Saturday, March 22, 2008

UCLA over Texas A&M - Quick Thoughts

Instead of an extended post, I'm going on about five or six beers right now, so I'll do a quick one and bullet point it.
  • I'm not going to second guess Ben Howland. I've wondered about his time out strategy, his scheduling, and a bunch of other things since he came to UCLA, but I've gotta wonder if he wishes he had gotten LRMAM into the game for a five or ten minutes the other night, just to get some timing down. He looked very out of sorts tonight. He didn't look like he had ankle problems, but he struggled with decision making, and that led directly to a couple of charges.
  • UCLA beat A&M with arguably two and a half players. Offensively, they got nothing from LRMAM or Shipp, and Westbrook didn't show up until the second half. A full Bruins team is unbeatable. We learned tonight that half a Bruins team is still damn good if it's the right half.
  • If I had to guess, based on tonight's game alone, I would guess that Kevin Love is gone after this season. And I say that solely because of the way he played down the stretch. He simply refused to allow this to be his last college basketball game. He hit two shots in the waning minutes that he normally wouldn't take. But ask yourself, would you have rather had him taking a bad shot than Shipp taking a good shot? He was not going to miss.
  • He's got two more final fours than the other two, but Darren Collison has finally been admitted to the fraternity of Bruin guards that include, from my own personal era, Tyus Edney and Cameron Dollar. Admission requires a game deciding basket for a high seeded team in the final ten seconds. And honestly, the shot was almost identical to Dollar's, plus about seven seconds.
  • I just saw the commercial for the new movie 21. For those wondering, the song in the commercial is Spoon's "My Mathematical Mind", which I suppose is somewhat appropriate.
  • If the Bruins go on to win the championship, Lorenzo Mata-Real can forever tell people that he hit a 17 foot jumper that was, mathematically, the difference in them moving on.
  • Did Kevin Love have seven blocks all season going into this game?
  • I run hot and cold on Jay Bilas. I like him as a color guy, not as much as an analyst. He's incredibly misguided on the subjects of Tommy Amaker and Eric Gordon, but I like what he brings to the sideline, and he works well with Enberg. And his "OH!!" on Collison's game winner was eerily similar to his "OH!!" on Deron Williams' game tying three against Arizona in 2005.
  • UCLA has a reputation, as we all know, for being a boring team to watch, because of their great defense. But had I not just checked, I would never have known that TAM went over eight and half minutes near the end of the game (for 10:09 to 1:19) with one point. For some reason, I thought the game was still pretty exciting.
  • A friend of mine texted me to tell me that the next game should be easy. That's what Drake and UConn thought. But as long as we're talking about USD, remember when the Bruins had a coach that would lose to USD? I credit their success to the $150 dollars I gave to them in exchange for nothing more than another two months to decide where to go to law school.
  • Call them the cardiac kids if you must, and no one wants to see the Bruins get behind and be forced to come back, but you have to think that the comebacks over the last three weeks helped the Bruins remain calm in the second half. Of course, they didn't help ME remain calm, but I'm not out there playing, which is good, because I suck.
  • Digger Phelps just talked about Jordan Hill playing for Stanford. Digger Phelps is an idiot.
  • With the upsets in the bracket, there's no reason the Bruins shouldn't get to at least the final four again. It's all on them now.
  • Three Pac 10 teams in the sweet 16 is good, but not great. Not like 1997. We need all three to get to the next round. Let's get it done, Wazzu. Should be an interesting game. UNC's high powered offense against Wazzu's defense.
  • On to Phoenix. It's only five hours away, folks. If you can get out there, go make the place feel like Pauley.


Anonymous said...

gotta laugh at your USD law school comment-I went there for law school after UCLA undergrad.

Agree that this was an exciting game and it should end the constant harping over how boring UCLA is, but it won't, because as long as UCLA doesn't score 70+ each time out it's always the Tarholes or KU fans tossing the barbs as their teams go for 90 against inferior opposition. What made this one so amazing is the absolute lack of offensive production from Josh and Luc, -plus the weak performance of Westbrook. Not sure how much was due to TAMU's excellent defense or just being off; I suspect a combination of both because we missed quite a few layups. Still, as you rightly po
int out, beating these guys with just two guys providing the majority of the offense speaks volumes about the caliber of team UCLA has.

I really liked that layup of Collison's when he set up waht looked like a pick-and-roll with Love and then followed Love to the basket as Love went down the lane. Enberg called it a moving screen but it wasn't.

Great game!

Seitz said...

Yeah, I watched that play again, and Love didn't even try to set a screen, let alone move while doing so. He was at the top of the key, and when he realized Collison was going to drive, he just went to the basket. I'm not sure he even made contact with anyone.