Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Bruins Nip Bears In OT On Winning Shot By Roll

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Box Score

Senior Michael Roll hit a 12 foot shot with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime to lift UCLA to a 76-75 win over California at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.

After Cal's Jamal Boykin banked in a shot to put the Bears up 75-74 with 21 seconds left, UCLA's Jerime Anderson came down the court and drove into the key but his pass was deflected, but fortunately for the Bruins, it went right to Roll who picked up the ball and made the game winner.

UCLA (7-8, 2-1) trailed for most of the game in a turnover plagued contest.  The Bruins committed 17 turnovers from which the Bears converted into 25 points.

Coach Ben Howland employed primarily a 2-3 defensive zone against Cal, and it was effective on this evening with the Bears shooting only 2 of 18 from beyond the arc.  Cal's sharpshooter Jerome Randle struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just 1 of 8.

The Bruins also struggled in the first half with its long distance shooting going 2 of 11 but turned it around in the second half to spark their comeback.  UCLA shot 7 of 9 for 77.8% in the final half behind Michael Roll and Nikola Dragovic.  Roll finished with 19 points and Dragovi added 18.

Freshman Tyler Honeycutt started the game in place of Jerime Anderson who was benched after arriving late to mandatory rehab appointments earlier in the week.  Honeycutt responded with a team-high 10 rebounds in 29 minutes.

Fellow frosh Reeves Nelson was tough for the undersized Bears to handle in the paint.  Nelson finished with 15 points.  He would have been more effective, however, he was only 7 of 14 from the free throw line. 

UCLA went into this game almost a two-touchdown underdog and it would have been easy for them to fold under the hostile conditions at Haas.  But the young team hung tough for most of the game until they were able to rally with their three-point shooting

And for the second Pac-10 game this season, the Bruins showed they could indeed win by playing primarily zone defense.  

This defense goes against Howland's deep preference for aggressive man-to man, however, he has to coach with the talent that exist on the team.  And for now, or until opponents adjust, its the way the Bruins will have to play defense if they expect to win games this season.

UCLA faces Stanford on Saturday at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto.


At Jan 6, 2010, 5:42:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

SWEET!!! So far... the zone has worked in Pac-10 play. The two games we played it (AZ St. & Cal), we won. The one game we didn't (AZ), we lost. Not sure if this is because it's a better defense for us OR if because Pac-10 teams don't expect us to play zone at all and do not prepare properly to attack it against us - thoughts???

At Jan 6, 2010, 11:07:00 PM, Anonymous fliparch said...

It's a matter of time that the other teams
will adjust to the zone. the Bruins are
going to have to mix and match their defenses. I still prefer the tight man to
man D. A win is a win baby! You gotta crawl before u walk! Go Bruins!!

At Jan 7, 2010, 1:28:00 AM, Anonymous BZ said...

I think this team just doesn't have the talent and moxie to play smash mouth Howland man to man D. Zone defense is a better fit although I agree we need to mix up the D - man and zone in games which is something we should have been doing for years.

At Jan 7, 2010, 1:31:00 AM, Anonymous The Scenario said...

It's about total team effort this year! Good win.

At Jan 7, 2010, 1:57:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin4Life said...

Feels great to beat Cal in Berkeley. I totally agree with BZ that we should have been mixing zone D into plan years ago. I like that Anderson didn't get to start. Roll's shot was so clutch. And I don't know what has gotten into Drago but if he keeps shooting like that, I will take back everything I said about him.

At Jan 7, 2010, 2:01:00 AM, Anonymous BZ said...

Actually I still wonder if we might have a couple of more banners hanging at Pauley if we had played some zone against Florida or even Memphis. I just remember Noah and Horford killing us when we went to double them and them just passing it to the open cutting guy every time.
I know....the past is past, but you don't get many opportunities to play for a NC.

At Jan 7, 2010, 4:44:00 AM, Anonymous Bj Bartlett said...

Roll's glory game and Reeve's growing into a true Bruin. Few on this blog realize what a great coach we have --- one of the best ever. Don't forget it's the alums and coach Wooden whose "blessing" really matters.

