Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bruins Pull Away From Cougars For Second Straight

By Bruin Basketball Report


Box Score


Nikola Dragovic scored 18 points and freshman Reeves Nelson added 19 points and 7 rebounds off the bench to spark UCLA to its second straight victory with a 74-62 decision over Washington State (14-6, 4-4) at Pauley Pavilion.


Dragovic came alive in the second half scoring 8 points during a 16-5 run to help the Bruins pull away. He scored 16 of his 18 points in the deciding half.


UCLA Coach Ben Howland once again deployed a 2-3 zone and today the Bruins seemed more comfortable as well as aggressive in the defensive alignment which may signal UCLA's final transition from a strict man-to-man to zone defense team.


You have to hand it to Coach Howland who finally began to recognize his team's athletic and quickness deficiencies and lack of dominating size inside and decided to adapt his style to the team's talent.


On the other hand, one weakness of a zone defense is an increased difficulty in blocking opponents out for rebounds and in this game the Bruins were outrebounded 34-32 by the Cougars.


Freshman Tyler Honeycutt continued to display his all-around talents by recording a box score resembling a bingo card.  Honeycutt had 8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and on the defensive end - 2 steals and 2 blocks.  With more experience and added weight and strength, the sky is the limit for this special player.


Last game's hero, red-shirt junior Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, continued to contribute in place of injured guard Jerime Anderson.  Abdul-Hamid had 9 points on 3 of 5 shooting and just one turnover in a productive 18 minutes of play.


With the win the Bruins (9-10, 4-3) moved into a five way second place tie in a very competitive Pac-10 race.


UCLA travels to Eugene next week to take on an improved Oregon Ducks team on Thursday evening at McArthur Court.

15 Comments:

At Jan 23, 2010, 4:13:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

I'm home early on a Sat. night.
Howland, thank u for adapting your stlye. We are long n lanky if we do a 2-3 zone.
Recruit some bigs that are diaper dandies and call me in the morning. Otherwise, we won't go 2 the the Final Four and win EVER.
To all my blog readers: Lane, Stover, and Bobo WILL NEVER COUNT AS PRODUCTIVE BIGS FOR NEXT SEASON. If Moser was so good, play his a@@. That's 4 roster spots.

 
At Jan 24, 2010, 12:07:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Two in a row. Let's hope it lasts. Honeycutt and Nelson are going to be good and give the Thursday night hero som game time.
Oregon is a togh place to play and the young ones will get rattled up there.
Will take a split this coming week.
Drago is still a joke on both ends of the court.
Keep Anderson where he is ... on the bench!
Wont be able to play small ball with sme of the big guns. 2-3 Zone and mix and match defenses.
Howland needs to earn his stripes in the next 3 weeks to turn this around.

 
At Jan 24, 2010, 1:02:00 AM, Anonymous bruin66 said...

Coach Ben already has plenty of stripes - and stars.
Everyone agrees Honeycutt has a great future - but he doesn't have to gain weight - Keith Wilkes was a very thin superstar.

 
At Jan 24, 2010, 1:29:00 AM, Anonymous ReactionOC said...

I have to hand it to Ben and the guys, trying to cobble together a season, in which it could have been a complete disaster. LAST year was supposed to be the transition year, with the Flop Five taking over THIS year. Complementary players(Drags, Roll and Keefe) HAD to be core players. Unexpected players(Mustafa, Nelson and now Honeycutt)have become the stars of the team. The SUPPOSED core of this years team(Anderson, Gordon and Bobo) have disappeared... BY ALL MEANS-KEEP JERIME ANDERSON ON THE BENCH!

 
At Jan 24, 2010, 2:20:00 AM, Anonymous UCLASteve said...

Yo,
Bobo is a no show;
Jerime is mundane;
Drago has gotta go;
Drew flew;
and Lee gotta play more calmly.

 
At Jan 24, 2010, 5:43:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

"UCLA travels to Eugene next week to take on an improved Oregon Ducks team on Thursday evening at McArthur Court."
What Oregon Ducks team are you watching? They STINK.

 
At Jan 25, 2010, 12:52:00 AM, Anonymous Mark Keats said...

Sorry Bruin66, but Honeycutt and other Bruins need to bulk up a little bit...not a lot, but a little bit. See manhandling by Villanova last year... Men against scrawny teenage boys!

