Maybe I’ll just answer e-mail the rest of the season, or at least this week. Send me your questions, criticisms, complaints, insults, etc.


Jordan Farmar is “occasionally celebrated” because he’s just a sophomore and he is one of the reasons the Bruins continue to compete in spite of a rash of injuries.  When they need a big play, he makes a big play.  Efficiency stats are great but they don’t reflect intangibles, and can’t measure heart.  He put the team on his back against Memphis, Arizona St., West Virginia, and Oregon.  The Bruins came up short against Memphis and West Virginia, but without Jordan those games are blowouts.  Here’s a description (from Bruin Basketball Report) of Jordan’s game against Oregon St. which encapsulates what he means to the Bruins:

[Sophomore Jordan Farmar showed again why he is one of the top point guards in the nation. Whenever the Bruins needed a score in the game Farmar would hit a jumper, drive for a basket, or pass an open man for an easy score. He finished with 13 points, 8 assists, and committed only 1 turnover in the game.]


This is email is in response to my criticism of Farmar in this post.

Let me straighten out a couple of things first. I never suggested UCLA would be better without Farmar. Of course, he is a big reason for their continued success without Josh Shipp, and the Bruins would collapse without his presence.

Having said that, our e-mailer is right that I’m not much for talking about heart and intangibles. I leave that for Johnny Analyst, who “knows the game”. I focus on things that can be dissected with a combination of meaningful data and common sense. So until intangibles become tangible, they are off limits.

But I find it interesting that in touting Farmar’s heart, the supporting material is stuff that can be measured by stats. And sure, he had a terrific game against OSU. If that was the norm for Farmar, I’d be on the bandwagon.  In an off-night for Afflalo (4-14 on FGs, 0-5 on threes), which admittedly has been a regular occurrence recently, Farmar came through. But let’s keep in mind, in the previous four games he produced a 44.5% eFG and had 23 turnovers. Mind you, with 32 assists.

In addition to the high turnover rate he brings, my other problem with Farmar is this:

          FGA/40 Min      eFG%
Farmar        14.0        47.6
Afflalo       13.8        57.2

Farmar’s not a great shooter, and yet he takes the most shots on the team. If he could get others involved more often, especially Afflalo, who is the better scorer, UCLA could squeeze a little bit more out of the offense.

So to summarize: Farmar is a solid point guard. But just limiting the discussion to sophomores or freshman, I wouldn’t put him on the same level as Darius Washington or Rajon Rondo. I’d put Marcus Williams and Taurean Green ahead of Farmar also, and Devan Downey and Sean Singletary have to be in the discussion if we’re considering defense.

While Farmar’s heart may be bigger that those guys, his production is not.



                           FG   3pt   FT    Reb
                      Min  M-A  M-A   M-A   O-T  A F S TO BLK Pts
Kiril Wachsmann        34  7-12 0-0   1-2   7-13 2 2 2  3  1   15
Result: Win. Iona 71, Niagara 69. (OT)  



                           FG   3pt   FT    Reb
                      Min  M-A  M-A   M-A   O-T  A F S TO BLK Pts
J.J. Redick            34 11-13 8-10 10-11  1-4  1 1 2  4  0   40
Result: Win. Duke 82, Virginia 63.



                           FG   3pt   FT    Reb
                      Min  M-A  M-A   M-A   O-T  A F S TO BLK Pts
Bobby Jones            34  1-11 0-4   2-2   4-6  3 4 3  1  0    4 
Result: Loss. Stanford 76, Washington 67. (OT)