Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Farmar Can't Do It All, Memphis Beats UCLA

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

The UCLA Bruins had no problems breaking the Memphis Tigers vaunted full court pressure

Unfortunately once the Bruins broke the press they had problems executing their offense in the half court as the Bruins lost to Memphis 88-80 in a semifinal match of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

The Bruins (3-1) were down double digits halfway through the first half against the Tigers (3-0) on remarkable 3-point shooting by Memphis freshman, Shawne Williams, who hit on 5-5 of them before the half.

Prior to this game, Williams had shot a total of three 3-point shots over two games. Obviously Williams was feeling it, and unfortunately for the Bruins it resulted in a 17 point deficit by halftime.

On offense the Bruins looked flat in their half court set and the Tigers size and length appeared to bother them.

The Bruins were thoroughly dominated by the Memphis defense in the half-court and their big men dominated the paint blocking and altering shots

The Memphis perimeter pressure defense regularly pushed the Bruin offense out to 35 feet from the basket. Hard to score from that distance.

Perhaps UCLA coach Ben Howland may look back at this game on videotape and find that his tactics to slow the pace to a halfcourt game may have backfired.

When UCLA easily broke the Tiger press each time down the court, instead of attacking the basket with advantageous numbers, Howland chose to have his Bruin team pull the ball back out and set up in a half court set -- a half court offense which was highly ineffective throughout the game.

The Bruins may have had a better chance if they had run and aggressively pushed the ball against Memphis instead. They had run the break at every opportunity against other opponents but Howland chose not to run today against the Tigers.

The game only got close in the last 8 minutes of the game because Jordan Farmar decided to take matters into his own hands and began sinking 3 point shots and deft drives to bring the Bruins back to respectability.

Farmar ended the game with 28 points (4 of 9 from the arc) and 7 assists.

Arron Afflalo, the leading scorer for the Bruins in the previous three games, had 14 points, but seemed to force the issue at times during the game resulting in bad shots or turnovers. He also had 6 rebounds.

UCLA will play Drexel on Friday in the consolation game.

Drexel played #1 Duke tough to the end in their semifinal game before Duke finally pulled away in the final minute of the game winning 78-68.



Post a Comment

<< Back To Bruin Basketball Report Home