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.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Honeycutt's Double-Double Puts UCLA Into...First Place

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Surprise!  With a little more than just half the Pac-10 season over, UCLA (11-11, 6-4) is now in a four-way tie in the wacky Pac-10 race after beating Stanford, 77-73, at Pauley Pavilion.

Freshman sensation Tyler Honeycutt continues to get better and better with each game. Honeycutt recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and added a season-high 8 assists for good measure.

Honeycutt who is finally getting into playing shape after missing most of the summer and the start of the basketball season with injuries, has been one of the keys to the Bruins resurgence.  

The freshman makes everyone on his team better on the court and has now beginning to assert himself as a scorer going 5 of 9 from the field.  Did we mention the 6'8 forward also had 3 blocks and 2 steals?

Fellow freshman stud Reeves Nelson scored a team-high 18 points as he manhandled Cardinal defenders in the paint.  Nelson finished 7 of 10 from the field - all within the Bruin blue painted area on Nell and John Wooden Court

With the win UCLA avenged an earlier loss to Stanford at Palo Alto in January.  

The game on Thursday was tight throughout the evening with Stanford hanging onto a narrow 32-29 lead going into halftime.

In the second half the game continued to see-saw as the two teams traded baskets.

With Stanford holding its biggest lead of the game 60-54, the Bruins went on a 13-2 spurt to pull ahead by 69-64 with two minutes remaining after a Reeves Nelson dunk off a Honeycutt assist.

Malcolm Lee hit a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left to preserve UCLA's fourth victory in its last five games.  

Seniors Michael Roll added 16 points and Nikola Dragovic 15 points. 

UCLA played primarily a 2-3 zone defensive set-up for most of the game, but they mixed in a man-to-man defense in the second-half which seemed to throw the Stanford offense off balance.

One of the other keys to this game was the Bruins committing just 5 turnovers after committing 20 in their prior contest.

Stanford's (10-12, 4-6) league-leading scorer Landry Fields had a career-high 35 points - his third consecutive 30-point gamenford .

UCLA faces the Cal Bears on Saturday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion as it attempts to tighten its grip atop the Pac-10 conference.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (2/1)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.  


Nominees for the McDonald’s All-American Games were released this week. The annual showcase of the nation's top senior high school basketball players is slated for March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.... Tyler Lamb, 6-5, G, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) – UCLA signee.  McCredentials: Lamb is having an even more productive season from a statistical standpoint than King, posting 18.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Max Preps1/26

For the first time this season, Josh Smith was healthy enough to play like the "Big Dawg" emblazoned on the back of the black socks he wears during games. However, the reason for Kentwood's 74-56 victory over 10th-ranked Kentridge in the Les Schwab Shootout had more to do with the 6-foot-9 big man's ability to play within the framework of his team than his ability to take over the game. "This is a team game and I realize that," said Smith, who was fighting off a cold. "I don't care if I don't score any points as long as we win." Smith, who said he's 100 percent healthy, but still working on his conditioning, finished with 22 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 25 minutes. He let the game come to him and the attention he drew inside created open shots for Tre Tyler (14 points) and driving lanes for Isaiah Malvar (12 points). Seattle Times 1/29

Mater Dei beat Orange Lutheran by 34 points....Senior guard Tyler Lamb, who signed with UCLA, scored 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting, and had five assists, four steals and four blocked shots.  OC Varsity 1/29


Incidentally, the Huskies had a pair of top-notch recruits at Saturday’s 88-74 upset of No. 1 Texas: Angelo Chol, a 6-8 junior center from San Diego, and Tyler Olander, a 6-9 senior power forward from Mansfield, who transferred from Worcester (Mass.) Academy back to E.O. Smith High (right at the foot of the UConn campus) last fall.
They certainly picked a good game to attend — with or without Calhoun on the bench. New Haven Register 1/25

The good news for the San Diego State Aztecs is they’ve found a true point guard. The bad news is they won’t get him until next year. LaBradford Franklin of Temecula Great Oaks High has accepted a scholarship offer to San Diego State, and it’s likely that as early as next season he’ll be running the SDSU offense. “I think I excel at playing the point guard position and I like having the ball in my hands,” said Franklin, 18. “But I’ll go wherever they tell me to go. I’m excited to be part of the team.” The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Franklin is expected to make his commitment official April 14, the first day of the regular signing period for high school basketball recruits. San Diego Union Tribune 1/26

The Mt. Pleasant High School boys basketball team picked up its sixth consecutive victory on Monday night as the Oilers nearly doubled-up host Cadillac 63-32. The Oilers (7-3) took an 11-6 lead in the first and upped the ante to 25-12 by the half. From there they didn't look back. Trey Zeigler led the offense as he finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four steals. Morning Sun 1/26

Nominees for the McDonald’s All-American Games were released this week. The annual showcase of the nation's top senior high school basketball players is slated for March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio....Terrence Jones, 6-9, F, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) – UncommittedMcCredentials: A threat to post a triple-double every time out, Jones averaged over 30 points and 10 rebounds per game at the Les Schwab Invitational in December....Ray McCallum Jr., 6-1, G, Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.) – Uncommitted. McCredentials: Several big schools in pursuit of McCallum, who is averaging 22.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game for one of Michigan’s top programs. Max Preps 1/26

Four of Hoover’s starters scored in double figures, led by guard Eric Wells’ game-high 21 points. Two Cardinals finished with double-doubles on the evening – Ndiaye had 15 points and 11 rebounds and center Angelo Chol scored 18 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and blocked seven shots. San Diego Reader 1/27

The Findlay Prep basketball team defeated Oldsmar Christian (Fla.) 83-53 on Thursday at the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament in Montverde, Fla. Senior point guard Cory Joseph’s team-high 17 points led five Findlay (24-1) scorers in double figures. Marko Petrovic scored 15 points for Findlay, junior Nick Johnson had 14 points. Las Vegas Sun 1/28

Trey Zeigler scored a game-high 28 points and had seven assists while leading Mount Pleasant to a 72-55 win over visiting Bay City Central Friday. MLive 1/29