At Jan 7, 2010, 5:39:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

My antacids didn’t help much last night! LOL – The Bruins played so poorly in the first half that I was going to tivo the second half but decided to go with the torture. Boy what a different team the second half. The mix of man-to man and zone on defense really kept Cal off balance.
True everyone on our team had good and bad moments but it was enough consistent play in the 2nd half to do the job. The reason my gut was on fire was that Cal was supposed to knock us right out of Haas and battle Washington for the PAC-10 title so this was rather unbelievable to fathom our Bruins going up to their court and pulling off the upset.
Okay, here is PRO/CON on the player’s performances last night:
Dragovic – PRO: When his outside shot is on it is deadly. He also mixed it up and drove inside at times. CON: Still has too many mental lapses on defense, and at times looked lost when playing zone. Needs to play a full game like second half.
Lee – PRO: Played good defense and did not do too many negative things offensively CON: Leg cramps took him out of play a lot, and he really needs to make his (first) free throws (1 & 1). Was too hesitant to shoot at times.
Nelson – PRO: Probably the reason we won with his inside presence and somewhat crafty moves to either make the basket or get fouled. Love his grit to get in there and bang. CON: Miserable free throw shooting up until his last 3 or 4 attempts. If he can make his free throws, could really be a big factor for the Bruins.
Roll – PRO: Overall, the player of the game making smart decisions and changing his shot selections (outside, driving, pull up jumpers) and not to mention the great shot to win the game. CON: Looked too jittery like the rest of the team in the first half.
Honeycutt – PRO: Showing with playing time he can be a menace to the opposing team, leaping high and hauling down rebounds, and the energy level rises when he is on the floor. CON: At times just looks a little out of sync, and also was way too hesitant on offense to take it to the basket (especially after missing that one lay up).
Anderson – PRO: Settled down in the second half and finally had a good game at being the floor general. Made some good shoots (inside and outside). Also played good defense on Randle. CON: Still had times where he ran into walls and made poor decisions. Actually cost us the victory with that terrible pass inside but luckily it careened right to Roll for his quick thinking winning shot.
Lane – Was not much a factor but I felt he was more of a positive when out there than negative.
Morgan – His size really helps us and spaces the floor well but his mental lapses (especially on defense) kept (keeps) him off the floor. Not sure what’s going on in his head.
Keefe – Yes he has had too many injuries while at Westwood, but seems to lack any confidence now and his reluctance to do anything has made his court presence very lackluster.
All in all, all of the stars had to align correctly for this win to happen and I think Cal’s poor second half performance was just as much a factor as UCLA’s complete (2nd half) game was.
Now let's hope that the wind has come out of USC's sails after the sanctions and both the Bruins and Trojans are going in different directions.
Sorry for the long winded message guys but I needed a few brews to settle down my nerve-wrenched stomach and feel much better now! GO BRUINS!!!!!!

At Jan 7, 2010, 6:38:00 AM, Anonymous BZ said...

Brewin....epic post. Nice write-up. I'll just add that I really like Honeycutt starting especially if Howland keeps zoning. He had 10 rebounds and according to Howland himself the team's best rebounder per minute. Rebounding while playing zone is tough need to have your best rebounder in the back line.
Love this kid...he needs to bulk up (he had a few balls yanked from his hands) and is going to be a joy to watch in a Bruin uni for the next few years.
Honeycutt = Keith Wilkes

At Jan 7, 2010, 7:20:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Wow! Love the positive vibes. Can we put two wins together. Palo Alto is not an easy place to win. They have smarter kids on and off the court and Drags is about ready to go 3 for 15 and be a liability again.
Read my previous posts ... not enough talent to go man to man. Zones can play tough defense and shut opponents down if we can rebound the boards. Nelson is a stud; and once he he gets his footwork in syn will be a threat inside.
Honeycutt's athleticism should make him a good wing on both offense and defense. Seems to be lacking the confidence.
Lee and Anderson are not going to win the games for us. It will be Roll and Nelson trying to offset the sporadic Dragovic -- that boy is so soft on the defensive end.
Beating Stanford is a must to keep things rolling; splitting the games is s sure way to end up below 500.

At Jan 7, 2010, 12:48:00 PM, Anonymous windycityds said...

Via today's ( I laughed, too!):
Todd S. (San Francisco, CA)
Any chance Howland is on the hot seat?
Jay Bilas
(5:04 PM)
Ha!! This is a good one to end on. The answer is NO. Ben Howland is one of the nation's elite coaches, and he guided UCLA to three straight Final Fours. UCLA is having a down year, but it is only temporary. UCLA and Howland will be back and soon. Thanks for stopping by and joining me on the chat. See you at a game. Best, Jay

At Jan 8, 2010, 5:55:00 AM, Anonymous Matt Stairs said...

Expect more blaahhhhhh from Brew In. Thanks we'll be getting more "epic" posting... It's a disgrace that a Bruin fan actually quoted Jay Bilas.

At Jan 9, 2010, 9:16:00 PM, Anonymous Jammer said...

He Windycity:
He might not be on the hotseat; but he should be. Last year's dismal performance in the tournament and not even getting an invite to NIT this year will make people think.
If he doesnt get something out of Nelson, Honeycutt, Lane and land a top 10 recruiting class next year (he doesnt have too many spots left); DG the AD needs to go and get a winner. Dude at Gonzaga can coach.
Heck, I think Lavin knows the game better now as an analyst than he did as a coach.
They arent going to win with a 6' 9" center (no matter how good Smith might be; and if his injury is not a major one).
Point guard is what every good team has; and the Bruins just dont have one. It showed against Stanford. Out shot and out boarded them and still lost. 23 turnovers is a killer no matter who you play.


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