Tidbits from Pac-10 Media Day

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland and a couple of other Pac-10 coaches discussed their thoughts on moving the three-point line this season, Howland provided an update on some Bruin personnel, including the status of injured Nikola Dragovic...

The three-point line was moved back one foot for this season, to 20 feet, 9 inches.

Here are some comments about the three-point line from head coaches at Pac-10 Media Day:

Ernie Kent, Oregon

"I didn't feel like we needed to move it. I feel like we do too much with our game. We have a great, great game. But the fact that they moved the line means two things.  It will take your average three-point shooting team and make them a poor one.  If you can shoot it, it doesn't matter. It will bring back the mid-range game. Rather than shooting the long two, why not bring the ball in to 15 or 18 feet? It doesn't matter if it's a three or a two, it will still come down to who can make the shots. The guys who can make a two or a three will take the shots and those who can't shouldn't shoot."

Tony Bennett, Washington State

"Players have their feet all over the line when they're shooting. I didn't think at first it would matter, but I noticed it in practice, how many shots are being taken on the line.  It will definitely separate the men from the boys in terms of outside shooting.  Big guys who think they can shoot, this will make them more shot selective, maybe take it inside more. There will be a difference in the game."

Ben Howland, UCLA

"I think you'll see more teams nationally using a zone and packing things in, and that makes the game boring.  When you play against zones, you have to be more patient on offense, so you're going to see slower-paced games because it takes time to break down a zone.


Nikola Dragovic has had two seemingly unrelated issues with his foot.

He had a cyst, which was aerated and apparently resolved.

But he also complained of pain in his foot. UCLA has conducted many tests, including many bone scans, and nothing was found.

Dragovic then practiced twice last week, but complained about the pain again.  So, he went back in the boot and hasn't practiced since.

So, UCLA injected the foot with cortisone.  Dragovic, who is still in a boot, said he now has some pain where the injection was done, but the original pain in his foot is felt better.


Howland made a few points about personnel at Pac-10 media day yesterday:

-- He again said the starters, as of now, are Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, Josh Shipp, James Keefe and Alfred Aboya.

-- J'mison Morgan and Drew Gordon will be used as fives.  Howland said he didn't want to overwhelm Gordon by making him learn two positions -- the 4 and the 5 -- at this time, but he could still do it sometime this season.

-- When Aboya is on the court with either Morgan or Gordon, Aboya will play the four.

-- When Dragovic returns he'll be exclusively a four.

-- It's unlikely Shipp will play the four. Howland cited that Shipp is now just 209 pounds and would struggle physically at the four.

-- Aboya twisted his ankle Wednesday (we don't know if he practiced Thursday). With Dragovic and Malcolm Lee (groin) sitting right now,  Howland thought he could be down to 8 scholarship players for practice, while he also cited that Jerime Anderson just returned from his groin injury, too.


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