October 23, 2006
Could interior defense be a concern?
With the departure of Ryan Hollins to the NBA, UCLA's frontline will take on a different look in the upcoming 2006-2007 season. While last year's Final Four squad was defined by their ability to lock down on the defensive end, the absence of a true shot blocker will cause issues for Bruin coach Ben Howland and his interior defense this season.
Hollins recorded less than one block per contest last year, and thus on paper the void left by the 7-footer doesn't appear to be too much of a concern. However, his presence in the middle as an athletic big allowed Howland to play a more gambling style, giving other big men like Lorenzo Mata, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alfred Aboya the freedom to cover out on the perimeter knowing that the last line of defense, the security blanket in the middle could potentially make up for their respective mistakes.
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