Sunday, March 3, 2013

UCLA vs Arizona Post Game Thoughts

-It's funny, the season isn't over by any stretch of imagination. But today was a very sentimental game in many respects. For me, it was my final home game as a student at UCLA, as it was for several students who camped out from 12 PM Friday to 10 AM Saturday. It was Larry Drew II's final home game, who though he was only here for one year, gave everything he had for this school. And it was almost surely Shabazz Muhammad's final game, and possibly Kyle Anderson as well.

-If it was indeed Shabazz's final game, and it was, I certainly hope he does very well at the next level. He was courted by several big name programs, and could have gone just about anywhere he wanted. But he came here, and he's put UCLA Basketball, if nothing else, in the national discussion once again. His drive and desire are unparalleled, doing his best Kobe impersonations toughing through multiple injuries and setbacks. The investigations early on, the Gucci backpack, the flu game against USC, the pink eye against USC and ASU, and the sprained ankle today, its an exhaustive list. And many critics still point out several flaws in his game that will hurt him as a pro, I am among them. But we cannot deny one thing, and that is that Shabazz Muhammad will do everything in his power to improve as a player and help his team win. And thats not something you say nearly often enough about highly touted players.

-As for Kyle Anderson, I hope he comes back. His future is handling the ball, just like he wants. I think this year was how Howland wanted his development: learn defense, learn rebounding, while continuing some point play. And next year, play on ball. He's just a special, special talent. And if he comes back, the sky is the limit for UCLA next year. He's that good.

-The conference title is now there for the taking, something we'd have thought crazy in November. It's crazy, but if the Bruins win out this week, something that will be very, very hard given that UCLA has never won at Washington under Howland, and win the conference tourney, again, very difficult considering a 7.5 man rotation has to win 3 games in 3 nights, the Bruins could still be placed in the West regional as a 3-4 seed.

-With all that said, all those goals are very, very hard. UCLA has had a habit of laying eggs after impressive victories this season.

-More to come... I haven't slept since Thursday night. 

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