, that was a little more like it. The big difference between this game and the Stanford game was the Bruins came out with a sense of urgency at the beginning of the second half. On Sunday, the Cardinal went in down by 12, but came out and controlled the game from the beginning of the second half, and the Bruins could never stop the bleeding. Tonight, UCLA came out and scored the first nine points of the second half, opening up an 18 point lead that they would never relinquish. Oregon got as close as nine points following a UCLA turnover and a Josh Shipp botched dunk, but the Bruins responded by scoring eight of the next ten points, and never looked back.

Four UCLA starters finished in double figures, as they utilized a balanced attack against a small opponent. Aaron Afflalo led the way with 17, while Collison added 12, Shipp 11. But the player of the game for the Bruins was probably LRMAM, who had his best game in a while, with 15 points and 12 rebounds. He also played excellent defense. Marty Leunen had 18 points in the game at Euguene. The Bruins defense cut that in half tonight, and Malik Hairston, missing from the first tilt, was vitually a non-factor with eight points and three rebounds.

Both teams run the floor so well defensively that transition wasn't really a big factor. On top of that, UCLA had a large enough second half lead that when the opportunity to run presented itself, UCLA often wisely pulled the ball back out. For a game that featured a lot of half court sets, the Bruins shot a blazing 57%, holding Oregon to only 37%. That was the difference.

So for the moment, the Bruins are all alone at the top of the conference, a place they'll likely be going into next Wednesday's game against U$C. They currently sit one game ahead of $C, Oregon, and Washington State, who delivered another blow to the mildcats tonight in Tucson. I think the Cats will rebound on Saturday against Washington, mostly because Washington isn't that good, but lose that one, and U of A could drop below .500 in the Pac 10.

*Note: stats are based on preliminary box score, which is probably inaccurate, and subject to change.

Best Barbaro Comment

I think this pretty much sums up all of the Barbaro nonsense:
It's not even a heartwarming story, if you think about it. Someone took a horse, trained it to run fast, and during the course of exploiting its ability to run fast for the purpose of gambling, fatally crippled it. Yay, America!
That's it. There really isn't anything else that can be said.

See also: This TJ Simers column.
How many think Barbaro was heroic, or just doing what his human handlers wanted him to do? Or, had no choice what he was doing after being anesthetized? If we're going to start looking upon horses as if they have human qualities, then shouldn't we stop sticking a bit in their mouths, tying their tongues in place before races, gelding or loading them with steroids?

Dear Boston, you are offically all a bunch of pussies

Here's a fairly representative comment from a Boston Globe editorial:
Perpetrators of terror hoaxes can anticipate prison sentences of up to five years if apprehended.
Note to dumbshits: This wasn't a terror hoax. It's not like they left suspicious looking packages around town. It's not like anyone phoned in a bomb threat. They were freaking lite-brites fer chrissakes! Boston is scared to death of Lite-Brites. See if you can identify what's wrong with this sentence:
But Turner's ad gimmick, undertaken in 10 cities from coast to coast, affected tens of thousands of people in the Greater Boston area. Businesses lost customers. Commuters lost time. Even more serious, first responders from local, state, and federal public safety agencies were called away from their legitimate duties.
Gee, you'd think if they had done this in ten cities coast to coast, maybe some of the other cities would have lost their shit too. But maybe those cities aren't populated and run by a bunch of freaking morons.
But it's hardly surprising if others who weren't in on the gag were suspicious. As a rule, first responders are left little choice but to assume they are facing a legitimate threat.
The amount of stupid in this editorial is really starting to hurt my brain. Let's look back in human history. How many terrorists have planted bombs around major cities and put BIG FLASHING LIGHTS ON THEM?!?! I'm no terrorist, but it would seem to me that you'd want to make your bomb inconspicuous. Let's take a quick break from simply dumb and move to something more disengenuous:
A visibly angry Menino said he would ask the Federal Communications Commission to yank TBS's broadcasting license for what he called "an outrageous act to gain publicity for their product."
Shorter Mayor Dipshit: We were exposed for being the total dumbshits that we are, and for that, someone must pay. No one exposes my complete and total idiocy to the world without paying some sort of price!

But for the ultimate in stupid, I mean we're talking the hall of fame of stupid, we have to go to our friends over at Little Green Fascists and Anchor Baby. I'm sorry, but I can't go back there for fear of becoming completely retarded.
"For those who responded to it, professionals, it had a very sinister appearance," Coakley said. "It had a battery behind it and wires."
Boston, in the future, if you're not sure if what you're looking at is a bomb, please consult Res Publica's soon to be growing reference. But if you're still not sure, here's a tip: That thing with the light up numbers on it next to your bed? It's probably a clock radio. I know it might have batteries in it and wires coming out of the back, but do not, I REPEAT, DO NOT blow it up. Do not call the authorities.

From Terror:
1. intense, sharp, overmastering fear: to be frantic with terror.
2. an instance or cause of intense fear or anxiety; quality of causing terror: to be a terror to evildoers.

