It has not been the best week for UCLA hoops. After two games vs. Loyola Marymount and Middel Tennessee State, the Bruins are 0-2 by a combined losing margin of 30 points. Reeves Nelson, arguably the Bruins' best, most important player, is currently suspended for attitude issues.
You know all of these things already, and we discussed them at length in the Hoopsbag this afternoon, so let's not rehash the whole sordid ordeal. UCLA fans have already been through enough. Instead, let's bring a little sunshine into their day. Let's warmly remind them of past glories and future attractions. Let's inform them of the latest plans for the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion -- set to open next season -- as released by UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero Tuesday in the unusual blog email form he's been using for online outreach in 2011. From our west coast compadres at ESPN Los Angeles:
When Pauley Pavilion reopens next year, it will include a statue of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, Bruins athletic director Dan Guerrero announced Tuesday in his weekly blog. The statue will be sculpted by Blair Buswell, the head sculptor at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It will sit on the north side of Pauley along Bruin Walk. The statue is being financed by UCLA boosters.
"I can not wait until we unveil the final product," Guerrero wrote.
Guerrero's email also detailed UCLA's decision to sell the naming rights to the new arena to a sponsor in order to help offset the costs of the current renovation. He insisted the sponsorship would be "tastefully done" and has the blessing of the family of Edwin Pauley, the arena's namesake.
These emails haven't gone over all that well with some members of the Bruins fan base; the gents at Bruins Nation were, shall we say, less than thrilled to receive the missive in the midst of the Middle Tennessee State debacle. Things got a little ugly. The pitchforks are nearly unsheathed.
But hey, UCLA fans, look over here: John Wooden statue! That's kind of cool, right?