Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


The Final Word — UCLA has two Starters in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and both of them make valuable contributions (unlike the one trojan benchwarmer), and this news comes on the heels of the GODSEND announcement that all three Bruins entered in the NBA Draft are withdrawing from the Draft and returning to UCLA next year, making the Bruins instant contenders

The heavily-favored Golden State Warriors, playing at Home in Game 1 of the NBA Championship, needed a little divine intervention to escape with a victory.  With 5 seconds left in regulation and the score tied, George Hill of the Cleveland Cavaliers missed a potentially game-winning Free Throw, and then his teammate J. R. Smith got the Offensive Rebound, but, thinking the Cavs had the lead, dribbled the ball out to half court and let time expire.  Gifted a second life, the Warriors dominated the Overtime period to take Game 1 124-114.  So Golden State dramatically under-performed, and thanks to a choke from the line and a bonehead mistake, were able to retain home court advantage in the series.

That’s good news for UCLA’s Kevon Looney, who started for the Warriors, and played well, making several key plays including a nifty completion of an alley-oop, on his way to 8 Points, 4 Rebounds, and a Steal in 25 minutes of action.  Looney, who was a Star one-and-done for the Bruins, is getting the starting gig and starter’s playing time in part due to an injury to teammate Andre Igoudala, and in Game 1, he made the most of it, EARNING those minutes.  Another Warrior is ex-trojan Nick Young, who got 10 minutes off the bench, in which he was worthless.  He went 1-for-4 for only 2 Points, missed both of his three-pointers, and he added 0 Assists, 0 Rebounds, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks.  And, he scored 0 Points in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters and Overtime.

For Cleveland, Bruin Kevin Love returned from a concussion to Start, and he began strong, scoring 9 in the first quarter, but his perimeter shot was still off.  Love went only 1-for-8 from Downtown, but like all great NBA All-Stars, Kevin found different ways to heavily impact the game and help his team compete.  Love ended with 21 Points and 13 Rebounds, a couple of times making big individual plays that stopped Golden State surges.  KL was definitely the 2nd best Cav on the floor, next to LeBron, who scored 51, dished out 8 Assists, and grabbed 8 Boards.  But that outstanding line was not enough to overcome the steep talent gap, plus the Charity Stripe choke and the mental gaffe that followed.

No college had more than two representative in the Finals Starting Line-ups.  UCLA had more than a million times more than Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, and Villanova combined, because none of those schools had any.  Besides UCLA, only Texas also had two, with Kevin Durant and Tristan Thompson.  For the record, UCLA’s pair outscored and outrebounded the Longhorn duo.  I doubt if that becomes a trend, especially if Igoudala returns from injury.  Either way, a Bruin is guaranteed to EARN a Championship Ring this year.

Speaking of Championships, the Bruins are now in the hunt for a Pac-12 Championship next season, after it was revealed this week that Kris Wilkes, Jaylen Hands, and Cody Riley are all dropping out of the NBA Draft and returning to Westwood for another campaign.  Without them, the outlook was bleak.  Prince Ali, Alex Olesinski, and Chris Smith were going to be the only returning contributors.  All three of them are nice role players, but that trio could not have led a team to any postseason glory, even with a solid incoming Freshman class.  But add to the mix the three strong returnees, and now you’ve got a team that on paper, should be able to compete with everyone in the West, and may be Top 2o Nationally or better when all is said and done.

For the first time in the Alford Era, the Bruin roster should be stocked with 13 scholarship-worthy athletes, who will push each other in practice and make each other better.  And during games, if anyone isn’t giving 100% or is just having an off-night shooting, there will be plenty of viable options to plug into the line-up from the bench, for strategy and MOTIVATION.

Wilkes could score 18 a game, and Hands, if he plays unselfishly and within the system, could be All-Conference as well.  Riley is still somewhat of an unknown, having not played last season due to China Syndrome, but projections have him being a major cog in the Bruin machine next year.  If Hands and the other potential floor leaders — and Alford — can keep everyone engaged and involved, the sky is the limit.

Speaking of sky high with no limits, here are the final 39 pics of the UCLA Cheer Squad Auditions.  After this, I will move on to photos of the UCLA Dance Team Try-outs.

"LOONEY, LOVE, AND A GIFT FROM ABOVE" was published on May 31st, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos.

Comments on "LOONEY, LOVE, AND A GIFT FROM ABOVE": 2 Comments

  1. JC wrote,

    Will Jalen Hill be on the team for 2018-2019?

    [T-H’s Note: Yes.]

  2. UCLADal wrote,

    Go Spirit Squad!

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