 
At Jan 25, 2010, 1:48:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Larry: Dont count your Duck eggs or your Beaver Pelts. UCLA has to bring their A game (whatever that might be)or risk being embarassed up in Oregon.
They need to get a trainer and a weight program in place in the off season. We are talking about a Nationally recognized program ... get the necessary support staff and support these kids.

 
At Jan 25, 2010, 5:07:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

Jammer... I hear you there. Oregon's "PIT" is a TOUGH place to play (great place to watch a game by the way - the fans are ON TOP OF THE COURT). Anyhow, the fear here is that Oregon is having another down year, but teams always seem to bring their "A" game when playing UCLA. This should be a tough match, but I expect we come away with a "W" and make is 3 in a row heading into a showdown with Obama.

 
At Jan 26, 2010, 2:40:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Mark Keats is right. Villanova beat us up and remember Memphis in the Final Four previously. Their guards took it to us with their physical play!
While I respect Coach H extremely, and applaud his switch to zone (as many of you mentioned), I really think he needs to mix in recruits with strength to go along with his lean, athletic types.
Josh Smith is a good start, but all the other recruits are skinny and long. Unless these guys are the best of the best, the Bruins will continue to get pushed around and outrebounded. We can't solely rely on "Stud" Nelson who has been more than a pleasant surprise. I'll take two guards like him and another center to back up Smith like him... maybe the kid Caudill from Orange County (6'11'', 275) to come off the bench to rest Smith and beat up on our opponents!

 
At Jan 26, 2010, 7:43:00 AM, Anonymous Sandip O'Malley said...

I think the players we have now will stick around for a while. This should translate into bigger body upperclassman as well as more skill, veteran type players.

 
At Jan 27, 2010, 2:30:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Did anyone se the South Carolina Kentucky game. Wildcats had all the talent but SC had the heart and the 5' 9" point guard was playing out of his mind.
SC Bigs had great weakside help and made some key blocks. UCLA has those types of athletes inside to play greatinterior team defense.
If our bigs stick around, we have some talent to do some damage defensively.
Where do we get our points from, though.
Honeycutt and Nelseon can be double double guys every game.
Next year should be better, barring injury.

 
At Jan 27, 2010, 9:54:00 AM, Anonymous Swami Mikey said...

Jammer - glad to see you took your optimism pill today. Optimism looks good on you. We'll get our points from the current freshmen and sophomores (or sophomore). And the new kids will more than make up for the loss of Roll, Dragster and Keefe. I did see the S.C. vs. Ky game. The SC guard was phenomenal but so were John Wall and Ky's big freshman (DeMarcus Cousins). Wall is special.

 
At Jan 28, 2010, 1:40:00 AM, Anonymous Sandip O'Malley said...

I thought Wall was bigger. Every year there are "special" players coming out of college...until he proves it at the next level...with his size...in the NBA, he's a dime a dozen. Product of parents shoving a basketball in his hand at age 3...dime a dozen - you'll see!

 
At Feb 2, 2010, 1:35:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Swami:
I was around when guys like Wicks, Bibby, Goodrich, Rowe played for Wooden (I was only 7 then). Those teams loved to play and had so much heart; so unselfish; so determined, so proud. It kills me to see the Bruins so ... non chalant.
That Kentucky team will be tough to beat; Wall is not a dime a dozen; if he were, wish Howland could have gotten one of the other 11 to Westwood. Cousins has great footwork, strength and savvy. If he stays another year he will ne unstoppable.
Would never want Coach Calip in Westwood, but the guy wins everywhere we go ... I know there is always some baggage with this guy; but he gets players to play tough D; run like the wind and finish strong. SC point gurad was just in a zone that night and was not going to be denied. If KY plays SC ten more times, I think they would beat them 9 times out of 10. Got to admire SC and how they played.
Someone should take a look at how Villinova and Syracuse play the game and mirror them. Tough defense and each guy knows his role. They have an identity that is sadly lacking in the Bruins.
Larry: I told you they would find a way to lose to the Ducks. Howland cannot let a 14 point lead disappear; not in that arena.
This week will be the most important one for the Bruins if they want a top 6 seed. Lucky that Pac 10 teams are beating each other up, but the cream is rising and Cal and Arizona are for real as is Washington.

 

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