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Is SI’s George Dohrmann about to drop a bomb on UCLA?

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The investigative sports journalist whose recent work has gotten a national championship winning football coach fired and coaxed a former NFL agent to tell the world he paid a number of college football players is back at it again.

Twitter and message boards are abuzz over reports that Sports Illustrated’s George Dohrmann will publish a flammable expose on the UCLA basketball program, something that could make Bruins fans quickly focus their attention on things much less severe than, say, the team’s 155th ranked offense.

Set to hit newsstands tomorrow, the interest this yet-to-be-made-public story is garnering speaks to the veracity of which Dohrmann’s name commands in this business.

During a weekly press conference, reporters peppered head coach Ben Howland on the matter, to which he affirmatively replied that he was contacted by Sports Illustrated last week but wasn’t going to speculate on the matter. While he seems calm and collected, Howland did try to prevent further questions by bringing up Kevin Love’s performance in the Thee Point Contest.

Drug use seems to be the card in play here, which, if that’s the major takeaway, would likely do little to damage the school’s reputation long-term, but would provide an interesting read. Conversely, if the story focuses on illegal recruiting tactics, the college athletics world would likely not even blink, but the reprocussions of such revelations could be damaging.

In addition to his exceptional magazine work, Dohrmann’s Play Their Hearts out may have been what led to grabbing credible soruces and fact gathering for this UCLA piece.  The author spent eight years following a group of young basketball players from the Southern California area, most notably former teen-prodigy Demetrius Walker who is currently playing for New Mexico after playing his freshman season at Arizona State.  Well before that he began his career working the desk at the Los Angeles Times.

While Bruins fans will read the piece at first chance, fans of BYU (Matt Carlino), Baylor (J’Mision Morgan), New Mexico (Drew Gordon) and UNLV (Chase Stanback and Mike Moser) will also want to pay close attention now that with former Bruins commitments and roster players donning their school’s uniform.

Best case for Bruins fans would be this, worst case would be anything remotely more recent and realistic.

Stay tuned.

No. 14 West Virginia takes care of No. 15 Baylor

West Virginia forward Devin Williams (41) dunks the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor, Saturday, Feb, 6, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
AP Photo/Raymond Thompson
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Not exactly noted for their ability to knock down shots from the perimeter, No. 14 West Virginia grabbed sole possession of first place in the Big 12 thanks in part to their perimeter shooting. The Mountaineers shot 7-for-14 from three and 49.1 percent from the field in a 80-69 win over No. 15 Baylor that wasn’t as close as the final margin would lead one to believe.

Bob Huggins’ team led by as much as 19 in the second half, and the way in which they did it is what makes the win so impressive. “Press Virginia” yielded just ten Baylor turnovers, but that low number didn’t matter much thanks to West Virginia’s execution offensively.

They found quality looks against Baylor’s 1-1-3 zone in the first half and made them at a good clip, forcing Scott Drew to switch to man-to-man. That change didn’t do much to slow down West Virginia either, as Daxter Miles Jr. scored 20 points and sixth man Jaysean Paige added 17 off the bench. And with Devin Williams chipping in with 16 points and seven boards in the post, outplaying Baylor’s Rico Gathers Sr. (five points, seven rebounds), West Virginia grabbed control of the game in the first half and did not relinquish it.

The usual formula for West Virginia offensively is to attack the offensive glass, as their offensive rebounding percentage (43 percent) is tops in the country. “Their best offense is a missed shot” is a familiar refrain heard when people discuss the Mountaineers, who entered the game shooting just over 30 percent from three.

They didn’t need to lean on those second chances as heavily as they normally do Saturday night, not only because of the improved accuracy but also the improved work in finding shots. The ball moved against the Baylor defense and so did the players, resulting in an offensive attack that proved tougher for the visiting Bears to stop that one would expect given the statistics entering the game.

West Virginia was already established as a contender in the Big 12, but thanks to their win Saturday night the Mountaineers are the current pace setters. With a showdown at No. 7 Kansas set for Tuesday night, this was a big win for Bob Huggins’ team to get. And with it coming in spite of a low turnover (forced) count, this should only help West Virginia in the confidence department moving forward.

No. 22 Indiana falls at Penn State

Penn State's Shep Garner (33) moves towards the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Indiana in State College, Pa., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)
(AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)
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Brendan Taylor scored 24 points to lead Penn State to a 68-63 upset of No. 22 Indiana on Saturday night.

The Nittany Lions were 2-8 in Big Ten play entering the weekend. Indiana? They were 9-1 and tied for first in the conference. It’s the second loss in four games for the Hoosiers following a 7-0 start to Big Ten play, a fact made all the more concerning by the fact that their league schedule is finally about to get difficult.

The Hoosiers play No. 5 Iowa at home and No. 10 Michigan State in East Lansing next week. The following week they get No. 18 Purdue at home. In the final week of the regular season, Indiana squares off with No. 5 Iowa on the road and close the regular season with a visit from No. 4 Maryland.

That’s a lot of good teams that the Hoosiers to close out the year.

The question has been asked since Indiana’s hot start to league play: Are they for real? Did the Hoosiers really somehow turn things around defensively, or was that winning streak simply a by-product of their schedule?

The truth is that it was probably a combination of both. Calling them a fraud would be unjust — if you watched those games, there wasn’t much fluky about them; Indiana earned the Ws — but it does seem fair to say this is something of a regression to the mean.

They were going to slip up eventually.

And it will totally be forgotten if the Hoosiers can find a way to close the regular season with a winning record in their final seven games.