The sloppiness started early, early as in the opening tip, if one could even call it an opening tip.
It was more like a scrum, the UCLA and Oregon State men’s basketball players falling to the ground, tipping over like soda cans in the wind, the ball grabbed simultaneously, a jump ball after a jump ball.
Five minutes into the teams’ matchup at Gill Coliseum on Saturday night, and the clumsy squads combined for eight turnovers and just nine points.
But the Bruins got marginally less sloppy, went on a 22-7 run and ultimately fended off the harried Beavers, 62-52, to finish the first half of Pac-10 play at 5-4.
Facing a trap defense early, UCLA had trouble making the simplest of passes, the easiest of dribbles. Oregon State transitioned into 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone defenses, however, and it cost the Beavers – the Bruins had 16 turnovers in the first 24 minutes, but only four the rest of the way.
“The turnovers in the beginning were all unforced,” said UCLA sophomore guard Malcolm Lee, who had nine points. “It was just careless. I don’t think they were pressuring us like Oregon did; it was more on our part. How did we clean it up? We just took care of the ball more. Point blank, period. We knew that for the most part they weren’t making us turn it over, we were just being careless.
“We just valued the ball more on offense.” Continue reading →
St. Bonaventure center Giovanni Di Poalo – a long time USC soft verbal – is taking an official visit to UCLA this weekend. Di Poalo’s name has only recently surfaced as a possible get for the Bruins, and as Scout.com’s No. 4 center, he’d be a big pull.