Sunday, January 13, 2008

UCLA hoops

OK, 4-0 in the Pac-10, wins over Stanford and Wazzoo, a (finally) healthy Josh Shipp, Kevin "Double-Double" Love, and the fastest point guard since Tyus. Oh yeah, the Bruins also closed out a game against a team that hits 7 three pointers in 90 seconds by going 17-21 from the free throw line. Those are the pieces that add up to a team that's going to be really tough in March. They play lock-down defense, shoot the three well, can run with anybody, and have big men to bang around the middle. They also have an X-factor, one of those things that's hard to put a finger on but absolutely essential to any championship team: Kevin Love's outlet passing. It's been talked about before he came to school, but actually seeing him snap the ball out to Collison or Westbrook when they are already past half-court is pretty incredible. That ability is giving the Bruins at least 2-3 free baskets a game, which will be a huge difference maker down the stretch.
I have the 1995 team locked into my memory forever, and I have to say, this team looks like it's got the same set of tools. If a leader steps up a la Ed O'Bannon (I hope you're reading this, Josh Shipp), this team is going to be cutting down the nets April 7th in San Antonio. For now, time to beat up USC on the 19th

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