Monday, January 12, 2009

UCLA vs $UC - Quick Thoughts

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I don't have time for a real review, so I'll just post some quick thoughts.

-Congrats to Nikola Dragovic, who earned the starting spot in front of James Keefe. This was Drago's first start ever, and he sure made the most of it. While his dunk off an assist from Jrue Holiday was what stood out in my mind, it was only two of his career-high 14 points. He also brought down 4 rebounds and played decent defense.

-Darren Collison's 43-straight free throw streak ended last night, which is the new all-time FT-shooting streak for UCLA. Two other guys hold the Pac-10 and NCAA records. He still shot fairly well, though. Darren has been solid for us all season and has visibly become more aggressive with the ball. Darren had 7 assists and only one turnover in this game.

-Man, how long has U$C's Daniel Hackett been there? I feel like he's been there forever - which is way too long. Of course, 30-year-old senior Taj Gibson has been in school for longer. We need to bring OJ Mayo back so he can have another scuffle with Hackett.

-Josh Shipp needs to eat more bananas.

-Drew Gordon continues to show talent; now he just needs to learn a bit more finesse and to play within the Howland system.

-Jrue Holiday is not especially flashy, but he has a knack for finding the open man. He still sometimes makes overly risky passes, but when he connects, the recipient is usually in a great position to score. Near the end of the game, he really did a fantastic job on defense to prevent a late trOJan comeback.

-Josh Shipp had a quiet 10 points, though he was pretty clutch... and he like chocolate on his bananas.

-I must admit, when it was really close toward the end, I was thinking "man, I wish we still had Arron Afflalo. He won't let us give up that lead." That competitive edge seems to have rubbed off onto Darren a little bit.

-trOJan coach Timmeh Floyd almost lost it when Drew Gordon connected with Oscar-worthy Daniel Hackett with an inadvertent elbow. Hackett should pursue a career pretending to get hit by people. What a bunch of whiners. Speaking of whiners, Taj Gibson would not stop whining after every foul called.. even if it wasn't on him.

-So far U$C's "highly-touted," "top-ranked" "prep star" Percy "Li'l Romeo" Miller has played in 4 out of 15 games, seeing a total of 10 minutes of action and scoring 2 points. Anyone who said he was good is full of SHIT!

-Current rankings as of Monday, 1/12/09.
UCLA: AP: #9, Coaches' Poll: #7.
$outhern Cal: some large number.

-Pac-10 standings (apologies for the formatting. Can't seem to figure out how to do work with whitespace):
TEAM {conf. record / games behind / overall record}
California #23 {4-0 - 15-2}
UCLA #7 {3-0 ½ 13-2}
Arizona State #15 {3-1 1 14-2}
Washington {2-1 1½ 11-4}
Arizona {2-2 2 11-5}
USC {1-2 2½ 10-5}
Washington State {1-2 2½ 9-6}
Stanford {1-3 3 11-3}
Oregon State {1-3 3 6-8}
Oregon {0-4 4 6-10}

-It's ALWAYS great to beat $C, no matter how close the game is, no matter who's playing.

-Next game: Thursday vs Arizona at Pauley Pavilion, 8:00p.m. PT.

-Extra Credit: The Lady Bruins beat the woman toejams as well, 87-75, at Pauley Pavilion. New head coach Nikki Caldwell seems to be doing a fine job so far. Sophomore guard Doreena Campbell earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.