Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wolverines Take A Bite Out Of Bruins

By Bruin Basketball Report


Box Score


UCLA (2-1) struggled scoring against Michigan's 1-3-1 zone losing to the Wolverines 55-52 in a 2K Sports Classic semifinal game at Madison Square Garden.


The Bruins lack of offensive firepower, most notably an inside game, was exposed by Michigan's zone.


Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday each scored 13 points and Nikola Dragovic scored on a couple of late three-pointers to reach double figures, otherwise no other Bruin scored more than 5 points.


Senior Josh Shipp played one of his worst games as a Bruin. He not only shot just 2 of 8 for 5 points, but he also committed three consecutive turnovers down the stretch to single-handedly stifle any Bruin rally. Shipp finished with an unsightly 6 turnovers.


The rest of his teammates did no better committing 17 turnovers in the game.


And it wasn't that the Wolverines played a superb zone, actually it was rather average, instead the Bruins were clearly uncomfortable and appeared unprepared to attack it.


The Bruins led for most of the first half by double-digits before going into halftime with a 29-23 lead. But Michigan started hitting their three-point shots in the second half led by guards Stu Douglass and Manny Harris.


6'8 Michigan forward DeShawn Sims also powered his way to 18 points and dominating play in the second half to lead all scorers as the Bruins could find no one to match him inside.


UCLA finished shooting just 42.0% from the field and 5 of 16 on three-pointers. The Bruins also continued their horrid free-throw shooting going 5 of 11 for 45.5%. On the season, the team is shooting just 60% from the stripe.


Its still early in the season and the Bruins have time to develop their game and young players, especially the freshmen.


Still, this is not last year's Bruins, and fans will need to get used to it.


With the loss, the Bruins will meet Southern Illinois tomorrow night in the consolation game of the tournament.


(photo credit: AP)

23 Comments:

At Nov 20, 2008, 3:23:00 PM, Anonymous JW said...

Pathetic.
So what do you think this team should really be ranked? Are we even a top 25 team?
Also, why didnt Jmison Morgan play at all?

 
At Nov 20, 2008, 3:59:00 PM, Anonymous ASK said...

Oh yeah, Dragovic, take better shot selections. Sheesh.

 
At Nov 20, 2008, 3:59:00 PM, Anonymous ASK said...

Right now we probably are around the 20th best team in CBB. Depending on tomorrow, we might end up 10th with a win and 20 with a loss.
Every coach in the future will have the same game plan against us. "Whoever Shipp is guarding better take that open shot!". 5 years and he is still is our weak link on defense.

 
At Nov 20, 2008, 4:14:00 PM, Anonymous dee said...

difference between this year and previous year is that we don't have a solid defender against opponent's guards and wings... in our first final 4, we had bozeman who can locked down just about anyone, 2nd final 4 we had affalo, last year we have westbrook... this year.. no one...
so far in the 1 close game and 1 loss, the opposition's sf/sg has burnt us like mad...
jrue and malcom have to grow up quick...
shipp and collison have to be more agressive and look for their own shots from the start, not just when the game is slipping away...
and howland just need to be more creative in offense... thing is that we have so much turnover in players every year, i think howland only have enough time to teach them defense and not much else...
which leads me to continue my conclusion that howland does not exploit the potential of his players to their fullest at least on the offensive end...
how can LRMM be averaging double figures in NBA but couldn't do it at UCLA? go figure...
personally with our young players, playing an offense similar to memphis would be awesome, penetrate-dish-shoot... the young kids just don't have the patience and discipline to run out the shot clock thus getting so many turnovers...
good thing is.. by march we will be the best team out west... sad thing is... we might not win it all again this year

 
At Nov 20, 2008, 5:20:00 PM, Anonymous DoranGraysBlues said...

This is going to be a fun year. We will be ranked in the top ten, maybe even the top five by the time the ncaa's begin. We will reach the elite eight, maybe even the final four again. The turnover rate of players from last year to this year was excessive, if you combine that with the fact that most of the replacements are freshmen, the complications compound algebraically.
As a team, the growth will come in stages approximately every 4 to 7 games. The growth will come in two ways: either it will be a general team growth that comes with knowing each other as teammates, or; each time the light bulb goes on for 3 of the 5 freshmen playing. (2 of the 3 will be holiday and lee)
Ben howland is a coach's coach and this will be the team that no one wants to play, come tournament time. Although in the end the bruins wont have the inside game to win the title.
and i hope another trend that howland has continues: he always goes as far if not farther, in the tournament, than his teams should go.
So dont panic bruin faithful, though the yellowbrick road to march is long and rocky,...its paved with gold.

