Walken before you run: UCLA opens the season with a pedestrian 82-58 win over Prairie View A&M — The Panthers had no anther for Darren (Thunderball) Collison, but at least they got a killer view, from which they can take a Quantum of Solace
The Bruins may Die Another Day, but not last night. The Prairie View A&M Panthers actually gave the #4 Bruins something of a “game,” surprisingly staying within striking distance until the last two minutes, but the Bruins were never in actual jeopardy, as they calmly disposed of the Panthers — Live and Let Die — by 24 points.
The Bruins started out horribly, playing nervous, and scoring about 6 points in the first 6 minutes of the game. But then they went on a run, from which the Panthers never fully recovered. It looked like the Bruins were going to expand the lead into the 30’s, but the game Panthers did not quit, and actually cut the lead in half. The Bruins had to settle down and play hard to keep the Panthers at bay.
The Bruins were led by Darren Collison, who scored 16 of his 19 points after halftime. Collison, who also had 4 Assists, was definitely the team leader, keeping his teammates focused on the task at hand, as the Panthers crept back into it.
Josh Shipp, James Keefe, and Alfred Aboya were the other returners who claimed starting spots, along with Freshman Jrue Holiday. Veteran Mike Roll was also a positive contributor. And Holiday did not disappoint, showing off several different skills to his new Pauley fans. J’mison Morgan and Jerime Anderson came in and also showed the crowd the shapes of things to come (although Anderson DID commit 6 Turnovers), but the most impressive of the bunch were Malcom Lee and Drew Gordon.
Gordon looked like he could be a serious minute-gobbler on the front line right now, which also means that it’s okay for Aboya to continue to be aggressive and pick up early fouls. Lee was just short of spectacular, showing speed and quickness, acrobatic ability, and a nice outside shooting touch.
The Fantastic Five Freshmen ALL showed people that UCLA is building another Dynasty, as this team is looking to be the 4th straight Final Four Bruin squad. And since this Freshman Class is reminiscent of the 1995 incoming class, maybe this will be the year that the Bruins come out on top, for the first time since ’95.
And speaking of National Champions, here are another 18 photos of the UCLA Spirit Squad, taken last Saturday at the Beaver game.
What, no Octopussy/Pussy Galore jokes?