It's cliche, but yep, they've won. As long as people are as stupid as they appear to be in Boston, the terrorists have won.

Here they are, rocked you like a hurricane.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Their Race is Hundreds of Years Beyond Ours

Bitchin'. Boston went crazy over a bunch of Mooninite lite brites that were left all over town to promote Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Yeah, we've seen that. The glowing. It's great.

The discovery of a series of suspicious objects on bridges, near a medical center, underneath an interstate, and in other crowded public places have set off a wave of bomb scares across Boston, snarling traffic and subways across the city.

None of the suspicious objects have been determined to be actual bombs. It was not immediately clear if the incidents were connected or part of some elaborate hoax.

Yeah, turns out they were Mooninites the whole time. The Bostonians were not excited to see them. The Mooninites forgot all about Boston's needs. They were too busy fulfilling their own.

What's hilarious is that this all broke today, even though fulsome noticed this almost two weeks ago in San Francisco.

Jamar Smith Watch

He was 0-2 last night, both shots from beyond the arc, in Illinois' 57-50 victory over Michigan State. The win gives regains some measure of bragging for me from my dad, a Michigan State grad. Whoopee. My team happened to suck a little less that night than his.

Anyway, since the Michigan game in early January, he's now 5/46 from the field (10.9%), and 2/35 from long range (5.7%). I don't think it's very easy to do worse than that while still actually trying to score. We're talking about a slump of historical proportions here.

Speaking of awful shooting, the two teams combined to make 36 of 94 shots last night, which is right around 38%. In addition, the Illini reached new depths by missing 15 of 31 free throws. It actually seemed worse than that if you were watching the game. Sean Pruitt was a Lorenzo Mata-like 5-14 from the line, except that, mercifully, Mata doesn't get to the line that much, probably because unlike Pruitt, he occasionally passes out of the post, something I haven't seen out of Pruitt in a while.

Anyway, a win is a win, and at least Chet Frazier played well (6/8 for 17 points). The schedule down the stretch is ridiculously easy, so they could actually end up with 19 wins and a record above .500 in conference. I'm guessing, though, that they'll lose at least one if not two sure win type games (either against Minnesota, Northwestern, or Penn State) due to poor free throw shooting. Just a hunch.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Never Know What to Call These Posts

Just catching up after a day or two off:


I really didn't have the heart to write about the choke against Stanford yesterday, and I don't really have much of a heart to do it today, either. But a couple of things stand out. First, all of the concern about the Bruins failing to get off to fast starts seems a little misplaced. It clearly didn't help them against Stanford. Their "slow" starts have been a function of playing with a consistent effort for 40 minutes while their opponents come out guns blazin' before eventually wearing out. I don't know if the Bruins wore out, or if their lack of options inside with all of the big guys in foul trouble killed them, or if Stanford was just getting away with things physically on the defensive end. Maybe it was a little of all three. But either way, they just really tanked in the second half. They couldn't get stops when they needed to, and they couldn't get baskets when they needed to.

Stanford is a tough matchup for pretty much everyone. Very few teams have that much size. I thought the Bruins handled the Stanford big men pretty well in the first half, but despite the fact that they're all about 6'10", it's pretty clear that right now there's a big difference in ability between Mata/LRMAM/Aboya and Wright/Keefe. Chalk it up to a learning experience, and get ready for Oregon on Thursday.


They finally dealt Craig Conroy, who hadn't really done much of anything this season, in exchange for Jamie Lundmark and a couple of draft picks. I like Conroy, mostly because he's American, but he made virtually no impact on this team after having a pretty good season last year. He'll be reunited with Jerome Iginla in Calgary and maybe he'll regain his scoring touch.

As for the return, the Kings get cheaper, and they get primarily a second round pick next year when hopefully the draft will be a little deeper than it is this year. It also give Lombardi and the staff a little more time to scout on their own in preparation for that draft. And lord knows the trade can't possibly make the Kings any worse.


Geez, who cares at this point? I think the biggest outstanding question is how low can Jamar Smith's shooting percentage go? They get Michigan at home tonight. It's already the worst season since '98-'99, and it can't possibly get worse than that, so they're kind of in limbo right now. Unfortunately, unlike '99, there's no Corey Bradford to lead them to the conference championship game.


This is a really good song.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pregame thoughts on Stanford

I hope the outside shots are falling, because I don't think the strategy of getting them into foul trouble is going to work in their gym. UCLA has going to have be hitting from the outside, or it could be a long game. Those Lopez twins scare the hell out of me.

Update: Pretty much like I expected. It wasn't necessarily the Lopez twins that did the damage, but there's no question the Bruins were totally homered. You simply can't have a strategy that relies on getting guys in foul trouble on the road, because it just doesn't happen in pretty much any conference in America, and more often than not, it's your own big guys that are going to be sitting down. Oh well, get ready for Thursday.