Friday, January 16, 2009

Bruins rounding into shape

Well, as I expressed before, I wasn't sure about this year's edition of the UCLA basketball team, and they have lost a couple of games they probably shouldn't have lost. Clearly, none of the freshmen, not even the highly touted Jrue Holliday, measures up to what Kevin Love, now in the NBA, was able to do last year as a freshman. But then Kevin Love, in retrospect, looked like a man among boys from his first game. He is a rare combination of talent and game savvy of a kind that doesn't come along very often.

After watching the team dismantle Arizona (which is admittedly in a down cycle this year thanks to the ill-timed retirement of coach Lute Olsen) Wednesday night, I'm beginning to fantasize about another trip to the Final Four. My first impression was that they weren't spectacular, playing mostly a perimeter passing game with less cutting and driving to the basket than I like to see. But at almost 60% shooting (41% from three-point-land), they were certainly efficient. Josh Shipp is more consistent than he was early in the season and Darren Collison is spectacular.

Big test tomorrow against Arizona State, which was picked to finish second and will be motivated after losing to USC.

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