When former UCLA and current Detroit Piston guard Arron Afflalo declared for the NBA Draft following his junior year, the general consensus was that the Bruins would be unable to replace his scoring and defense this year. As the new season approaches, many people still feel that Afflalo's absence could be the difference between the Bruins missing the Final Four and winning it all. For all of those doubters, meet Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is a 6'3" sophomore combo guard out of Leuzinger High School. In a reserve role last season, he made little impact, showing only the occasionaly flash of his potential and ability. This preseason, however, he took the chance he was given by Darren Collison's knee injury. In his first game as a starter, Westbrook has 21 points and 7 assists, and threw down one of the most vicious dunks you will ever see. His outside shooting has improved and his athleticism is breathtaking. As the year begins, don't be suprised to see Westbrook starting along Collison and Shipp in the backcourt. And while Collison and Kevin Love are the undeniable stars of this team, it may be Russell Westbrook that determines how far this Bruin team goes this season. And if the first 2 games are any indication, it could be a great year for Bruin fans.