UCLA has downright looked fantastic in the first half of its season opener against Cal State Northridge, and its all started at the point.
Junior transfer Lazeric Jones has a game-leading 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-2 3-pointers, and has dished three assists as the Bruins jumped out to a huge lead.
The Bruins have played suffocating defense early, executing double-teams and pressure defense to near-perfection, holding CSUN to 3-of-19 shooting to start the game while getting off to an 11-of-14 start themselves. The Matadors have committed 12 turnovers and have had four shots blocked while finishing the half on 28-percent shooting. CSUN didn’t score its first point until almost five minutes into the half.
The only cause for concern early: Tyler Honeycutt continues to try to do a bit too much. Honeycutt had five first-half turnovers, and all five were preventable. While he had eight points and had four rebounds and three assists, head coach Ben Howland was clearly not pleased with him at times. No other Bruin had more than one turnover.
* OTHER OBSERVATIONS…
* Malcolm Lee’s shot looks goooood tonight. Just beautiful release. Haven’t seen him shoot all that much in two exhibition games, but you can see a noticeable difference in his rotation and height.
* Tyler Lamb is just such an efficient player, and you can see it early. Lamb had five points, three assists and two steals in nine first-half minutes.
* Have to like what you’re seeing from the UCLA offense, but Joshua Smith needs to be more involved. Only one shot attempt on record, which he made, and two free throws. He’s so big, just get him the ball a few times early.