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Quicksand Baffles Bruins Too

COLLEGE BASKETBALL DAILY REPORT / UCLA

March 06, 2001|SAM FARMER

When it comes to UCLA's matchup-zone defense, ignorance is bliss. Sometimes, the Bruins on the court aren't even sure if they are in man-to-man defense or a matchup zone--nicknamed quicksand--which is a zone that calls for aggressive, in-your-face, man-to-man techniques.

"When we come out of the press and fall back into quicksand, sometimes it's hard to even notice what we're in," said Coach Steve Lavin, whose team has found success with the matchup zone in recent weeks. "In 1997, it was at its best. The great thing was the timeouts. Charles (O'Bannon) would say, 'What are we in?' And two guys would say, 'We're in quicksand,' and the other three would say, 'We're in man-to-man.' I'd say, 'Good. That's how we want it."'

Lavin's rationale? If the Bruins couldn't figure it out, the opposing players wouldn't have a prayer of doing so, either.

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Bruin assistant coach Michael Holton spoke to University of Portland officials Monday about their head-coaching vacancy.

"He's definitely a candidate," said Portland athletic director Joe Etzel, who hopes to fill the job before the signing period begins April 11. The school has two remaining scholarships.

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