DC Bruins, of Bruins Nation, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us regarding tonight's tip off. See what he has to say about their stealing our coaches and recruits, why Ben Howland is struggling, and what we can expect to see tonight. My answers to his questions can be checked out here.
1) I've noticed a lot of displeasure with Ben Howland's results of late, why has his program fallen back after consecutive Final Fours so recently? And any chance you give us back Korey McCray, Jordan Adams, and Tony Parker?
At UCLA you do not miss the NCAA Tournament two out of three years and keep your job. Yet Howland managed to keep his job despite doing just that.
We are very happy with McCray, Parker and Adams. Ironically, Adams was the least heralded of the #1 recruiting class but has been the best so far. Adams is a shooter and scorer so much so that he is the only freshman player in UCLA's history to score 20 or more points in his first three games. He has been a joy to watch.
2) Why has UCLA struggled with so much high profile talent on its roster?
Howland would say it was because of people leaving early. That is a small part of the problem. A bigger reason is UCLA recruited a number of talented head cases (Reeves Nelson and Drew Gordon) and over rated recruits (Bobo Morgan and Jerime Anderson). UCLA blew it in recruiting and the talented players were so bad as people they destroyed chemistry. You know it is bad when the parents agree with their kid getting kicked off the team as happened in Reeves Nelson case.
3) Howland's teams haven't been known for being up tempo, but they've put up a lot of points early on this year. What's changed?
UCLA is playing fast. Even if we don't score out of the break we are trying to shoot before the offense is set up. Adams has been a huge key to this.
4) What should Georgia fans expect to see (besides an ugly loss from their team), and what players should we keep an eye on?
I would say the freshman. Adams because he is an elite scorer who may be inspired against his home state of Georgia. Kyle Anderson because he is the most unique player you will see in college basketball this year. There is not another guy who is as big as he is that can pass as well and he is also truly "slo-mo." Tony Parker because he almost went to Georgia. He has really lost weight and looks raw but good. (Maybe don't watch him as a Georgia fan.) And last of course Shabazz Muhammad, see below.
5) UCLA, Indiana, Georgetown, some of the most prestigious programs in men's college basketball. Any idea how Georgia got to crash this party?
No idea. But UCLA got in there on reputation as we have not done so well lately so we won't say anything.
6. What difference does having (recently cleared by the NCAA freshman Shabazz) Muhammed on the floor make?
Shabazz is not a player so much as a force. He looked unstoppable in high school and in high school all-star games. No one works harder as well.
Much thanks to DCBruins for his responses.