UCLA will take a break from Pac-12 Conference play on
Instead they’ll be in the World’s Most Famous Arena on the stage of LinSanity.
As New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has taken the world by storm — going
from NBA zero to hero — like the rest of the country, the Bruins have been
there for the ride.
While Lin was torching the Lakers for 38 points on Friday, Feb. 10, the team
couldn’t contain themselves, while watching in a downtown hotel.
“They were yelling and screaming and going crazy. A number of them were
rooting for Jeremy Lin. It’s just a great story,” UCLA head coach Ben
Howland said. “They’re all following it.”
The Bruins (15-11, 8-6 Pac-12) will be looking to make their own Linsational
moments when they take on St. John’s (10-16, 4-10 Big East) on Saturday at 10 a.m.
While UCLA has handled its own bout of adversity on the West Coast, across the
country, it’s been a trying year for the Red Storm.
Coach Steve Lavin has taken a break from the sideline while battling prostate
cancer. Assistant coach Mike Dunlap has handled a lot of the duties since.
In honor of Lavin, the UCLA coaching staff will wear tennis shoes during
Saturday’s game at Madison Square Garden.
At St. John’s, Dunlap has spent the season dealing with a revamped roster. The team,
which made the NCAA Tournament last season, is down to six scholarship players who
make consistent contributions. The Red Storm also start five freshmen.
A top-five recruiting class was left in disarray because of
academic issues. Three of the commits went to prep school. Of the three, the
only one to join the team this season is Amir Garrett. The freshman forward
played his junior year of high school at Leuzinger in Lawndale, Calif., before
finishing his career at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.
The top player in the class, Norvel Pelle, a 6-10 center from Price High School
in LA was ruled ineligible by the NCAA last fall and decided to re-open his
The St. John’s team the Bruins will see on Saturday will be nothing like the
team they beat at Pauley Pavilion 66-59 last season.
Lin and the Knicks will be home Friday night taking on the Hornets. Howland and
the Bruins won’t be in attendance, although they would have liked to. They will
be watching. The Bruins hotel is likely to be Linsane again on a Friday night.