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Dec 1, 2009

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LA Daily News

USC heading north for bowl; UCLA eastbound?

Does this mean the team has to wait until after Dec 12 to practice? That's a long time. Navy is favored by 14, but this is an intense rivalry game, so anything could happen. Go Midshipmen!  (Dec 7, 2009 | post #2)

LA Daily News

SHELBURNE: USC's Carroll, UCLA's Neuheisel shouldn't regr...

The most well-balance post I've read in a while. Let's remember that well into the 4th quarter, we were only down 14-7, with the ball. If not for what turned out to be a much more serious injury (separated shoulder) than thought, we were a pass away from tying it up (i.e. Prince's int). Throw in the bogus call when Rosario was called for a drop on third down, and it's an entirely different ballgame.  (Dec 3, 2009 | post #31)

LA Daily News

UCLA sophomore forward Gordon set to transfer

Alice and that odd caterpillar had nothin' on the weirdness going on these days over in Westwood.... My friends, just when you thought a surreal, forgettable season in the storied history of UCLA basketball couldn't get any worse, our best center quits the team. But I'm an eternal optimist. So (deep breath, holding the nose), here goes my most valiant attempt to slap some lipstick on this big fat pig: If Gordon is the prima dona he seems to be, then this is GOOD news for the program. I would rather finish 8-18 and sit out the NIT in a rebuilding year than have a .500 season filled with bad blood and dissension. Yeah, I know, like USC in football, UCLA basketball is not supposed to suffer "rebuilding years." But, here we are. Who knew we would lose Jrue Holiday and Russell Westbrook so early? If Sanchez had stuck around, do you think the Trojans would be 8-3? Look at the rankings of our BB recruiting classes the past few years: 2007 - #12 (only two players signed, but still finished high) 2008 - #1 (however, Gordon and Holiday are now both gone) 2009 - #9 2010 - #11 so far (with only two players signed, including Josh Smith, the #4 ranked center in the nation) So with all these star recruits coming through the doors, why are we so stinkin' bad so far this season? I see three possibilities: 1. Ben Howland does not know how to take McDonald's All-Americans and mold them into a cohesive team (see embarrassing losses to Long Beach State, CS Fullerton, and Portland State). Past years and runs to the Final Four shoot down this theory, I think. 2. Many of the players we recruited were just way over-rated (i.e. Jerime Anderson, J'mison Morgan). Some truth here--at least so far. 3. Attritition to the NBA + injuries (Tyler Honeycutt, our best freshman, has yet to suit up) + a green mix of young players + scant senior talent = attrocious growing pains for what will eventually become a good team--if not by the end of this season, then by next season. It seems like forever since an NCAA Tournament bid wasn't a given. This year, it seems virtually impossible, the way this team is playing. But surprisingly, you don't have to go back that far to find a year when we didn't make it. In 2003 and 2004, we didn't go (Lavin's last year, and Howland's first). Prior to that, we made the tourney 13 years in a row. So take heart, Bruin faithful, and have some patience. And hey, who knows, maybe we'll even get a bowl bid in football....I hear the Ronco "Clapper " Bowl in Lodi is looking for a team.  (Dec 3, 2009 | post #9)

LA Daily News

SHELBURNE: USC's Carroll, UCLA's Neuheisel shouldn't regr...

I don't understand how so often these posts turn into an academic ranking spitting contest. Both are very good universities! I went to UCLA and bleed blue and gold, while some of my family members went to SC. We all received great educations! What's germane here is that this IS a great article. Well-balanced and fair. An we, as fans, can take a page from it.  (Dec 1, 2009 | post #12)