Earlier this week I was preparing for a trip a business trip to New Orleans so my focus was on trying to get everything thing in order for the trip as well as tie up some loose ends before heading out. Posting was light here and I didn't get a chance to really read the papers in detail. On occasion I check out the ucla side of the papers but this week really didn't give me that opportunity so I was not aware that ucla's Josh Shipp decided to put some bulletin board material up to motivate our guys for yesterdays game.
Asked if UCLA's approach was better than that of USC, Shipp stayed his course.
"Definitely, if you want to win, you have to," Shipp said. "It's better to have a championship at the end of the day than to have a scoring title. We don't care about that."
Riiiiiiiiiiight. Seems like SC played pretty unified last night. You don't have that championship yet so you might want to think about scoring more points.
I'll admit that I gave us NO CHANCE to win this game, but as has been discussed before you never know with rivalry games anything can happen. It's safe to assume that ucla will probably still end up as a #1 seed in the tournament but games like this expose even the best of teams weaknesses and while its easy to point to the mistakes or weaknesses on the court a game like this can also expose a teams attitude. They didn't take us seriously they figured they could mail this one in with playing at home and the whole mentality that ucla hoops is back blah blah blah.
For a team that is supposed to be disciplined it didn't look that way last night. There is right vs. wrong, good vs. bad and then there is which way is up.
Bruins star freshman Kevin Love said it was a lack of emotion that led to the loss, and Trojans freshman guard O.J. Mayo said midweek comments made by a UCLA player inspired the win.
Like I said which way is up.
SC came to play ucla didn't. SC didn't look like the team we have seen in the past, but while I am pleased with what I saw yesterday I am not yet ready to say they have turned the corner there is still some work to do.
A couple of days ago I was criticized for making the statement that some within the ucla fanbase have a sense of entitlement when it comes to winning titles, I stand by that but there is more to it than that, it's also the attitude of the fan base as a whole towards this game and there is a sense from reading some of the bruin message boards and sites that the crowd wasn't into it which would show me that this game to them was going to be just another easy ho-hum win. When I read stuff like this from you-know-where it only makes the point that sense of entitlement permeates a portion of the fan base.
And SuC will never be our "rival" in hoops. They won today and yeah they wanted it more today. But they will never come close to UCLA hoops. UCLA/SuC hoops dynamics is a little difference than UCLA/SuC football dynamics.
The first part of that comment is exactly why they lost last night, they just didn't take us seriously.