Well that was more like it! In the game against New Mexico State the Bruins looked much more like a Ben Howland team, playing pretty good team defense and -- wonder of wonders! -- making open shots when they had them.
I know NM State might not be much of a test, but the Bruins looked like a different team than the one that was blown out by Mississippi State. And they played somewhat competitively against Kansas, now the #1 team in the country. So there's a chance that by the time the real Pac 10 season rolls around, the Bruins will competitive, especially since it's supposed to be a down year for the league. We'll have a better idea after Saturday, when they play Notre Dame at South Bend. It's still a young team full of frosh and sophs, with Michael Roll, who had been a substitute the last couple of years, expected to be the stabilizer. Having James Keefe out for a few weeks with a shoulder separaion also won't help. More mistakes and probably a few more bad games are virtually inevitable, but I have a modicum of hope now.