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For now, UCLA frosh Love won't talk about leaving

UCLA freshman Kevin Love struggles against Memphis in a national semifinal, scoring just 12. Did he play his last college game? “I haven’t given it any thought,” the All-American said.

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UCLA freshman Kevin Love struggles against Memphis in a national semifinal, scoring just 12. Did he play his last college game? “I haven’t given it any thought,” the All-American said.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — UCLA freshman center Kevin Love wasn't ready to say he had played his last college game Saturday.

"I haven't given it any thought," he said shortly after his team's 78-63 loss in the national semifinals. "As of right now, I'm still a UCLA Bruin. I'm enjoying my time, and I'll be at class on Monday."

That wasn't actually the question posed to Love, a first-team All-American. Instead, he was asked how much he enjoyed this year, on and off the court.

"I was just trying to deaden those questions as quickly as I could," he said with a sly smile.

History lesson: Memphis coach John Calipari used this week to teach his young players about history.

It was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis. So, Calipari not only read King's "I Have A Dream" speech but had the Rev. Jesse Jackson speak to his players.

"It was very inspirational for me and my teammates," junior guard Antonio Anderson said. "He came in and spoke to us about life, not about the basketball side of things; about graduating; (about) the struggles that he's been through throughout his lifetime and Dr. King as well. It was just something great to learn."

"We were speechless," junior guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "Usually we joke around with each other. But not at one point, no one in there was speaking. We were all focused in. It was a great."

A homecoming: Kansas freshman guard Chase Buford didn't just make it to the Final Four this year — he did so with the event in his hometown.

"It would feel great being at the Final Four no matter where it was being held, but it is extra special that it happens to be in San Antonio," he said before the game. "To have a chance to win a national championship is an unbelievable feeling, and then to be able to play in front of friends and family here in San Antonio makes it that much more special for me."

REMEMBERING: Memphis players found a way to keep thoughts of suspended point guard Andre Allen with them. Several Tigers wrote his jersey number, 15, on their shoes and 'Dre was scrawled on sneakers.

One for the books: UCLA junior forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute became the first player to start in three straight Final Fours since Michigan State's Andre Hutson and Charlie Bell (1999-2001).

Numbers game: Memphis' 38 wins is an NCAA single-season record. It had shared the record with Illinois (1987), Duke (1986 and 1999) and UNLV (1987). … Memphis has won 104 games in the past three season, tying the record Kentucky set in 1996-98.

What might have been: North Carolina coach Roy Williams had one open scholarship for this year's freshman class and went after Love.

"I think it is probably true that we've never put that kind of focus on one guy 'cause he's the only guy we offered a scholarship to," Williams said. "There were a couple other guys that we really wanted to be involved with a little more heavily than we were, like Kyle Singler, for example. But with only one scholarship available, we thought there could be one of our guys leave, so it would be a really important spot for us to fill."

But a few trips to Oregon netted nothing. Love chose UCLA and earned first-team All-America honors. Singler ended up at Duke and was a solid scorer.

Mascot remembered: Tyler Treadaway still thinks about friend Jason Ray every time he puts on UNC's mascot costume. Ray died in March 2007 after he was struck by a car from behind while walking on a highway shoulder near his New Jersey hotel after going to a nearby convenience store. The senior, who had performed as the ram mascot for three seasons, was there for the NCAA Tournament games against USC and Georgetown in the East Region. Treadaway shared some of those duties last year and was Rameses in this tournament. "They're heavy and strong," Treadaway said of his emotions. "The good thing is they're keeping us very busy, so it keeps your mind off of things. But he's definitely been in my thoughts."

AND FINALLY: Call the final the Larry Brown national championship. Two of his former assistants at Kansas — the Tigers' Calipari and the Jayhawks' Bill Self — are in the title game.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

For now, UCLA frosh Love won't talk about leaving 04/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:24am]
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