Saturday, February 06, 2010

UCLA Wilts Under Pressure, Bows to Cal

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

UCLA (11-12, 6-5) barely had a chance to experience first-place in the Pac-10 before dropping right out of it with a 72-58 loss to California (15-8, 7-4) at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

For about the first nine minutes of the game, the Bruins could do no wrong.  They whipped the ball around and scored almost at will and opening up a 14 point lead, 22-8.

But then Cal's Coach Mike Montgomery called a time-out and woke up the sleeping Bear - its pressure defense.

For the next 31 minutes of the game, the Bruins were unable to solve the Bears defense which forced the Bruins out of any offensive rhythm, making them rush their shots, and into 16 turnovers.

By halftime Cal had roared back from its early deficit and overtook its younger southern brethren for a 37-30 lead.

The second-half didn't get any better for UCLA fans as the Bruin offense continued to wilt under the pressure of the Cal defenders who extended the Bruins out further and further on the perimeter as the game progressed and extended its lead to 17 at one point.

Moreover, the Bruins were punished on the boards getting outrebounded by the Bears 31-23.

On offense the Bears sizzled from the three-point line hitting 10-24 as seniors Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson torched UCLA's 2-3 zone defense for 20 apiece.

Cal constantly attacked UCLA's defensive zone on the side of Nikola Dragovic.  Dragovic was unable to stop either dribble penetration or was much too slow in his switches as the Bears capitalized on his defensive shortcomings.

Dragovic was unable to make it up on the offensive end either as he shot just 1 of 8 from the field and had 2 rebounds in 31 minutes.

The Bruin zone defense was actually more effective when Dragovic sat on the bench and was replaced by a guard- the zone defense was much quicker and active.  

Dragovic's defensive liability is an issue Coach Howland needs to address if the Bruins are going to challenge any further in the conference.

UCLA senior Michael Roll did his part for the Bruins scoring 22 points hitting 9 of 14 from the field.

The Bruins will face the USC Trojans at the Galen Center next Sunday evening.

12 Comments:

At Feb 6, 2010, 8:20:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

What Howland see in Drago that the rest of the world doesn't? This is nothing new. Why does Howland continue to go to this guy when he was proven time and again that he can't defend or score consistently? Drago also has off the court problems which any other coach would boot the player from the team. What kind of dirty laundry does Drago have on Howland? This guy is a bum. Let's give the minutes to some of the younger players.

 
At Feb 7, 2010, 5:37:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Larry:
Something is not rightin Westwood when this bum geets so many minutes. He is a liability. Let's lose with Moser, Lane and Stover. At least we will kmow if these guys can help next year.
Howland is getting outcoached every game. They have no heart.
Roll will not go down as one of the greatest, but this kid should be recognized for his class and heart. He was not brought in as the go to guy and he is the undisputed leader.
Honeycutt and Nelson ... and thought of leaving for the NBA? Watch tape of this game. You guys woudn't be drafted.
I've watched film of Lamb and Jones. They will be an upgrade. Not at all optimistic about Smith. Way too heavy and slow and Howland has never had a good half court game.
We need to run, run, run ... Jones and Lamb in the backcourt and spelled off by Lee, they can do it.
NIT championship should be the goal, but they will be going against some pretty toug teams there as well.
Lucked out last night with other top teams going down and Bruins still in second place with 5 others. USC is not eligible, but next two weeks will be their season. On the road to washington and USC is ready to sweep them. This is their NCAA tourney and they will wipe the court with the Bruins at Galent Center.

 
At Feb 7, 2010, 5:45:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Swami:
Where are you? Miss your introspective. These guys just dont have the heart and are just putting in the time.
USC will blow them away ... again.

 
At Feb 7, 2010, 5:50:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Leading 22-8 and then being outcoached. Howland needs to match wits and wisdom with the best. That's why he was brought in. He has not recruited well and he has not coached well.
Take a game tape of sound teams ... Wisconsin, Syracuse, Kansas, Butler, Baylor. No highlite reels here. They take care of the ball; run when they can and have a great half court offenses with plenty of movement.
They are a joke, right now and the gigest joker should be in a courtroom, not on the court.

 
At Feb 8, 2010, 12:52:00 AM, Anonymous Swami Mikey said...

Yo Jammer: I'm in a bit of a shell. I do see heart in these Bruins, but there is no clear leader - perhaps Roll, but he seems pretty unemotional. There certainly isn't a Farmar or Afflalo type. Cal just had too many horses - lots of good seniors. I really don't blame Howland's recruiting. I sat next to Patrick Christopher's father at the Cal game and he was wondering what happened with Keefe. He said Keefe was great in high school. What happened is that some kids develop and some kids don't. Sometimes it's injuries. Sometimes it's something else. Look at how Westbrook blossomed - took his raw talent and kept working. Dragster is another problem all together. I think we'll all be happy to see him go. As for coaching, I'd like to see more variations in our zone defense.

 
At Feb 8, 2010, 3:54:00 AM, Anonymous Pablo Perez said...

Jammer...Swami's poneyboy

 
At Feb 8, 2010, 4:07:00 AM, Anonymous Paul Briggs said...

lol. James Keefe was a McDonald All-American. Definitely has not lived up to the hype. I agree with most people here...give the freshmen a taste of the college game.

 
At Feb 8, 2010, 4:08:00 AM, Anonymous Paul Briggs said...

Damn M-F didn't change the symbol....I've been unmasked! Arghhhh.....

 
At Feb 8, 2010, 9:04:00 AM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Swami:
Admit it. There are 50 coaches better than Howland right now who have nore passion than this guy.
Let's see what happens. Have you seen Lane and Moser play. They could not be as bad as Drag.

 
At Feb 8, 2010, 2:12:00 PM, Anonymous Swami Mikey said...

I would play Lane.

 
At Feb 9, 2010, 2:32:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin4Life said...

What do UCLA and Texas have in common? We both lost to Kansas by 12 at home

 
At Feb 9, 2010, 5:17:00 AM, Anonymous Horchata Jones said...

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Russel Westbrook
SF: Tyler Honeycutt
PF: Reeves Nelson
C: Kevin Love

 

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