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UA/UCLA game 14 Mar 2015 21:09 #7604

Okay, I have been tough on our Bruins all year. I feel like I had to be. But last night showed me something.

First why I felt like we all needed to be tough on our team? I tend to approach things from a coaching perspective since I was never good enough to actually play at a major university level or a mid-major level or a JC level...you get my point??? lol

But I like to delude myself into thinking I know a little bit about the game. So I look at the team and say what would I call? Who would I sit? And that ever popular questions with this team is who do I make our point guard?

But after last night I honestly believe this team overachieved. Yes, they did better than any "rebuilding team" out there. We may or may not make the tourney. But even if we don't we should be proud of this team and coaching staff. Here are my year end thoughts.

Coaching; Our staff did an excellent job coaching up the players we have. Remember to start the year we were expecting the services of 3 more very good players to be on the floor. We all know the story.

But look at guys like Welsh, Hamilton and GiGi. My goodness they did not look like they even belonged at UCLA to start the season. But they have been taught and taught well.

Heck, I personally think Welsh is a whole lot better than Parker. All he lacks is court time and he will blow up.

The coaches also helped Looney a ton. He got better every game. And Hamilton...whew...that kid has been on a roll for about the last 8 games.

Coaching has really paid off and if we do make the tourney this coaching staff is the reason. These kids have been coached up and it shows.

Secondly and even more important is the fact these kids like each other. They play for each other and take responsibility for their errors. During previous staffs tenure we had chemistry problems...big ones. But this staff also knows how to relate and help these kids become men. They foster an environment that leads to success. And it shows also.

Chemistry is sooooo important to a basketball team. Heck football has so many players that herd mentality takes over and they all go for a like cause. But in basketball 5 guys are it. That is all that is allowed on the court at a time. Those 5 guys simply have to like, respect and want greatness for each other or the team may be good but never will become champs.

Players; Hats off to them as well. Heck I hurt for Bryce Alford. This kid is NOT a point guard yet he played it all year long and had to put up with the hate from so many online publications. And it is unfounded.

Not only has he proven he belongs on the court he has in more than a few game taken the team on his shoulders and won the game. Heck the kid is a 2 guard. Imagine when he finally gets to play the 2 and plays get run for him. He will have his feet set and be deadly. But now add to it he has learned how to create his own shot so if they crowd him on the 3 point line he can go around them.

Yes this is a rebuilding year that will pay dividends down the road big time. Next year assuming Parker comes back ( he should) and adding two multi-talented point guards to this team makes it a force already.

Welsh will be a force along side Parker. Think about that for am minute and take a look at our future front court. Huge, strong and talented. We have enough talent up front to compete with anyone (see last night for proof).

Noah Allen will finally HAVE to step it up next year and I think he has the talent to do just that. I question his desire to be great or an NBA player. But he just might prove me wrong. He has the skills to do it and if he works hard this off season it could happen.

I could continue to go on about the strengths of this program for the next year or two but there is no need to beat a dead horse. Suffice to say I am a huge believer in this teams chances next year.

I am also hearing Kevon Looney is considering staying at UCLA next year. Imagine that for a few minutes. But he loves the college life and loves UCLA. There is no way to describe how much fun LA/Westwood is when your name is known to all. Ah yes...he is living large and loving it. So maybe he stays for another year. All we can do is hope and tweet him to please stay!

One more thing...the forgotten recruit is Kobe Parras. And in my humble opinion he is incredibly underrated. Go to YouTube and check out his games. He is a high flyer with mad skills on the DEFENSIVE side of the ball. I am certain he will be a 4 or even a 5 star before his HS days are done.

This is a team that needed tough love this year and I think they got just that from the coaching staff. Next years team will not need the tough love they will need the fun love. The staff will have to keep the game fun and the players looking forward to the next game. They will certainly have enough talent. Next year will be fun! '74
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UA/UCLA game 15 Mar 2015 12:07 #7607

Great job B74! Good read.
Make each day your masterpiece.
-John Wooden-
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