HEAD START: Laying 69 on Beavers is just foreplay, but Bruins can taste what would go down as their 4th straight Pac-10 Title
Don’t worry — No one is getting overly excited about stuffing the lowly Beavers in the Conference opener. Oregon State lost ALL 18 of their Pac-10 games last season, and just because their new Coach is Barack Obama’s Brother-In-Law doesn’t mean that CHANGE is imminent in Corvallis.
The Bruins went North to start the Conference season, and the somewhat hostile environment didn’t faze the Freshmen or any other Bruins, who took an early, commanding lead and held it throughout, on the way to a 69-46 victory. UCLA got hot early from outside, to supplement the slew of easy points that they were collecting off of Turnovers and Transitions. Josh Shipp hit a couple of early three’s, and Jrue Holiday offered up some impressive early offense as well. But it was Darren Collison who took control of the Offense. Even though he was not hot from outside, he still ran the Offense, and found seam after seam to penetrate and create shots for himself and others. He ended up with 16 Points, including 3 on a 27-footer.
Michael Roll also contributed 16, mostly on wide open perimeter looks. He also drove to the hoop for a couple of shots. If he keeps hitting from around the arc, he will be forced to drive more, so it was a good sign to see him penetrate successfully against the Beavs.
Meanwhile, Holiday continues to show the most athletic potential — last night SKYING for a Rebound on one play, and completing an alley-oop with a dunk on another — And he hit a smooth three also, but he missed some j’s badly, too. This guy is a powder keg waiting to explode, and it would be more impressive if the explosion happens in the paint instead of behind the arc. A slashing attack might make for a nice thunder and lightning combo with Roll’s perimeter game. Roll is proving in recent games to be the best outside shooter on the team, after proving it IN PRACTICE for three years. Shipp might want to argue the point, but after he hit his two in a row, he seemed to struggle, forcing several jumpers as desperation heat checks. Shipp, like Holiday, needs to seek his fortune closer to the basket. Both of them – especially Holiday – are capable of a Triple-Double, if they focus on the mid-range game, and Ben Howland’s beloved jump-stop near the free throw line. Did you see Holiday’s short BANK shot? John Wooden must have been BEAMING.
Speaking of “beaming,” I am beaming with pride to bring you more photos of beautiful girls with athletic and gymnastic ability that indicates a few of them were no strangers to the balance beam in the past.