UCLA Bows To California in Pac-10 Tourney To End Season
By Bruin Basketball Report
UCLA's season ended with a whimper after a 85-72 loss to California in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament.
The Bruins competed for most of the game but they were clearly beaten by the better team.
Jerome Randle scored 24 points and Theo Robertson had 15 of his 20 in the second half when California dominated UCLA on its way to the finals of the Pac-10 tourney.
UCLA senior Michael Roll fittingly scored a career-high 27 points to end his Bruin career on a solid individual note.
He also added 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 38 minutes.
Roll's play and leadership this season was a highlight in a year that struggled to find many.
The Bruins (14-18, 8-10) finished with its worst record since Ben Howland's first season at UCLA.
Sophomore guard Jerime Anderson played perhaps his best game ever at UCLA, scoring 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting and handing out 4 assists.
Senior Nikola Dragovic continued his ice-cold shooting finishing just 3 of 12 from the field and 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.
With UCLA trailing by just 4 points midway through the second, Dragovic bricked two consecutive three-pointer after which the Bears countered with two threes of their own to push the lead to 10.
The Bears never looked back.
This was a tough and long season for the UCLA team and its fans.
The loss of Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, Josh Shipp, and Alfred Aboya proved too much for the Bruins to make up.
The in-season transfer of starting center Drew Gordon further highlighted the dearth of talent on this team.
The returning UCLA players and coaching staff have much work to do between now and next season in evaluating both its physical play and psyche.
Freshman Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson form a solid foundation for the team to build upon.
The arrival of the 2010 class that includes center Josh Smith and guards Tyler Lamb and Lazeric Jones should help to solidify the rotation next year. The addition of one or perhaps two additional players would certainly help.
Ray McCallum and Terrence Jones anyone?
Still the fact remains in Westwood, for the first time in five seasons, UCLA will not be playing in the NCAA tournament.