 
At Nov 20, 2008, 5:25:00 PM, Anonymous DorianGraysBlues said...

i forgot one thing. dee, the reason lrmm didnt average in double figures here is because we were down in shots per game, which is a hall mark of ben howland teams. We were in the bottom fifth of all division one teams.

 
At Nov 20, 2008, 5:28:00 PM, Anonymous alan said...

true, i understand the frustration. but just like the whole season does not hinge on one victory, it does not fall apart on one loss.
i remember last year, after every loss, it seemed that our team had a fatal weakness (collison over-dribbling? guards to selfish to pass into love? love too slow? shipp too porous on defense and streaky on offense?)
it's true, this young team has problems ot overcome, but the key to success is that Howland will squeeze every bit of potential he can out of them, and they will overachieve

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 12:28:00 AM, Anonymous BNR said...

Shipp was horrible and Collison made his share of mistakes. But this is also the 3rd time BH has failed against this defense, all three times with better talent. Cut him a break for being a young team, but seriously they looked no better attacking that defense at the end than in the beginning of the game. And its not that new a defense to him, because Arizona runs it sometimes. And leaving Dragovich on the floor that much in the second half? Seriously? Yeah he hit the easiest 3 on the floor, but his others were bricks, his defense stinks and he's a poor passer. No reason to panic yet, but equal out the blame on this one.

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 12:30:00 AM, Anonymous BNR said...

Shipp was horrible and Collison made his share of mistakes. But this is also the 3rd time BH has failed against this defense, all three times with better talent. Cut him a break for being a young team, but seriously they looked no better attacking that defense at the end than in the beginning of the game. And its not that new a defense to him, because Arizona runs it sometimes. And leaving Dragovich on the floor that much in the second half? Seriously? Yeah he hit the easiest 3 on the floor, but his others were bricks, his defense stinks and he's a poor passer. No reason to panic yet, but equal out the blame on this one.

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 1:07:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

BruinFan must comment
Early loss in the season? Not surprised
Shipp played like poop..Collison looks like he wants to dominate...scores at will....We don't have any shot blockers or inside scoring....Keefe had a good first half....Holiday played well....Lee is foul prone...check his minutes/to foul ratio the past 3 games....Morgan is too slow to get up and down the floor so he didnt play....
Aboya makes me nautious...We should have beat them on talent alone...oh well....This year Howland will be tested....I noticed the freshmen barely played last night (other than Holiday)...the veterans played majority of the minutes....Coach BH you are still the man..Imagine playing in Madison Square Garden at 18 years of age in your 3rd game of NCAA hoops....
2010 is the title run (used to be 2009)
No worries Bruin Nation....it will be an "interesting" season....

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 2:23:00 AM, Anonymous David G. said...

It's just one loss, but what's disheartening is the continual manifestation of past deficiencies. This is Josh Shipp's fifth year in the program, and the only consistency he's shown has been his propensity to disappear on both ends of the floor when we drastically need him to step up. This is Darren Collison's fourth year in the program, and he still doesn't make quick enough decisions running the offense. I don't know if it's because Howland is dictating the offense from the sideline that's causing some apprehension in the offense. Far be it for me to question Coach's style. Some coaches want their point guard to be an on-court extension of the coach rather than a puppet. Howland's pedigree is defense, but who works on the offensive aspect of the team? This could end up becoming an issue if prospects' offensive games begin to stagnate upon arriving at UCLA. I know Kevin Love complained about it last year. Stan Love publicly complained that UCLA wasn't maximizing Love's abilities. Prospects sign with UCLA to hone their defensive skills to prep them for the NBA. Howland has had great success turning under-the-radar prospects into NBA players -- Westbrook, Mbah a Moute, Hollins, Thompson, and eventually Collison -- but elite recruits need to progress on both ends of the floor. There's no such thing as "smashmouth basketball".
One more thing... I appreciate the freedom of this forum. Some other sites that I won't mention have become fascist vacuum-chambers of elitist snobbery more suited to those clowns at USC.

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 4:31:00 AM, Anonymous Damon said...

Though we played poorly, we were still in it at the end.
If Keefe and Roll knock down their free throws, we win by 1 or 2.
We need a go-to guy; I think it's Collison, but he looked lethargic and lost at the end of the game.
I hope to see improvement in today's game against Southern Ill.

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 4:41:00 AM, Anonymous Leroy said...

Sure the loss stings... any loss does... but what hurts the most (to me)... is that I REALLY wanted that DUKE game! Ah man... DANG IT!

