Friday, March 12, 2010
One last Roll call
By Blair Angulo
After what seemed to be a season-long gasp for air -- a panting of sorts -- UCLA guard Michael Roll took a seat with half a minute left in his final college game.
Finally, a breather.
Only 34 seconds remained on the clock, but it was much-needed rest for a player who worked tirelessly and rarely sat during a disappointing 14-18 season. The Bruins trailed by 12 as Roll reluctantly walked to the bench, but fans of both UCLA and California acknowledged it, giving him the kind of standing ovation Kobe Bryant usually sees at Staples Center.
"It feels good that fans recognize," Roll said. "Bruins fans are great wherever we are in the country."
Roll scored a game- and career-high 27 points, but it wasn't enough to push UCLA to the title game of the Pac-10 Conference tournament. "We lost," he said. "This is my last game here. I don't care about the career high or anything like that. I'm frustrated we lost. I'm done."
Said coach Ben Howland: "He's been a great representative of the program and of the history and tradition of UCLA basketball."