This was a team that isn't so good having a not-so-good game.
And that team still beat UCLA by 31 on Saturday.
If you take away maybe a few permanent impressions from this season with you for your permanent memory, just to have a mental reminder of how bad the Steve Lavin show was, this game would be one of them. Lavin smiling, making jokes, the Oregon fans chanting to keep him as UCLA plays one of the worst games in its history. It was the worst loss to
We will no longer use the term "Hazzard-esque." It's been easily replaced with the more powerful "Lavin-esque."
But that's about all this game was good for. A mental note. Again, one more thing that helps put Lavin in his place in history.
If you're trying to find a silver lining in this game you're mining for some nuggets that just aren't there. You know it's pretty bad when CBS needs to name a player of the game for UCLA and designates Ray Young, who had 10 points, 2 rebounds, and some of the worst decisions of the season. Young had put together a string of three games where he played well at point guard. So what happened here? It began when Dijon Thompson rolled his ankle in the first half and came out for a few minutes. That made Lavin go to his bench and insert Ryan Walcott at point guard. With Walcott at the point, that moved Young back to the shooting guard position, and with that moniker, Young did just that. He shot three for twelve and went back to his old game plan of forcing shots and drives.
But anyway, again, there's no reason to think about this game beyond just a simple mental note.
Truly, I don't think a UCLA fan should take anything else significant from this game, nothing that means anything about the near future for the young players on this team. Many fans will question the players' heart, but they're discounting the effect that a mismanaged program and a bad coach that has given up will have on 20-year-olds.
Perhaps the most significant development Saturday was that
With that loss and UCLA's loss to
A friend of mine who is a UCLA fan called me a week or so ago and complained to me about the article I wrote after the
He called me yesterday after the Oregon game. I guess this season has become such a force that it's powerful enough to go against every fiber of his being. He said that, watching the
Being the always-positive person that I am, I gave him something to root for: I told him he should be rooting for UCLA to continue to win, and for it to not only get in the Pac-10 tournament, but get the #7 seed. With USC losing to