Not Ready For Prime Time Player.

Valentine’s Day, 2010:  Men shopped and cards were swapped, Nascars stopped and then were topped when All-Stars popped the shots that dropped, but Bruins flopped (‘cuz roster’s chopped and cropped by those who opt to hop) and the attitude was copped

Valentine’s Day is always about avoiding potholes, but this year, more than ever.  Sunday’s Daytona 500 had to be stopped twice, for HOURS, just so they could repair a couple of potholes, before the race could finally come to its exciting climax;  Sunday’s All-Star Game had to overcome the absence of the injured Kobe, Allen Iverson, Brandon Roy and Chris Paul, and had to overcome a not-so-close contest, before becoming a nail-biter at the end;  And Valentine’s Day was no Holiday for the Love-less Bruins.

Forced to rely on players who may have Heart, but have no Experience, injury-and-defection-decimated UCLA lost for the first time ever at the Galen Center, 68-64, to the trogan pose-rs.  With Starting Center James Keefe out injured, seldom-used Brendan Lane was pressed into service, and it was soon apparent that Lane was not ready for such a high-pressure gig.  Neither were Mike Moser, Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, or Bobo Morgan, who all got the call on Sunday night, as Ben Howland futilely searched for a savior.

A savior wouldn’t have been needed if any of the regulars had stepped up, but with Drago missing all 6 of his 3’s after scoring the Bruins’ first points on his first attempt, and with Reeves Nelson unable to get open underneath, UCLA needed someone else to give them an edge.  Michael Roll (21 Pts) hit a few key shots, Malcolm Lee (8 Rebs) hit two Three’s and got two big Offensive Rebounds, and Tyler Honeycutt contributed all over the court before fouling out, but that wasn’t enough.  And when Howland had to rely on Jerime Anderson, the game got away from UCLA, and sc started their cocky strutting and thug-like posing.

JA had one of his worst games of the year, and that is really saying something.  When he found a seam in the trojan Defense, he got to the hoop but couldn’t finish, and when he settled for a jumper, he missed.  And when sc turned up their Defensive pressure, Anderson fell apart. 

The Bruins lost the game on Turnovers.  Last time against sc, they lost because of Rebounds.  This time, they dominated the Boards, but couldn’t hold on to the ball.  SC led for most of the game, trailing only 7-6  in the 1st half, before taking a 32-29 lead into Intermission, and trailing again at 38-35, before a 7-0 run turned into a 21-9 run that iced the contest.

The Bruins’ Zone Defense for the most part kept sc out of the interior, but the trojans still hit 46% of their shots, and 37% from 3, compared to 39% and 26% for the Bruins.  UCLA went to Man-to-Man once, with 3 :40 to go, down by only 4, and Tyler Honeycutt fouled out.  Without Tyler, the Bruin Offense failed to execute, and sc, thanks to 23 Points from Dwight Lewis, got to play The Executioner.

The Bruins didn’t QUIT on Howland, nor did they CHOKE.  They actually battled back from 9 down to BEAT THE 7-PT. SPREAD, even forcing sc to make some Free Throws to win outright.

Of course, beating the point spread in a Rivalry Game is worthless.  It sucks to lose to sc.  It doesn’t make it much better that they admit (via self-imposed sanctions) to running a dirty program — despite Mike Garrett saying that cheating ISN’T IN THE trojans’ “NATURE” —   But with more sanctions inevitably coming, and more potential recruits going elsewhere — in all sports — beating sc will become the norm once again.  And one thing is for sure — Even though the Bruins just don’t “match-up” well with the trojans this year, the Bruins’ 2010 season will still outlast that of usc, and with Josh Smith (and Tyler Lamb) coming in next season, the match-ups will go back to favoring UCLA.


If you are looking for a new batch of UCLA Spirit Squad photos, look at the bottom of YESTERDAY’S article (about Michael Cooper), and you will find 18 lovely shots.  And despite the heart-wrenching, Val Day loss, I’ll be posting some more soon.  It’s in MY nature.



  1. kacey Avatar

    Would be nice to profile Darren Collison. Great example of benefits when you play 4 years at UCLA. 1 and Done has hurt us and we need some of the younger players who have talent to work hard to become better