Friday, November 27, 2009

Poor Backcourt Play Leads To Big Loss For Bruins

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Box Score

UCLA suffered its biggest loss of the Coach Ben Howland era with a 79-47 thumping by the Portland Pilots in the first round of the 76 Classic in Anaheim. 

Its early in the season and these are young Brubears in training, but the poor effort and execution on both ends of the court by UCLA was enough to send a cold chill all the way back to Westwood on this Thanksgiving evening. 

The problem for the Bruins, and it will likely continue for the remainder of the season, is the lack of quality and depth in the backcourt. 

In years past, the Bruins had a steady hand at point guard, a player who could steer the ship under the heavy hand of Coach Ben Howland. 

A point guard who could break down a defender, and or entire defense, to make a play for the UCLA offense. 

This year for the first time since Jordan Farmar's freshman year, UCLA has not found anyone to man the helm.

While Darren Collison is flashing rookie brilliance in the NBA as an understudy to Chris Paul in New Orleans, the Bruins have tried Jerime Anderson, Malcolm Lee, and even Mustafa Abdul-Hamid at the point. 

None of them have stepped forward yet, and none perhaps may have the facilities to do so.
And this is the challenge facing Ben Howland.  He lacks options in the backcourt.

The college game, unlike the NBA, is dominated at the point-guard spot. Even more so at UCLA, without quality play at the point this team will struggle mightily the rest of the season. 

The incoming 2009 freshman class is excellent and with more experience it will flourish, but the class lacks a quality point-guard, and with Jrue Holiday leaving early for the pros, it has left the Bruin backcourt cupboard bare. 

Portland has to be given credit. They are a veteran team with lights-out shooting from beyond the arc, and will make a strong run to the tournament. 

Entering the game having made 52.1 percent of their 3-point attempts, the Pilots continued making long-distance shots. Portland sank 11 of 19 3-pointers and shot 54.2 percent overall. 

Portland, coming off a seven-point win over Oregon, never trailed againt UCLA in this game. 

Malcolm Lee had 14 points but on 4-12 shooting from the field. 

UCLA shot 32.7 percent and 21.7 percent on 3-pointers. Just as abysmally the Bruins converted just 6 of 14 free throws.

The Bruins (2-2) will play No. 12 Butler in a consolation game Friday. 

5 Comments:

At Nov 27, 2009, 1:38:00 AM, Anonymous BZ said...

I've never witnessed such a poorly played Howland game. He's not offensive genius but these kids did not execute anything and seemed to give up in the second half. Very sad.

 
At Nov 27, 2009, 5:12:00 AM, Anonymous petey roll said...

this game reminded me of the game a couple of weeks ago when they lost to fullerton. DONT BLAME THE KIDS they get no offensive instruction from howland. wheres steve lavin at? lavin nor howland brought us championships but atleast howland brought us baron davis, an offensive genuis.
malcom lee is not a primary scorer, he would grow soo much more if he didnt have to initiate everything.
jerime anderson is a lost hope, at best your third string point guard.
mustafa .. well i blame howland for giving away a scholarship to an irrelevent player, when north carolina has 15 of the best scholarship players
james keefe & dragovich just waiting for them to leave, just wasting space at ucla
mike roll just needs to play with heart everygame
i still wanna see tyler honeycutt, i know hes not gonna save the season but he could be like a dijon thompson soo good.
i just hope they dont het embarresed today

 
At Nov 27, 2009, 8:36:00 AM, Anonymous Patrick Yang said...

Note to Howland: the team has to have at least one stud every year. That's part of the formula. Right now, we have a bunch of blue chip roll players looking for a leader to cling on to. Hopefully Honeycutt is the answer, but if not...you best start recruiting your ass off.

 
At Nov 27, 2009, 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous Flip Arch said...

oh yeah we have many flaws.. And yes it is a rebuilding year!! But this is only
the 5th game of the year. and yes we are
probably going to lose. but you know what i have been a fan a very long time.I still trust Coach Howland. At least we should be more competitive and we need to build in getting better Each game. Keep hope alive...

 
At Dec 4, 2009, 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Patrick:
Watch those recruits who even had UCLA on their lists to pull out. They simply lack toughness.
Strength coach needs to get canned. Note all the pre-season injuries; cramping in the games; Nelson hurting himself in practice.
UCLA has a great medical center, but lets keep our boys on the court and not in the hospital.
Watch a team East of the Mississipi River and they are built strong.
Heck, just look at little Gonzaga. 6' 5" All American point guard and 7' across the back row.
Nelson could be a pleasant surprise. He's no center and that will come to play against the Jayhawks.
Learn Zone Coach -- Study the best in the land -- up in Syracuse.

 

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