Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Memphis was “Octopus’s Guardin’” Collison all game.

Bruins are just appetizers for Hungry Tigers, whose tentacle-armed Guards make UCLA’s ink-redible season squid to a halt, 78-63

Once again, the Bruins made it to the Oyster Bar, but couldn’t find the Pearl Necklace.  Because at the Piano Bar, Memphis Head Coach John Calipari inserted a CD-R, and laid a Rose on the Piano.  And as everyone knows, a Rose on a Piano is not as good as tulips on an organ, but for Memphis, the 1/2 and 1/2 combo of Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose was good enough to Fugu UCLA, 78-63.

The arrogant Calipari exploited the natural mismatches caused by height.  Memphis’ long-armed players were able to go one-on-one against the Bruins, and get to the paint with great success.  Memphis was able to speed up the pace of the game, and repeatedly create open space and open opportunities.

Douglas-Roberts scored 28 and super-Freshman Rose scored 25, and many of those 53 points came by utilizing a height-advantage over 6-foot Darren Collison.  Calipari said that it was by design that they were constantly taking DC to the hoop, or posting him up.  Collison got frustrated, went 1-7 from the field, and fouled out early.

Russell Westbrook also got beat one-on-one by the Tiger Guards, and since the tempo was so fast, the Bruins weren’t usually “set” on team Defense when the Tigers made their one-on-one slashing moves.  Westbrook, though, didn’t let it spoil his Offensive game, leading the Bruins with 22 creative points, mostly in traffic.

At first, it looked like Josh Shipp was going to be the third piece of the Offensive puzzle, when he hit two early three’s, but he basically wasn’t heard from again until desperation time.  And he was NEEDED, because Memphis – by design – shut down not only Collison, but Kevin Love too.

Love got 12 points, but he had 10 at the Intermission.  The Bruins could not get the ball to him inside – not because they were bad, but because the Memphis Defense simply would not allow the ball to get to him.  He was smothered WITHOUT the ball, every time that the ball shifted to his side of the court.  Calipari wanted to take away “the two players he knew that could hurt him,” and he did just that.

The Memphis Defense lured Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alfred Aboya , and James Keefe into taking several key shots, almost all of which they missed.  They even gave Love open 3-point shots, but he missed them too.

After the Bruins went up 5-0, Memphis came back and led for the rest of the game, mostly by 5-9 points.  The Bruins had cut it to 3 at the Half, but couldn’t get a run going after that.  They were down 59-52 but missed a couple of open looks, and never threatened again, as Memphis uncharacteristically made about 80% of their many Free Throws.

Memphis gets Kansas on Monday night, after the Jayhawks stunned North Carolina by 18.  Kansas built an early 40-12 lead, and Billy Packer emphatically insisted that the game was “over,” with 7 and a half minutes to go in the FIRST Half.  But naturally, he was DEAD WRONG.  The Tarheels closed out the First Half strong, and then cut the lead down to FOUR with about 7 minutes to go in the game.  But Kansas finally re-awakened, and pulled away once again.

Memphis looked better than Kansas on a 40 minute basis, but the Kansas of the first 10 minutes would have killed anyone.  So Monday’s game should be a good one.  We urge you to root for Kansas, because if Memphis wins, while it WOULD be nice to have been knocked out ONLY by the eventual Champions three years in a row, if the Tigers win, we will be reminded of yesterday’s bad loss much more often than if the Jayhawks pull it off.  Every time they recap the Champ’s Road to the Title, they will show highlights of Love getting posterized by CDR, and Rose making several acrobatic plays leaving Shipp and others playing “Statue” in his wake.  Not to mention that Calipari is already insufferably cocky, and another Title would make it even worse.

The announcers were questioning Ben Howland’s Defensive Match-up strategy, but we don’t think  that – even in hindsight – Howland was SO WRONG.  The Bruins were playing catch-up, and matching up better would have meant going to a taller line-up, sans Collison.  But you can’t take out your best three-point shooter when you’re in desperate need of points.  The Defensive inadequacies wouldn’t have been so brutally noticeable if the Bruins could have hit some shots on Offense, in order to slow the Tiger transition game.  The Tigers 12-0 edge in Fast Break Points was probably the most TELLING stat of the day.  Memphis also won the battle of the boards, and was able to keep running the floor by controlling those caroms.

