UCLA Out-played, Out-quicked, Out-hustled At Home by Arizona
By Bruin Basketball Report
Championship banners ring the rafters at Pauley Pavilion.
Past and present Bruins take pride whenever they enter this venerable basketball shrine on the UCLA campus.
On this Saturday morning no evidence of it could be found on either the court or arena as UCLA bowed to Arizona, 77-63, in a barely half-filled Pauley Pavilion and an even worse showing by the UCLA student section.
On the court, visiting teams used to despise playing against Ben Howland's UCLA teams in past years.
Opponents would complain about rough play, fatigue, nicks and bruises after two halves against UCLA's defense. If you wanted to cut through the UCLA interior defense, you were certain to feel like a pinball as you would be sent careening by a few elbows and solid body checks.
This is true no more. At least so far this season.
Arizona's Kyle Fogg scored a career-high 25 points and Jamelle Horne added 17 as the Wildcats had their way both on the inside and outside against the Bruin defense as they easily sliced their way through the Bruins interior defense without a hint of resistance.
UCLA (6-8, 1-1) had no player who could stop Arizona's guards from dribble penetration nor prevent the Widlcats easy layups off flares or backdoor cuts, and although the Wildcats have no true center in its starting line-up, they easily manhandled the Bruins on the boards.
Arizona (7-7, 1-1) had 38 rebounds, 7 more than UCLA, including 12 off the offensive glass, Wildcats' Derrick Williams, with his quick hops, resembled a human pogo stick as he grabbed 9 rebounds, and along with forward Jamelle Horne, out quicked the Bruin bigs to all the loose balls.
The Wildcats took the game right to UCLA's heart from the start and never looked back. They were the more athletic team, the quicker team, and the aggressor.
Add it up, and you have game in which the Wildcats led by as much as 20 points - 15 at halftime, and then coasted to an easy victory over its meek rivals in Westwood.
UCLA shot dreadfully from the field, shooting under 21% and missing all seven of its three-point shots in the first half. It was a combination of an aggressive Arizona defense, and quite simply poor shot selection by the Bruins.
Malcolm Lee and Michael Roll each scored 15 points while Nikola Dragovic resumed his poor outside shooting finishing with 11 points but 0-5 on three-pointers.
Reeves Nelson, the only Bruin this year who has shown any evidence of toughness on this team, was taken out early by the Wildcats when he had three early lay-ups easily blocked. He never seemed to recover.
Jerime Anderson had 4 points in 25 minutes. Anderson's lack of speed and playmaking ability at the point was prominent throughout the contest, even though his opponent Nic Wise was having an off game. While Anderson did not have a horrible game, he did not contribute much to the overall effort either.
While the Wildcats scraped and hit its way to a well-deserved win, the Bruins barely punched back.
SOS call to Lorenzo Mata-Real or Alfred Aboya or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
There is a toughness factor lacking on this team.