UCLA is being quick and in a hurry

On the eve of the only UCLA practice on campus that is open to the media, coach Ben Howland made mention of the team wanting his offense to push the ball up the court.

Then during practice, the Daily Bruin heard Howland calling out instructions that might have sounded like a foreign language to a team more accustomed to playing his grind-it-out style.

"Push it!" the coach called out. "Way to run it! Transition on every possession, make or miss!"

Could it be? UCLA isn't just promising to pick up the pace, but actually going through with it?

According to the Los Angeles Times, Howland insisted his fast-paced offense wasn't merely just for show during the open practice.

"Once we get it we have to get it out of there in a hurry, whether it's out of the basket, which hopefully will be less and more off of missed shots," Howland said.

The hope is that a quickened pace will lead to easier baskets, particularly with improved guard play and power forward Reeves Nelson's enhanced ability to run the floor.

"It fits us real well, just with our guard personnel, our athletes," shooting guard Malcolm Lee said, "and I think Coach notices."

If the style does indeed change during the season, it would add a certain amount of pizazz to an offense that, under Howland, has primarily relied on limiting turnovers and winding down the shot clock.

Pushing the ball doesn't necessarily win games, but losing with a slowdown-style wasn't exactly fun for UCLA fans last season.

And if the Bruins' push for change does it lead to wins with a more athletic lineup this season?

Then the rest of the Pac-10 had better be ready to run right along with them.