Since the debacle of January 16, the Bruins have been a different team. I guess the embarrassment of the 21-point loss to the brain surgeons scared them straight. That, and the outstanding play of senior Michael Roll, the improved play of senior Nikola Dragovic, and the fabulous, continual development of super-talented freshmen Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson, have pulled the Bruins into a first place tie in the Pac-12, uh, excuse me Mario, Pac-10.
Of course, a big part of the turnaround has been the zone defense instituted by Coach Howland, though tonight the stellar defense during a key 9-0 run was with Howland’s preferred (and the Bruin traditional) man-to-man.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a final four team, and maybe still not even a tournament team, but stellar defense which was so lacking for much of the season, improved free-throw shooting, and reduced turnovers could mean that this season that looked so ominous and started so horribly, may not turn out so bad after all.