ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT POISE, NOT NOISE, WORKS FOR BRUINS.Byline: KAREN CROUSE
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - You go to one of the first practices after the Bruins' blitz of Maryland expecting to see the UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX players' chests puffed out and their heads swelled.
Bruins basketball players, after all, long have paraded around Pauley Pavilion Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion, informally and commonly known as Pauley Pavilion, is an indoor arena located on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California. It is home to the UCLA Bruins men's and women's basketball teams. The men's and women's volleyball teams also play here. as though the court was their personal runway and they were poseurs.
Alas, the only thing swollen and puffed out Wednesday was Earl Watson's left eye. Watson needed four stitches to close a cut he suffered on the eyelid eyelid /eye·lid/ (-lid) either of two movable folds (upper and lower) protecting the anterior surface of the eyeball.
eye·lid or eye-lid
n. in the opening minutes of UCLA's 105-70 win over the Terrapins.
Other than that, the Bruins seemed remarkably, refreshingly unaffected by the buzz their beating of Maryland engendered. They might have become the belle of Bracketville, but they're not acting like they're God's gift to anyone except, perhaps, their parents.
The sixth-seeded Bruins' humility in the face of that humongous win over Maryland bodes well for their prospects against second-seeded Iowa State tonight in an NCAA Tournament NCAA Tournament can mean:
The Cyclones' Marcus Fizer Darnell Marcus Lamar Fizer (born August 10, 1978 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American professional basketball player. An NBA/D-League power forward, he has completed his fifth season in the league. and Jamaal Tinsley Jamaal Lee Tinsley (born February 28 1978 in Brooklyn, New York) is an NBA basketball player, currently playing point guard for the Indiana Pacers. Tinsley was drafted out of Iowa State University by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the 27th pick of the 2001 NBA Draft, are going to have to beat the Bruins. Because eight wins in a row or no, this is one UCLA team that's not going to be tripped up by its collective hubris Hubris
An arrogance due to excessive pride and an insolence toward others. A classic character flaw of a trader or investor. a la the 1991, 1994, 1996 and 1999 squads.
The UCLA players have none of the bluster of their athletic director Athletic director (commonly, "athletics director") is a position at many American colleges and universities, as well as in larger high schools and middle schools, which oversees the work of the coaches and related staff involved in intercollegiate or interscholastic athletic , who couldn't keep himself from crowing to critics of Steve Lavin Steve Lavin (born September 4,1964), a San Francisco, California native is a former college basketball coach and current ABC and ESPN TV analyst. As UCLA head basketball coach from 1996-2003, Lavin compiled a record of 145-78. and the program after the Bruins' wins in Minneapolis last week.
``We're trying to stay poised and not let the winning streak get to our heads and think we're on top of the world,'' said freshman Jason Kapono. ``We always talk about the times we lost six of seven and people were trashing us.''
To be sure, the Bruins' February nose-dive was enough to make the haughtiest team humble, a 15-point loss at home to Stanford, a 29-point defeat at Arizona State and a 15-point loss at Arizona providing the most turbulence.
``When you lose six of seven games,'' senior forward Sean Farnham admitted, ``you have no reason to be walking around like a peacock.''
Yes, but even when they started 8-2, the Bruins didn't walk around like they owned Westwood. Indeed, incredulous students have been coming up to redshirt sophomore Billy Knight all year and telling him how much they really like this season's squad.
That Bruins team, which featured Jelani McCoy (until he quit after being suspended), Kris Johnson and Toby Bailey, also advanced to the Sweet 16, only to get so caught up in having dispatched Michigan in the second round they were no match for Kentucky in the third.
Of course, you expect Bruins basketball players to view cockiness as a birthright. They are supposed to walk with a swagger. When you think of Bruins basketball, you picture Don MacLean sauntering to the foul line like he was the sheriff of a dusty town moseying up to the bar.
This year's team is not like that. These Bruins don't strut, they sort of slouch slouch
v. slouched, slouch·ing, slouch·es
1. To sit, stand, or walk with an awkward, drooping, excessively relaxed posture.
2. To droop or hang carelessly, as a hat.
``This is a humble, focused team and I think it all has to do with Earl Watson, really,'' said assistant coach Michael Holton, referring to the Bruins' junior point guard. ``He's not a flamboyant, arrogant person. He's more of a leader by example. He set the tone for the team real early. He got up in a team meeting and said, `We came here to win championships and we haven't gotten anywhere near that level.' He made that statement and it became kind of a rallying cry.''
Watson and his favorite target since sixth grade, JaRon Rush, are from Kansas and Missouri, respectively. Maybe that also helps explain why these are not your usual dripping-with-conceit Bruins.
This is the first UCLA team in a long while in which the majority of the players didn't grow up in Southern California, getting spoon fed UCLA lore in such large doses it worked on their egos like steroids.
The Bruins' big men, Jerome Moiso and Dan Gadzuric, are from the West Indies and Holland, respectively. Where they come from, if you're not a soccer player, you're not a huge deal.
Too, the Bruins have a head coach in Steve Lavin who didn't plot and pray and press for the UCLA job for years. Unlike Jim Harrick, his predecessor who had been looking longingly toward Westwood from his days coaching at Inglewood's Morningside High, Lavin aspired to be a head coach but at the University of San Francisco • • [ , his father's alma mater.
Whatever the reason, neither the coach nor his players have the affectations you expect from those appearing twice a week on one of college basketball's biggest stages.
(color) Earl Watson of UCLA sports the inspirational logo `Attitude' as he and the Bruins practice for the Midwest Regional tonight against the Iowa State Cyclones The Iowa State Cyclones, or 'Clones, are the athletic teams of the Iowa State University. The university is a member of the Big 12 Conference and competes in NCAA Division I, fielding 16 varsity teams in 11 sports:
Amy Sancetta/Associated Press