BEN CLASSON/Herald photoWhen the season ended for the UW men’s hockey team, Jamie McBain had a choice. The sophomore defenseman could either stay with the Badgers for his junior season or follow the lead of former teammate Kyle Turris and head to the pros.For McBain, the choice was easy.“I love the campus here, I love the coaches, I love my teammates,” McBain said in a phone interview Wednesday. “It was kind of a no-brainer for me.”There had been speculation after the season that McBain — the second-round selection of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft — would take the money and run, foregoing two years of his collegiate eligibility. But earlier this week, the Faribault, Minn., native squelched any rumors, announcing he would return next season.McBain said he talked to both the Hurricane coaches and UW head coach Mike Eaves about his choice, but the decision was ultimately up to him.“I talked to the coaches at Carolina and they were happy with how I was coming along here,” McBain said. “I pretty much just told [Coach Eaves] I was coming back, and he didn’t have anything to worry about.”With his return, McBain will be the most experienced blueliner on the Badger roster. Wisconsin lost seniors Davis Drewiske and Kyle Klubertanz to graduation — meaning, with 71 games played, McBain has seen more collegiate action than any other UW defenseman.It also means he’ll be thrust into a leadership role, one that he feels comfortable taking.“It’s definitely going to be different,” McBain said. “Definitely with the younger guys coming in, I’m going to let them know what’s going on and know that I’m here.”The biggest thing McBain saw in the freshmen last season was a sense of nervousness that stemmed from inexperience. As the season progressed, however, the nerves of the newcomers calmed down.“Any player, especially defensemen, they go through it,” McBain said of the learning curve. “They’re nervous and shaky … from whatever it might be.”One freshman in particular McBain saw adjust quickly was Ryan McDonagh, who was McBain’s linemate for most of the season. McDonagh finished the season with five goals and seven assists, playing in all 40 games.“With McDonagh, I was his partner all year, and I could tell it with him,” McBain said of overcoming nerves. “I trusted him. I had no doubts in my mind he’d have my back.”Another youngster McBain was particularly impressed with was Cody Goloubef. Although he was the youngest member on the UW roster, Goloubef came into his own in the latter part of the season, contributing 10 points in his first year with the team.“He just turned 18, so it’s definitely an adjustment period,” McBain said.With McDonagh and Goloubef returning with a year of experience under their belts — as well as fellow freshmen Brendan Smith and Craig Johnson — McBain is confident in the group he’ll be overseeing next year.As for the season after that? Well, McBain says he’ll just have to wait and see.“I haven’t looked too far into it,” McBain said. “I love it here. I love college, but we’ll see how next year goes.”
Community reaction to The Village at USC, a residential and recreational plaza planned to replace USC-owned property north of Jefferson Boulevard, was mixed at an open house at the Galen Center Thursday.Cardinal Gardens, Century Apartments, the current University Village and other surrounding buildings will be torn down to construct a center that aims to modernize the area. The Village will include student housing, shops, restaurants and green space, according to its website.Community members attended an open house at the Galen Center Thursday for The Village at USC. – Engie Salama | Daily Trojan“The primary goal is to really enhance and improve the quality of life while we are living and going to school at USC,” said David Galaviz, executive director of local government relations for The Village. “We really want to create the best college culture for current and incoming students and we feel The Village can assist in that.”The plans for the center designate 300,000 square feet for classroom, artistic and presentation space, which Galaviz said is intended to improve the academic atmosphere. Additional housing in The Village for students, faculty and staff is intended to encourage students to informally meet with their professors in new locations.USC plans to furnish the reinvented Jefferson Boulevard with more lighting and possibly build a Dept. of Public Safety substation within the center. The Village will also be closed off from cars, allowing protected transportation on the walkways or bike lanes.Residents shared different attitudes toward USC’s expected redevelopment of Jefferson Boulevard.Silvio Aguilar, who has lived west of campus for 28 years, said he wants to still be able to shop at The Village, as he currently buys groceries at Superior Grocers.“I don’t know if it will be good for the community or just for students,” Aguilar said. “I am still not sure [after the presentation] if the businesses are going to be at the right price level for community members. We’ll just have to see.”Some students also expressed concern regarding the type of stores that will be in the plaza.“The most useful things for students would be clothing stores, restaurants and a better movie theater,” said Sydney Laux, a senior majoring in theatre. “But if they only cater to high-end students, they will lose community support and involvement because it will be too expensive.”Jean Smith, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years, said she was excited for the potential new stores.The university launched a website this month detailing plans for The Village at USC, a residential and shopping plaza. – Photo courtesy of USC“They said they’re building a bookstore. Now, I have to drive all the way to Del Amo [Fashion Center],” Smith said. “It’ll be great if I don’t have to go all the way to Torrance if I just want to buy a book for my daughter.”She also said she is happy with the proposed plan overall.“The traffic on Hoover Street can be dangerous [for pedestrians] and shutting down the street will make it a lot safer,” Smith said. “[The Village] is a good thing because it will bring jobs to the community and keep kids on campus.”The Village intends to accommodate the community’s financial interests by providing an estimated 8,000 jobs in construction and 4,000 permanent positions.Its completion will take at least eight years. Construction will tentatively begin in mid-2012, according to The Village website.The progress of the project can be followed on The Village at USC’s twitter and website.“The Village will only be successful if we have a mix of students and those from the surrounding community involved,” Galaviz said.