The one thing that Howland did that we didn’t like was call a time out when down by about 15 with about 20 seconds left.  We refuse to RE-WATCH the game to check those details, but the game was WAY over – not “Packer Over” – and Howland was just prolonging the agony.  His uber-defenders might say that he is always Coaching, and that he was just sending his players a message about never giving up, that will pay dividends next year, when they arrive in Detroit for their Fourth straight Final Four…with or without Love and Collison.  Fine.  We’re not trying to kick the man while he’s down.  There is no way that a good fan can complain right on the heels of the Bruins’ most-winningest Season in History. 

Rest assured:  If the Bruins continue to make a Routine of reaching the Final Four, the Banners will inevitably follow. 

Congratulations to the Basketball Team and Staff, for a very hard-fought Season, that saw many triumphs over adversity, and the first 35-win Season in School History.   Of course, it wasn’t SO great that Kevin and Darren don’t have something to COME BACK AND PROVE!!!

“Calamari McNuggets, please.”  “Would you like Chai’s with that?”

"FRIED (BY) CALIPARI" was published on April 6th, 2008 and is listed in Blue & Gold News.

Comments on "FRIED (BY) CALIPARI": 6 Comments

  1. UCLADal wrote,

    Tough loss yesterday T-H. I was at wedding yesterday and driving home from the reception, I was thinking of what your headline would be. My thought was you’d go the “Memphis Blues Again” route.

    Congrats to the players on a great season. They won a lot of games. After a few weeks rest, it’s time to start working for next year. GO BRUINS!

  2. Kacey wrote,

    Good season Bruins!

    Against Memphis we gave away a few opportunities by not “squeezing the orange” and in 4 or 5 cases gave Memphis a quick fast break. Gotta give Memphis credit for hitting the free throws. Another 5-6 points above the average. Not enough love in the 2H half. The long reach of Memphis made it difficult for UCLA to get the ball to Love inside so instead of Memphis getting into foul trouble we did.

    Gotta give credit to Memphis for bringing it but also to our UCLA Bruins for an incredible season!!!

    Please Kevin, Darrin, Russell, Josh, and the entire team, please come back for another season! It’s your once in a lifetime opportunity for a UCLA banner and immortality.

    Great season. Go U C L A Bruins!

  3. UCLADavid wrote,

    Congratulations to the Men’s basketball team on a great season. Sure it would have been nice if they had won the national title, but only one team can win it, and I loved the effort all year. Memphis just played well yesterday. See you all in Detroit next year. GO BRUINS!!

  4. Rick wrote,

    As much as I hate to say it, Memphis was the better team yesterday. And if not for their loss to Tennessee
    no one would be surprised–after all, they won more games this season than any team in NCAA history, and they’ve had a once in a lifetime year (which are reasons why, much as you hate Calipari, we should still be hoping that Memphis wins out– to show that we only lost to a legitimate champion, not just another contender. And, it would only be THEIR first banner–no sense rooting for Kansas to close the gap).

    As for Love and Collison, they not only still have something to prove, they have UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    at UCLA. Given Love’s sense of history, he surely knows this; and given his appropriate reverence of John Wooden, and the knowledge that his second year is the last best chance to guarantee that Coach Wooden gets to SEE one more banner hung over the court that bears his name to properly continue his legacy, I think Kevin might just do the right thing and return.

  5. UCLADavid wrote,

    Here are the five stages of Bruin Grief I went through this weekend:

    1) DENIAL: “This isn’t happening! Why don’t they get the ball into Love down in the post? Why don’t we box out? Why is Collison getting beat off the dribble?”

    2) ANGER: “Damn Trojans!” (Yes, I know we weren’t playing usc, but a drunk Bruin automatically utters these words — it’s a conditioned response).

    3) BARGAINING: “Well, if this loss means Love and Collison come back for another year, maybe this will all be worth it in the long run.”

    4) DEPRESSION: “This is so, so sad. Do I have to go meet my wife and kids for dinner? How about one more jello shot?”

    5) ACCEPTANCE: “Oh, well. We’re a football school anyway. Who’s looking good at the Spring practice? Who’s up for a road trip to Berkeley in the fall?”

    All kidding aside, thanks again to the players for a great season.

  6. Josephine Bruin wrote,


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