Of those three teams – Oregon, Stanford and Washington – the Bruins could face two of them en route to a possible championship repeat. Fourth-seed Oregon plays fifth-seeded Arizona in Thursday’s first game, with the winner meeting the winner of the UCLA-Cal/Oregon State game. Stanford and Washington are on the other side of the bracket, meaning UCLA could only face those schools in the title game. The Huskies provide UCLA’s most recent motivation. The Bruins dropped a 61-51, uninspiring decision at Washington on Saturday in what was UCLA’s worst effort of the season. “I think it was an eye-opener,” UCLA wing Josh Shipp said. “We had a team meeting. I think we regrouped and we’ll be ready. We watched the film and we talked. The film was great. It was rough.” of the Pacific-10 Conference tournament Collison’s slump: UCLA point guard Darren Collison was working on his shot during an individual workout before Tuesday’s practice, trying to shake loose from a season-ending slump that ended with Saturday’s 2-for-15 effort at Washington. Collison is shooting 27.5 percent (11 for 40) in his past four games. Before that, he was shooting 54.3 percent from the field. The slump began after perhaps his best game of the season, in which he scored 17 points and had 15 assists at Arizona. Two years ago, UCLA and was gone before the first day was over. Last season, a late-jelling UCLA team rolled into the Pac-10 Tournament, then steamrolled its opponents en route to the title. Now, having entered the season as the hunted only to emerge as the league’s regular-season champion, the top-seeded Bruins open play Thursday against either No.8-seed California or No.9-seed Oregon State (they play tonight) in an ideal position. “You gotta love it because that’s the best position for you,” UCLA junior guard and Pac-10 Player of the Year Arron Afflalo said. “In my eyes, it gives us the inner confidence that we are the best. We did win this conference outright, well- deservingly, and not to be cocky, but to be confident, and how to straddle that line, and understand that if we don’t come to play, with that type of bull’s-eye, we’ll be beat. “There’s three teams in this conference that beat us this year, so we’re beatable.” “I think he’s been taking pretty good shots,” Howland said. “I think a lot of it was, coming back from Arizona and having a lot of attention, and maybe getting a little bit caught up in that.” Aboya ready: Bruins reserve center/power forward Alfred Aboya went through most of practice Tuesday and said afterward he would be ready to play in the Pac-10 Tournament. Aboya missed the loss at Washington with a bruised knee. “I’m playing,” Aboya said. “There’s no pain at all, but it’s still a concern mentally.” Increased expectations: When Afflalo, Shipp and Lorenzo Mata were freshman, the Bruins bowed out of the Pac-10 tournament in the first round, and it didn’t come that unexpectedly. “The expectation of winning is far and beyond what it was two years ago as an incoming freshman, and that’s a good thing,” Afflalo said. “That’s the way it should be. John Wooden created something spectacular around here, and it’s good that it’s starting to live on once again.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
WINNIPEG — Helicopters and a specialized military aircraft scoured from the air while armed police took to the ground over northern Manitoba in a hunt for two suspects of murders in British Columbia.Some advocates say it’s a stark contrast to resources applied to searches for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.“It is a little bit eyebrow raising because of the different response,” says Sheila North, a former grand chief and advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women.“The effort that they are going through to try and find them … could trigger a lot of things for people who do their own searches.”The massive manhunt has gripped the country since Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, were named last week as suspects in three killings. University professor Leonard Dyck and Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found dead earlier this month in northern B.C.North said it’s important the suspects are caught because they could pose a serious risk to the public.But she wonders where the same sense of urgency is when an Indigenous woman or girl can’t be found.North recalls the case of Jennifer Catcheway in 2008. She was last seen in Portage la Prairie, Man. on the night of her 18th birthday. When Wilfred and Bernice Catcheway notified police their daughter was missing, they were told she was probably out partying, North said.For more than a decade, the Catcheways have conducted their own search of rivers, lakes, forests and nearby First Nations.North says she’s also reminded of 51-year-old grandmother, Mildred Flett, who was last seen in Winnipeg in 2010. Her ex-husband has said it was difficult to get police to pay attention to her case.Flett was from the Testaskweyak Cree Nation in Split Lake, Man., where missing person posters of her remain. Schmegelsky and McLeod were spotted in the same community before a vehicle they were travelling in was found in nearby Gillam, leading police to focus their search in that area.North said there are more than 1,200 relatives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls watching as Mounties do everything they can to find the two murder suspects. They may also be wondering why they couldn’t have received more help, she adds.“Families that do their own searches are feeling a little bit let down and not respected in the same way as these other families are,” she said.Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte has seen many families struggle to organize searches as the co-chair of Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), a grassroots group that supports families of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Saskatchewan.Her cousin, Shelley Napope, 16, was murdered by serial killer John Martin Crawford in 1992.Okemaysim-Sicotte says she supports efforts to find Schmegelsky and McLeod and that no life is worth more than another.But the manhunt for them has made it clear that there is the means, money and public support to conduct a large-scale search when needed, she says.Okemaysim-Sicotte hopes people will remember that the next time an Indigenous woman or girl is missing.“The world is watching it, she says.Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press