Fire away with questions for this week’s Q&A. Please don’t post new questions on the answers section, because I don’t always check the comments. Save them for next week.
It was Senior Night at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, and there were flashbulbs and smiles and banners all around.
There were handshakes and hugs, flowers for the moms, pats on the back for the dads.
Oh, it was Senior Night all right.
Except the senior who starred was Tajuan Porter, Oregon’s point guard, and the Ducks held off a late UCLA charge to win, 70-68, their first season sweep of the Bruins since 2002-03.
Porter came into the game on a 14-for-57 cold streak, reaching double digits for the first time in seven games with a 15-point performance in a 54-44 win over USC on Thursday.
That was only a preview.
Oregon’s diminutive guard had 29 points, including the dagger, a 23-foot 3-pointer – one of seven on the day – with 49 seconds left to break a tie game.
“We just offset their zone,” Porter said. “(UCLA had) four up top – they played a 2-3 zone, so they had to bring the forwards up – so we ball-screened, Malcolm (Armstead) came off and made a couple plays, I made a couple plays. We had them on their heels. They didn’t know what to do.”
UCLA senior forward Nikola Dragovic is sore but could still be available for Saturday’s matchup with Oregon, head coach Ben Howland said during today’s conference call.
Dragovic doubled over in pain, clutching his shoulder after colliding with an Oregon State player while diving for a loose ball. After exiting the game for a brief period, Dragovic was held scoreless in the first half, but notched 14 points in the second half.
Like teammate Brendan Lane, who is going to test his sprained ankle today, Dragovic will likely be a game-time decision.
UCLA head coach Ben Howland profusely lauded Tyler Honeycutt’s rebounding, after the freshman forward had 10 boards against Oregon State, while no other teammate had more than three. Honeycutt added 18 points, five blocks, four assists and three steals.
The latest Inside UCLA Podcast is now available at the podcast blog and via the usual feeds. Go there for details.
Against Washington on Saturday in a 97-68 loss, the UCLA men’s basketball team wilted.
Against Oregon State on Thursday, the Bruins sagged, too.
Only this time, they were ahead by 10 and not down by 20, and UCLA held on as the Beavers mounted a late-game charge to defeat Oregon State 65-56, in front of 7,589 at Pauley Pavilion.
Early in the game, the Bruins were running and jumping with energy, defending with tenacity and passing with precision.
In other words, everything they didn’t do against the Huskies on Saturday.
“When we lose like that, it really shows you we’re inconsistent and what we need to work on,” said freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt, who had 18 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and three steals. “But when we do work on those things, we play pretty good basketball.”
Tyler Honeycutt grabbed an errant Roeland Schaftenaar 3-pointer at the end of Oregon State’s shot clock, threw a deep outlet pass to Malcolm Lee and Lee dunked it home as the first half expired to put UCLA up 36-26.
Honeycutt wasn’t just rebounding and passing, though.
The freshman forward had 13 points on an array of shots, including a thunderous tip dunk and a big 3-pointer as the Bruins put on a show with their hustle.
UCLA looked like polar opposites from the effort on Saturday at Washington, as the Bruins took charges, dove for loose balls and played a harrying zone defense to stifle the Beavers, who are shooting just 11-for-26 and have nine turnovers.
I went to Chatroll to set up an in-game chat, but there’s a new step required that involves registering a web site, and I’m not sure how it works. I’ll get this solved before Saturday so we can have a chat then, and I’ll try to get a guest to join to make it up.
Oh, and the solo podcast should be up tomorrow. Not easy to talk for 35 minutes straight. Let me know if you enjoyed the podcast Q&A portion, and maybe we can make that a regular feature with Ben and me.
Thanks for understanding,
I was able to spend a few minutes on the phone with UCLA legend Sidney Wicks, who was just inducted into the National Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, and he had some great things to say about his career, his teammates and his coach.
Wicks was a three-time national champion, a two-time All-American and the 1970 NCAA Final Four most outstanding player. He went on to a 10-year NBA career, in which he was named to the All-Star team four times and the 1972 NBA rookie of the year.
Check out our interview after the jump…