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SPORTS
February 4, 2001 | BILL PLASCHKE
An athletic director weeps. A booster screams. A heckler sighs. A coach still stands. Steve Lavin was wearing a wrinkled T-shirt because his players--many who love him every bit as much as most of Los Angeles doesn't--doused him with cold water. He was speaking with a wrinkled voice because he had just spent two hours screaming above the noise of the nation's only unbeaten team. There were bite marks on his heels, blade wounds in his back, uncertainty in his future, and Rick Pitino in his face.
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SPORTS
February 3, 2001 | SAM FARMER
Brother, can you spare a day? That's essentially what UCLA asked USC before the season, hoping to reschedule Thursday's Bruin-Trojan game for Wednesday, which would have given UCLA an extra day to get to Chicago for next Saturday's game at DePaul. But USC declined the request. So, the Bruins will have less than 48 hours to travel halfway across the country and get in a workout, before squaring off against the Blue Demons at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 10.
SPORTS
February 3, 2001 | SAM FARMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With his UCLA basketball team at a crossroads, Coach Steve Lavin is in the cross hairs. The Bruins began their most difficult five-game stretch of the season Thursday in an abysmal way, losing by 29 at California. Today, they play at No. 1 Stanford, then continue on the road with games at USC and DePaul. Waiting for them when they get back to Pauley Pavilion in two weeks will be Arizona, which embarrassed them by 25 in Tucson last month.
SPORTS
February 2, 2001 | SAM FARMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
UCLA basketball Coach Steve Lavin has had better nights. When he looked into the Haas Pavilion stands Thursday, he couldn't help but notice the hundreds of California students waving photocopies of Rick Pitino bearing the caption "I got next, Lavin." What was happening on the court was even less encouraging. Looking as raw and unpolished as they have all season, the Bruins were clobbered by Cal, 92-63, before a packed house of 12,172 that howled with ear-splitting delight.
SPORTS
January 26, 2001 | SAM FARMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Far be it from UCLA to look down on another basketball team. But against Oregon State--one of the shortest teams in the country--the Bruins had no other choice. The Bruins relied on their size advantage and solid half-court defense to post a 67-40 victory over a scrappy Oregon State team blessed with more heart than height. For most of the second half, the tallest Beaver player on the Pauley Pavilion court was 6-foot-5 guard Adam Matsen.
SPORTS
January 25, 2001 | SAM FARMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With the Rick Pitino rumblings only beginning to fade, UCLA Coach Steve Lavin is in another uncomfortable spot. He defended himself and his basketball program Wednesday on two fronts--academics and recruiting. First, academics. Several members of the team are coming off a disappointing fall quarter in the classroom, including two players who finished with grade-point averages of less than 1.0, or D level.
SPORTS
January 25, 2001 | SAM FARMER
If Earl Watson is unable to play against Oregon State, the Bruins might turn to 6-foot-7 forward Jason Kapono to run the point. He was effective in that role earlier in the season and presents some challenges on defense for opponents. "He's bigger and sees over perimeter players," Coach Steve Lavin said. "He's a quick decision maker, and obviously he's a good shooter. That forces teams to get up and guard him."
SPORTS
January 24, 2001 | SAM FARMER
Point guard Earl Watson's status for Thursday's game against Oregon State remains in doubt. He practiced for about 20 minutes Tuesday while wearing a back brace, and, although he didn't have his full range of motion or directional burst, he said he felt relatively good. "The brace helps out a lot, takes a lot of pressure off my back," said Watson, who sat out the final 18 minutes of Saturday's 25-point loss to Arizona.
SPORTS
January 23, 2001 | SAM FARMER
Point guard Earl Watson is listed as doubtful for Thursday's game against Oregon State because of a bruised right hip, although he has beaten those odds before in keeping alive his streak of 112 consecutive starts. X-rays on Watson's lower back Monday proved negative, but he did not practice. The way some Bruins see it, things might have gone much differently in Arizona had Watson not missed the final 18:37 because of back problems.
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