UCLA Athletics: Why Must We Suffer?   1 comment

In 2007, UCLA lost another game to USC, 24-7. This is nothing new for Bruins fans, as UCLA has only one win against USC in the past decade. But this victory was the culmination of half a decade of futility under Coach Karl Dorrell. The Bruins finished 6-6 and the Dorrell era at UCLA was finally over.

Afterwards, the Bruins believed we had found the one to lead them to redemption–to guide them to the promise land among the upper echelon of football greats. The man was Rick Neuheisel, who had formerly led UCLA to some level of greatness as a Bruins quarterback. Neuheisel stirred the waters right away, with a one-page ad campaign aimed directly at the football dynasty across town: “The football monopoly in Los Angeles is officially over.”

But now, three years into the Neuheisel era, the UCLA Bruins are at a familiar level of mediocrity–3 wins and 5 losses. So, this begs the question. Why must we suffer? Why must our expectations be elevated only to have our hearts destroyed so brutally? Why? Why? WHY???

The same can be said of the UCLA basketball team recently. Sure, Ben Howland has led us to three straight Final Four appearances. But remember those brutal losses? Remember how Joakim Noah of the University of Florida was mocking the Bruin cheerleaders during their team’s demolition of the Bruins? Remember last season? Our star point guard, Jrue Holiday, left for the NBA… and, to top it off, he actually played better in the NBA than he ever had for the Bruins. Our backup point guard, Jerime Anderson, was not ready to take control of the team. Our best player, Drew Gordon, picked a fight with teammates and proved to be an immature jerk… now he plays for New Mexico State. Our hustle man, Reeves Nelson, lost an eyeball–or something like it. And, I actually longed for the days when we had Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey roaming the paint. (BTW… one of my greatest memories of Fey was a pickup game at the Wooden Center. Fey, a 7-ft. giant, played against five Asians, none of whom where over 6-ft. tall. Fey tried to dunk on one my friends, whom I will call Belanda Wang, and Belanda knocked him to the ground. Imagine that–a 7-footer so soft that he was knocked on his butt by a guy who was over a foot shorter and nearly 100 pounds lighter. AND I STILL MISSED HIM. Why? Because I’m suffering here… why must I suffer?

Well… suffering is good for us… because suffering makes the eventual victory that much sweeter. If we only understand victory and glory, we will definitely enjoy it. However, if we get a taste of victory after years of having our taste buds drenched in bitter sweat and tears, the victory is that much sweeter–because we understand the great chasm that exists between sweet victory and bitter defeat.

And that brings me to the upcoming UCLA basketball season. While I’m fairly sure that Howland’s purged roster will do much better than last season–with the potential to make a run into March Madness–I’m excited about the recruiting. Because, while we have a solid team this year, we can have an AMAZING team going forward. There are three reasons why 2012 will be one of Howland’s best recruiting classes ever. First, Howland is going to recruit his guys. He is going to place a greater emphasis on people with character, determination, and a willingness to play defense. Second, Howland has opened up his offense so that his players can run more fast breaks. The Bruins aren’t going to be mistaken for Kentucky, but at least we’ll be separating ourselves a bit from Washington State. Third, Howland has a reputation of developing players of all positions who succeed in the NBA. Think of the Howland players who are currently in the NBA: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Arron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ryan Hollins. That’s 4 point guards, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward, and a center. Fourth, it’s U-C-L-A! We are the school of John Wooden, who will be prominent this season because the entire Pac-10 will be honoring him. We have a school of beautiful weather and beautiful girls. There’s plenty of things that will attract players.

And, now, without further ado, here’s the list of players who are considering Westwood as their collegiate destination. Sorry, the information is pretty bare bones, since I’m just doing this during class.

Shabazz Muhammad, SG/SF (6-5, 185)
Scout #1 SF, Rivals #1 SG

Brandon Ashley, PF (6-8, 225)
Scout #3, Rivals #2

Grant Jerrett, PF/C (6-8, 200)
Scout #5 C, Rivals #5 PF

Roscoe Allen, SF (6-7, 205)
Scout #5, Rivals #4

L.J. Rose, PG (6-3, 175)
Scout #1, Rivals #4

Marcus Paige, PG (6-0, 155)
Scout #2, Rivals #5

J.P. Tokoto, SF (6-5, 190)
Scout #9, Rivals #10

Willie Cauley, C (6-11, 220)
Scout #12, Rivals #9

Anrio Adams, SG (6-3, 180)
Scout #9, Rivals #8

Jordan Tebbutt, SF (6-5, 215)
Scout #11, Rivals #14

Jordan Adams, SG/SF (6-5, 220)
Scout #4 SF, Rivals #10 SG

Xavier Johnson, SF (6-6, 180)
Scout #23, Rivals #19

Landen Lucas, PF/C (6-9, 240)
Scout #8 PF, Rivals #13 C

Tyrone Wallace, PG (6-4, 165)
Scout #15, Rivals #15

Hope you enjoyed hearing about the state of UCLA basketball recruiting…


Posted November 2, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

One response to “UCLA Athletics: Why Must We Suffer?

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  1. Pingback: shabazz muhammad sg sf 6 5 185 scout 1 sf rivals 1 sg » Images Search

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