Sunday, August 18

Another setback for UCLA’s point guard Jerime Anderson


The continuing season-long saga of UCLA point guard Jerime Anderson added a new chapter on Saturday in the Bruins' historical 67-46 loss to USC (11-6, 3-2 Pac-10) at Pauley Pavilion.

The continuing season-long saga of UCLA point guard Jerime Anderson added a new chapter on Saturday in the Bruins' historical 67-46 loss to USC (11-6, 3-2 Pac-10) at Pauley Pavilion. Tiffany Cheng


The continuing season-long saga of UCLA point guard Jerime Anderson added a new chapter on Saturday in the Bruins’ historical 67-46 loss to USC (11-6, 3-2 Pac-10) at Pauley Pavilion.

Anderson played just nine minutes and sat out the entire second half with what coach Ben Howland termed a hip flexor injury in his left leg, the same leg as a groin injury which Anderson has played through all season.

At the press conference following the game, Howland admitted that Anderson had not practiced in the days leading up to the game after he tweaked his groin on Tuesday.

“I didn’t want to make it public because I didn’t want them to game-plan, which they had already done, which is to pressure our point guard full court,” Howland said.

It has been a tough season for the sophomore in his first year as the Bruins’ starter. Anderson missed time in training camp with the left groin injury and aggravated the injury in UCLA’s (7-10, 2-3) win over Arizona State on Dec. 31.

Last week against Cal, Anderson was benched by Howland for missing a rehab session. Anderson did not start against Stanford or USC, with sophomore Malcolm Lee playing point guard in each game.

On Saturday, Anderson did not take a shot and had two turnovers. Due to Anderson’s limited play, seldom-used redshirt junior Mustafa Abdul-Hamid played nine minutes and made the only shot he took.

“I just didn’t want to aggravate it worse, because we have obviously a lot more games to play,” said Howland of the decision to not play Anderson in the second half. “Hopefully we can get him healthy.”

Rick Neuheisel pumps up Pauley crowd

The sell-out crowd at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday rose to its feet, cheering on the Bruins with ear-splitting applause.

However, it wasn’t a remarkable play made by the basketball team that caused such a reaction. Rather, it was UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel and a select number of football players that sent the UCLA fans into a frenzy.

Neuheisel spoke at halftime of Saturday’s game. In terms of the basketball game, the Bruins trailed 33-21, well on their way to a historically bad 67-46 loss.

But in the midst of Neuheisel’s halftime speech, the Bruin faithful let out the loudest cheers of the day.

Following a short montage of the Bruins’ 30-21 win over Temple in the EagleBank Bowl, Neuheisel welcomed new USC coach Lane Kiffin back to Los Angeles.

“If you’ve paid any attention to what’s going on in college football this last week, you can see the landscape has slightly shifted,” Neuheisel said.

It was not the first time the football team has overshadowed the men’s basketball team this season. In the Bruins’ loss to Mississippi State in the John R. Wooden Classic, arguably the loudest cheers of the game came when it was announced over the loud speakers at the Honda Center that Navy had defeated Army, thereby securing the Bruins’ spot in the EagleBank Bowl.

“Make no mistake,” Neuheisel said. “We are not going to rest until we bring back the Pac-10 championship, the Rose Bowl championship and the national championship.”

Any improvement?

When senior guard Michael Roll hit the game-winning shot with 1.9 seconds left in overtime to give the Bruins an upset win on the road over California, it seemed that the season may be turning around.

An uninspiring and downright ugly nonconference schedule seemed to be in the past, replaced by a 2-1 record in Pac-10 play at the time.

Two losses later, the thoughts of a turnaround appear to be premature.

“I’m embarrassed for our team, and I feel embarrassed for the program, for the former players and coaches,” said Howland following Saturday’s loss. “That’s all you can say about this effort today. It was embarrassing, and I told the team that after the game. I’m responsible No. 1.”

Lee said that while there have been moments when the team has improved, on the whole, it has been disappointing.

“I feel that in moments we’re getting better,” Lee said. “We just have to stay consistent, that’s the main thing. We’re not being consistent right now.”

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