March 10, 2009 |
USC forward Taj Gibson was named Pacific 10 Conference defensive player of the year Monday, and UCLA guard Darren Collison made the All-Pac-10 team for the second time in his career. Conference coaches voted Arizona State's James Harden player of the year and Washington guard Isaiah Thomas freshman of the year. Lorenzo Romar, who guided the Huskies to their first outright title since 1953, was named coach of the year.
March 8, 2009 |
With a pregame ceremony that featured mothers and fathers and Coach Ben Howland giving hugs at midcourt, UCLA bid goodbye to its winningest class in school history. The designation is relative: During much of Coach John Wooden's heyday, seasons were shorter and freshmen ineligible. Still, the 20th-ranked Bruins' 94-68 victory over Oregon on Saturday added to impressive numbers that seniors Alfred Aboya, Darren Collison and Josh Shipp have amassed since arriving in Westwood.
March 7, 2009 |
Almost five years have passed since Josh Shipp left high school, excited to get a scholarship to play at UCLA. "I still feel like I'm that little kid," he said. "Just came here when I was 18. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess." Today's matchup between the 20th-ranked Bruins and Oregon marks the final home game for Shipp and two other scholarship seniors, center Alfred Aboya and guard Darren Collison. There will be a ceremony introducing the players with their parents.
March 1, 2009 |
All the ghosts were in attendance. The bad memories from Texas. From Washington and Arizona State. The big road games that UCLA had lost this season hovered around the Bruins on Saturday. For one night at least, Darren Collison laid them to rest. Driving to the basket again and again in the final minutes, the senior guard carried 22nd-ranked UCLA to perhaps its most impressive victory of the season, a 72-68 comeback win over California at a sold-out Haas Pavilion.
February 14, 2009 |
Now that he has reviewed the tape -- and listened to the television commentators -- Ben Howland feels certain about what happened. Asked whether the charging call against guard Darren Collison with 39 seconds remaining in Thursday night's loss to Arizona State should have gone the other way, the UCLA coach responded: "There's no question. "They were actually showing it on 'SportsCenter,' " he said. "It was pretty clear what had happened."
February 11, 2009 |
USC's basketball team tends to have an answer for most problems on the court, but when it comes to pest-like guards, the Trojans are often left swatting at air. That could be an issue again Thursday, when USC plays at Arizona. The Wildcats are run by Nic Wise, a 5-foot-10 junior guard. Wise had 11 points and six assists against the Trojans on Jan. 17. USC carved out a 65-64 victory but had no answer for Wise.
January 23, 2009 |
This time, Darren Collison wasn't going to let it happen. This time, as his team blew yet another lead down the stretch, the UCLA point guard told himself that he needed to get tough. Tough as in waving his teammates out of the paint, diving into the thick of the defense. Tough as in drawing fouls and making his free throws, making clutch baskets in the final minutes.
January 21, 2009 |
The coach couldn't sleep. The players went looking for any modicum of solace they could find. "I get home and it's all silent," guard Darren Collison said. "My parents are taking it harder than I'm taking it." It has been that kind of week for anyone associated with UCLA basketball, the Bruins coming off a disheartening loss to Arizona State, a Pacific 10 Conference game they let slip away. "We're all pretty bummed," swingman Michael Roll said.
January 18, 2009 |
It's not often that the visiting team holds a decided advantage in free throws, but Arizona State got to the line more than twice as much as UCLA did on Saturday afternoon. And the Sun Devils took advantage, making 14 of 17 foul shots on their way to a 61-58 upset victory at Pauley Pavilion. Arizona State guard James Harden played a big role in the discrepancy, drawing fouls by attacking the basket, making seven of nine free throws. UCLA, settling for too many outside shots, was seven of eight.
November 12, 2008 |
The hands move. The feet shuffle ever so slightly. Darren Collison has trouble standing still when he talks about basketball season, about a UCLA team stocked with backcourt talent. Players who can run. "We've just got to go," Collison says. "We can't really think about slowing it down." Sounds like an intriguing shift in ethos from the gritty, blue-collar Bruins that fans have come to know in the Ben Howland era. But the coach steps in with a sobering reminder.