ROLL CALL: Michael Roll is present on the All Pac-10 1st Team, while Nelson and Honeycutt make the grade for the Freshman Team
It’s been a long road for Michael Roll. From almost going to UCSB, to playing in Westwood behind a slew of NBA-bound players, from showing an early spark for outside shooting to struggling with recurring foot injuries, from being a supporting cast member in multiple Final Fours, to being THE MAN on a team that is likely to miss the Big Dance. And since there is probably no Dancing in Roll’s future, his inclusion today on the All Pac-10 1st Team is the highlight of the end of his collegiate career (barring a miracle in the Pac-10 Tournament).
Roll averaged 13.5 Points a game, with 3.5 Assists in his Senior year, sometimes carrying a team that struggled all year due to defections and injuries. The final game notwithstanding, Roll was the most consistent shooter on the team, and the steadiest player mentally (and poise-wise) too. And, not to be overlooked is the fact that Roll never shamed the University on or off the court. His effort was always true, even if his aim wasn’t. And Roll has always conducted himself with class and maturity.
It’s good to see UCLA represented on the Honor List, especially in an off year, where recruiting might be a little tougher. The more times recruits see UCLA listed in conjunction with Awards, the better. And when the Awards go to young players who are RETURNING to be Bruins, even better. That’s why it is acceptable to celebrate the fact that 40% of the Freshman All-Conference Team is from Ben Howland’s Team…
Both Reeves Nelson and Tyler Honeycutt made the Team of 5 Frosh Phenoms. Nelson avergaed 11 Points and 5.5 Boards, while shooting 63% from the field, and averaged about 1 injury per month of the season. It is still not certain whether he will play in this week’s Pac-10 Tourney, due to a Retina issue. He’s been medically cleared to play, but a family history of retinal tears has Nelson taking a conservative approach to returning. Personally, I think the Bruins NEED Nelson to win, but I won’t hold it against him if he is concerned about potentially going blind. It’s not like the Final Four is at stake, and even if it were, I’d have trouble blaming the kid for protecting his eyesight. Hopefully, doctors can convince him that he is not in danger, in time for the Bruins to make a miracle run!
And if the Bruins do actually accomplish something special this week, Tyler Honeycutt will be right in the middle of it. Honeycutt made the Frosh All-Star Team based on his all-around abilities. He averaged only 7 Points a game, but added 6 Caroms a game, and he was constantly dishing out beautiful Assists, Blocking tough shots, and making nifty Steals. He filled up the box score across the board, more and more as the season progressed. Honeycutt missed the first portion of the season due to injury, and he has continued to improve ever since returning. If Honeycutt and Nelson can both return next season HEALTHY, it will be a year that makes everyone forget about this year… mercifully.
I’m not going to list all the other players who got honored by the Conference, but Cal’s Jerome Randle won Player of the Year, Arizona’s Derrick Williams won Frosh of the Year, and the All Pac-10 1st Team contained NO trOJans.
Speaking of trojans, the Bush case deposition was postponed, supposedly due to some missing paperwork. I would be amazed if there is anyone reading this who believes that story. I’m sure that you are all thinking the exact same thing that I am: Some rich and/or well-connected trojan alum got the delay, in order to give Bush one last chance to BUY OFF the wannabe agent who has a bundle of hard evidence against Bush and sc. All it would take is about 300 G’s — pocket change for Jerry Buss, Wayne Hughes, Joe “GGW” Francis, or even Pete Carroll — to change this guy’s tune, and to make sure that the NCAA doesn’t get any ADDITIONAL evidence to justify the Death Penalty.
The announcement of the out-of-court settlement seems imminent, and inevitable. Hopefully, it would have just been gravy to the NCAA, who SHOULD ALREADY HAVE everything that they need to drop the hammer.
Below, in honor of the Bruins’ Postseason Honors, is another shot of Roll, 2 of Honeycutt, 2 of Nelson, and 3 of Dance Teamers.