Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
8/24/2007 01:46:00 PM
UCLA Update, Take Two
Kevin Love earned the nickname "Kevlar" last year at the inaugural Elite 24 game.
AJ Mast/Icon SMI
This blog is now on UCLA overload, but I promise, it's coincidental. The day after publishing a Q&A with Bruins coach and defensive guru Ben Howland, I ran into incoming UCLA freshman Kevin Love, who made the trip from L.A. to New York this week for the Elite 24 high-school All-Star game. Love played in the inaugural Elite 24 game last year -- being referred to as "Kevlar" by MC Bobbito Garcia -- and sat courtside for Thursday's scrimmage at Columbia University in New York.
I posed some of the same questions to Love as I did to Howland, and on the topic of positioning in the Bruins' linuep, Love was somewhat adamant about wanting to play the four. "My natural position is the four, because I'm a little over 6-9, and I'm not going to be playing the five at the next level, so you know, I've gotta start playing the four and stepping out a little bit," he said. "But I also need to try to be as versatile as possible. I'm not really set at a position, and I know coach Howland is going to put me in the right place to succeed."
Earlier in the week Love said he "got his butt beat" by Kevin Garnett in pickup games at UCLA's Student Activities Center. Love forced himself into the matchup -- "They were trying to push me to guard Lamond Murray, but I was like, 'No way, I'm going to take advantage of this situation and guard Kevin" -- and as consolation received a post-game tutorial from KG that included advice on post positioning, spacing and calling for entry feeds.
One thing Love does not need counseling on is his outlet-passing skills; he has long been known as a virtuoso of the long-bomb outlet on the AAU circuit. Bruins point guard Darren Collison got to experience it first-hand when he and Love played pick-up together for the first time, earlier this month at the Adidas Nations Basketball Experience in New Orleans. "We were setting up a little thing at the free throw line," said Love, "and right when I'd take the ball out of the net, he'd take off on a full sprint, and when he caught it at the other end, he wouldn't even need to take a dribble -- he'd just lay it up."
"People were asking us afterwards how many times we'd played, saying, 'You look like you've been playing together for years,'" said Love. "But that was the first time we'd played together, so it was good hearing it. Hopefully we'll take that into the season and make a run for a national championship."
Kevin Love is a fool. He may know how to play, but as far as sportsmanship goes, he is severely lacking. He displayed none of the class that many other teenagers in Oregon. (Where I went to high school and saw many games) In fact, he went so far as to taunt a team that my cousin was on after LO had won. Love can play, but he's nothing more than an angry, immature kid that does not know the meaning of sportsmanship
Kevin is a traitor to the state he has called home for several years now. For him to commit to UCLA, a rival of University of Oregon and Oregon State, is a slap in the face.
I can appreciate he wants to play for a storied program.. Last time I checked though, Kevin, Phil Knight didn't just dump millions of dollars into the athletic program of UCLA. I wish you the best and hopefully you won't be too spiteful as The Ducks are on top for all four of your years.
I'll take heart and character over raw talent and egos.
Dream on Rob. What talented kid would not want to go to UCLA and have a real chance at a title? Ducks and Beavers are cool, but they are 2nd tier to the Bruins. As for the Gator fan, congrats on your run, but it's done. Love for 2 years at UCLA is a possibility with the incredible 2008 class coming in ... enjoy your youth and the college experience while you can.
Gator Fan... touche! But Noah, Horford, Green, and Brewer owned us and the entire NCAA for that matter. They're not in Gaineville anymore so enjoy your time at the top. Look at Oregon and their sour grape whine! You guys know you're Oregon and Oregon State, right?
K-Love bashing by silly, childish Oregonians is common. Isn't it ironic that Kevin Love SWEPT every 2007 National HS Player of the Year Awards, including the McDonald's, Naismith, Parade, and Gatorade...and was also name the Gatorade NATIONAL Male HS Athlete of the Year...won against the best of the best athletes from the entire country, and Oregonians continue to hate for no reason.
He gets criticized for not going to Oregon...yet Kyle Singler doesn't. Oregon proves that you can be both ignorant and stupid. Kevin Love--and Kyle Singler for that matter--didn't even entertain U of O because it came to light that Coach Ernie Kent, who preaches moral, Christian family values, was caught going outside his marriage in Puerto Vallarta, with the daughter of a prominent booster.
Also known among the Oregon family was the terrible way Kent treated his players. It's no secret.
You claim that Kevin Love taunted your team. Ha! He's been triple and quadruple-teamed for his entire career, being hacked, undercut, elbowed, and hit every time he touches the ball. And yet you throw out an unsubstantiated claim that Love taunted your poor cousin. Why is it that every HS Coach, journalist, and administrator from around the entire country lauded Love for his sportsmanship, humanity, dedication, and demeanor, yet only "challenged" Oregonians find fault.
Oh Rob, and you wanted him to go to that cow field in Corvallis? Kevin Love is bigtime. Why would somebody with such unique talent want to surround himself with average talent, playing in a second-rate hamlet? How could Kevin Love ever have made the decision to go to the most fabled basketball school in the country, and be coach by arguably the top 3 coaches in the country? How silly of Kevin Love!
And how dare you talk about dissing Phil Knight...whose Nike marketing genius' "fired" a then-16-year-old Kevin Love from their sponsored AAU team after he had the audacity to choose to attend the Reebok ABCD Camp, for the challenge of playing against Greg Oden.
I am from Oregon and am so proud to call Kevin Love one of us. Don't dare to disparage him because of your delusional claims that he insulted your cousin, or didn't go to second-rate programs or play for a hypocritical second-rate coach.
Oh gator fans, get your little shots in now, because you're team is deep sixed for another year plus. Sorry to say it, you HAD the Bruins' number with three lottery picks on your team. Now? Not so much. IF, and thats a big if, you meet the Bruins in the tourney, I won't shed a tear when they tear you up.