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 6:47:00 AM, Anonymous dee said...

true dat DorianGraysBlues, however LRMM is coming off the bench,playing less mins, and shooting 58%... smashmouth bball is not the way to go... i just don't think running down the clock on offense benefit us... it's not like we have a go to scorer that can make a play with 2 secs left on the shot clock, i would much rather that we run something earlier... and more ball movement and cuts w/o the ball... seriously even though our defense had been a thing of beauty past 3 years, our offense is pathetic for a top 5 program esp with the players we have... it's not like we lack the ability to score... heck it seems it's our hesistation to score that hurt us... anyways better luck this afternoon bruins

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 7:08:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recruiting/classrankings?classyear=2009&classmonth=11&rank=9
Bruins are ranked #9 for our 2009 recruiting class....
BruinFan is not looking ahead though...

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 7:11:00 AM, Anonymous VENICETONYC said...

Maybe Tex Winter can develop a highly simplified college version of the triangle? UCLA should bring him on as a special assistant. These are world class athletes Benny is bringing in, and with UCLA's academic standards we know they're not retards. They need a consistent offensive system in which to improvise, not controlled play-calling every time. Benny can then focus on defense.

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 8:37:00 AM, Anonymous Robwash said...

Whoa! Why all the negativity? Yes, we sucked last night. The team sucked and the coach sucked because he should be able to do a better job against that zone. But we lost to a good team with an excellent coach early on, at a neutral site, with a bunch of freshman who are still wet behing the ears. We will get better...a lot better. I was most disappointed in our lack of heart and concentration toward the end. This was very un-Howland like even at this time of year. We have to become more mentally tough than what was displayed yesterday,

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 1:44:00 PM, Anonymous RR said...

A highly simplified version of the triangle? There's nothing even complicated about it, it's all about getting into position, reading the defense, and taking what's given to you, you just have to think fast. It's quick reaction mixed with basketball IQ which the Bruin players most definitely have. I believe the Bruins do have the personnel to run it. It would be pretty sweet if they used it in contrast to Howland's defensive philosophy.

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 2:01:00 PM, Anonymous Wayne said...

Until coach Howland realizes Collison dribbles to much and Shipp is not that talented, we can expect a long season. Aboya played his best game in his life against a really weak front line. He is a body beautiful powerful player with very little basketball sense. Hopefully he starts to play with the same intensity every night. Holiday is the truth and I would make room for Morgan.He's not in great shape yet,but he is a big with a sense for the game. Bring Shipp of the bench. His D and his offense is division 3 not high level division 1. He's to slow to play guard and not tough enough to play at forward. BENCH HIM NOW.

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 3:15:00 PM, Anonymous Miguel said...

This doesn't surprise me after seeing the Miami (OH) game. We are vastly overrated at this point. MORGAN NEEDS TO PLAY. Shipp is unfortunately playing himself out of the NBA, Dragovic belongs on the bench, Jrue is not a 1 and done talent, and Keefe needs to be a POST player not a perimeter shooter. But that's just Ben being Ben

 
At Nov 21, 2008, 5:49:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Reason LRMM has better stats in NBA is because the faster pace game, shorter shot clock, longer game time, and better talent.
The NBA almost always man up so a fast pace game offers lots of chances to get rebounds. Just look at Amare Stoudamire's stats this season compared to the past. It is lower since they got Shaq and slowed everything down.
Coach Ben has done a good job overall but the offense remains similar in the last four years. That is, we jsut work too hard to even get a shot.
One thing remains the same the previous 3 final fours is that we got blown out in all of them. This is because we have very little offense so any team that can withstand our defense a bit and still have some sort of offense are more likely going to win or blow us out.
The reason is IMO lack of a solid inside outside game still. Years past we were short on consistent inside scoring and outside shooting.
Last year we got decent scoring inside but could not hit the outside shot consistently. We also didnt have a consistent playmaker that could drive in pretty well against the better teams.
In any type of defense, the best area is to attack the middle on offense to break it down. However we struggle for years against zones always dribbling too much, not feeding inside, passing side to side, or too slow to recognize opportunities.
We need to swing the ball faster and be able to either drive it inside or feed it inside fast.
I am sure it will take some time to fix this situation. Right now our two freshmen bigs are still learning.

 
At Nov 22, 2008, 1:16:00 PM, Anonymous Double R said...

Good thing this loss is at the very beginning of the season. It will motivate our boys! A lose like this in the middle or toward the end of the season would have hurt a lot more.
I hate listening to Dick "Baby" Vitale. That guys obviously doesn't like teams on the westcoast! HATER!

 
At Nov 24, 2008, 3:39:00 PM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Hey at least a little bit of good news is that SUC lost to Missouri today!

 

Post a Comment

<< Back To Bruin Basketball Report Home