The UCLA Bruins aren’t a basketball team, they’re a medical experiment. They’re a walking exercise in kinesiology, or would be if most of them could walk. A lot of them are limping, which is difficult to do while carrying X-rays. They’re bandaged and stitched. There are more tears in the Bruins than a frayed ancient document. They could try laughing, but that would probably injure something. Could try cursing the fates, but somebody would no doubt rip a vocal cord. So mostly they shrug. Say what are they supposed to do? Just keep playing, and try to be very careful not to trip over the next fallen teammate. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita They are a standing headline: Another Bruin lost to injury. The thing about it is, they keep manufacturing different combinations, using one unproven freshman after another, and mostly winning. The Bruins entered their Saturday’s game against Washington with a 14-2 record and No.11 national ranking. They started two sophomores and three freshman, and most of them were banged up. Leading scorer Arron Afflalo is playing with a sore hip. He had to leave Saturday’s game late in the second half to switch jerseys. The one he was wearing was too bloody. “From my elbow and knee,” he said. “Not sure how it happened.” Farmar has been playing most of the season with a sore ankle he restrains about once a week. Saturday in the first half he ripped a two-inch cash on his shooting hand from places unknown. “Who knows?” Farmar said. “It just happens.” And these were the healthy players on the court at game’s end. They faired much better than forward Alfred Aboya, who had to be helped off the court with 7:11 left to play in the first half with the daily serious injury. Aboya had surgeries on both knees prior to the season, missed the first six games and was just rounding into shape. But he’s headed for another MRI on his right knee. He limped off the court after at least straining it against Washington and did not return. This comes after poor Cedric Bozeman, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, tore cartilage in his shoulder in practice and will be out at least another 3-to-4 weeks. After Josh Shipp, who missed the first 11 games following September hip surgery, called it a season last week because of continued hip pain. After Lorenzo Mata, who despite having legs the size of a small Sequoia and who had previously broken his nose and two teeth this season, fractured his right leg in a collision with Farmar on Tuesday. “There’s always adversity in every season,” said UCLA coach Ben Howland. “Obviously we’ve had more than our fair share this season. We have to continue to fight through it. “It’s just the way it is.” Besides quoting Boz Skaggs, what can you do? Deep down Howland may think the basketball gods are conspiring against him, but he recognizes there’s nothing positive that can come from focusing on it. Saturday he made with what he had, and for most of the game it appeared it would be enough against the 13th-ranked Huskies. With a frontcourt of freshmen – 6-5 shooting forward Michael Roll, 6-7 forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and 6-11 center Ryan Wright – the Bruins jumped out to 15-point lead in the first half. They even returned their two injured senior centers. Ryan Hollins – who had strained a groin in warmups before the Dec. 23 game against Sacramento State played 17 minutes. Michael Fey, out with a sprained ankle, made a 1-minute appearance. “Every time we get a guy back, another guy goes down,” Afflalo said. “We lose a key guy on top of that. It’s the way it is.” In the second half, Washington kept chipping away at the UCLA lead, finally overtaking them at 61-60 with 3:08 to play. The Bruins would never lead again, though they missed a chance to tie the game in the final seconds on a botched fastbreak. Howland scanned his box score afterward and numbers screamed out at him: After battling Washington evenly on the boards in the first half, the Bruins were outrebounded 16-10 in the second; After holding Washington to 36.4 shooting in the first half, the Huskies shot 64.0 percent in the second. Poor rebounding and shaky inside defense would appear obvious signs of fatigue for an overmatched team. Shipp was to be the starting small forward, Aboya the power forward, Hollins the center. Bozeman filled in for Shipp, Mata started at center, Mbah a Moute moved from small forward to power forward. Howland wasn’t buying any fatigue factor, and either were the Bruins. “I don’t think we were tired,” Afflalo said. “I wasn’t too tired. We might have been just standing around too much.” Maybe trying to stay clear of the next Bruin to fall. Steve Dilbeck’s column appears in the Daily News four times a week. He can be reached at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
4 min read June 19, 2015 Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you want your business to provide your team members and customers with a technology platform that simplifies and streamlines key tasks, you have two options: pre-existing software or custom-built software.Related: Before You Purchase Software for Your Business, Consider These Do’s and Don’tsSome off-the-shelf platforms are partially customizable, are updated frequently and are economical; but many companies are realizing the benefits of the second option, custom-built software. In fact, 66 percent of companies say they will invest in those solutions over the next five years. Should you follow suit?Depending on the nature of your business, a custom technology platform may be your best or only option. For instance, you may have a unique set of needs that no existing product can meet, or perhaps the current options are simply too slow. Those obstacles are more common than you might think — more than 70 percent of companies say they’re unable to find the perfect system.Ultimately, however, the decision to build a custom technology platform should hinge on whether existing software is aiding or hindering your company’s growth.Weigh your decision carefully.Initially, our company used pre-existing software because it was affordable, easy to implement and convenient to obtain. Eventually, though, we realized that the lack of customization was hindering our business’ growth rate. We decided to invest in the creation of a technology platform that would suit our exact needs, and we’ve never looked back.In some instances, a great custom platform can provide your company with an entirely new revenue stream. Basecamp, for example, developed an internal online project-management app that was so good other businesses wanted to use it.Despite Basecamp’s success, you should devote a long period to brainstorming and careful consideration before you too move forward with creating custom software. Ask yourself, “Will an expensive custom platform add true value to my company?” A local coffee shop, for instance, may not benefit from spending tens of thousands of dollars on exclusive accounting software when QuickBooks will suffice.Related: With Open-Source Software, You Don’t Have to Start From ScratchOnce you do decide that custom software will add value to your business, consider your time line and budget. Software development can be a long, expensive process, and you rarely create the perfect product on your first try. There will likely be several iterations.If you’re short on time or funds, you might be better off living with what you can develop in a limited amount of time, even if it addresses only 80 percent of your needs. There will always be more time to upgrade your system. One of the benefits of developing custom software is the luxury to do just that: Revise and test the new functionality of the system.You might also consider how steep the learning curve will be. A custom technology platform is only as effective as the team members using it, so ample training is key.Ease the transition.Once you opt for a custom technology platform, there are three things you can do to make the process easier:1. Invest your resources strategically.You may spend a great deal of time and money on your platform before you ever see a minimally functional product. Be sure to budget your resources and plan accordingly. If you’re looking for a quick-fix solution, an off-the-shelf option may be better in the short term while you have your long-term goals set on a custom platform.2. Determine your mission-critical features. You likely don’t need a platform with 1,000 features. Do preliminary research to determine which ones will truly enhance your business and give you a competitive edge. You can always supplement your new technology platform with existing software. In the early stages of development, your priority should be creating a functioning product, not building out bells and whistles.3. Build a great development team.Ideally, you have an all-star in-house development team. If you can’t currently afford this asset, it’s relatively easy to find great developers who will work on a freelance basis, allowing you to gradually build an in-house team.Developing a custom technology platform ultimately involves an investment of time, money and patience. While it’s neither quick nor easy, a custom platform can ultimately mean the difference between stagnation and growth. Related: How to Know When to Bring Software Development In House