OK, so how good IS UCLA?

I think we can all agree that UCLA’s 71-49 win over Arizona on Saturday opened a few eyes in the college basketball community. National writers are writing Twitter posts about UCLA being left out of the Top-25, some are saying the Bruins are sleepers.

What do you think?

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  • BruinBrent

    B.S. This team is not the greatest team in the country, sure, but this is just plain old West Coast bias being played out here. Of the top three in the country, we flat out beat one of them, and the other we lost to on a B.S. foul call… and that was an off-night for us. I am telling you, if we play as good as we have been, we go deep. At least put us in Tulsa so can hit Kansas in the second round and wreak revenge from earlier this year.

    After such an impressive weekend of basketball, I feel spit in the face here. And, WTF with St. Johns?

    ERRRR!!!!

  • Reformed Droog

    To answer this question, we need to know what phase the moon is in, what time it is, etc…

  • Bruin1970

    Being left out of the rankings works to strong advantage for the Bruins. Tournament teams will under-estimate us. No bulls-eye on our backs. The team will be hungrier to prove something and maybe stay mean and aggressive. Please, East Coasters, continue to live in your dream world that thinks 9 teams should be ranked in the polls from the Big East!!!!!!!!!

  • BruinPain

    Rankings are a joke. A handful of biased guys who don’t even watch all the games. Thank God there’s a tourney where the winner decides in the end. Go Bruins.

  • BruinFaithful

    Disappointing, but irrelevant. Rankings are opinion rankings and they have to be upheld every week. We control our destiny. We just need to go up to the Washington schools and take care of business and I assure you we will be ranked next week.

  • mownyc

    Trojan fan, but yes, you guys should be ranked. Playing at an extremely high level. I expect you’ll sweep the Washington schools, and probably go quite far in the tourney. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone’s going to overlook/underestimate UCLA, but I think you’ll be fine. Barring some strange collapse, there’s too much talent to lose early.

    I hope you appreciate our win over AZ. Not an easy thing for us to do. LOL. Please return the favor by taking out Washington so that we might have a tiny chance of finishing third!

  • Anonymous

    Depends on whether we get St.Johns or Montana

  • Hollywood Bruin

    I think we will know a lot more about this team come Sunday.. If we sweep, I think we can make a RUN (sweet 16/elite 8 depending on bracket).

    If we dont, I would not be surprised if we lost early or did have a run.. we are that inconsistent..

  • Anonymous

    Fun poll…unfortunate yardstick. I love them and I love all those championships. I was there for seven in a row! But Coach might have used another yardstick. I like what these guys are trying to workout. I’ll stick with Coach Howland and these guys should too. It’s working.

  • Johnny Angel

    Same old east coast bias. The basketball polls have the same serious flaws as the bcs polls. The only noticeable difference in crowning a champion in basketball is the tournament. Even that is tainted through the bogus polls which influence who plays who and where. One team travels 2k miles to the game another 20 miles so it is no surprise if the 20 mile team plays better. Aren’t those pollsters just geniuses?

    UCLA is a top twenty five team.

  • Mike H class of 90

    Rankings are “drop the teams that lost” and “raise the teams that won into the slots of the teams that lost”. Makes it hard at this point in the season when you haven’t been on anyone’s radar all season.

    Our biggest problem in post-season is that if Arizona wins out, they probably get the west seed for the Pac-10, moving us somewhere else in the country.

  • Anonymous

    Ratings are irrelevant in measuring the quality of a team vis a vis other teams. They are however a great marketing tool and translate in to TV revenues.

    Based on the season to date, inlcuding the recent run (excluding Cal)anyone who says the Bruins are a final four team should share whatever it is they are smoking. This team is marketedly better than they were two onths ago, but they are not yet an elite team. Then again, neither was Howland’s first final four team. I would love to see an analysis from those 50+ votes for the Bruins in the final four expalining why this team is at the same level as Duke, Kansas, etc. Based on the “on any day” theory and with a lot of luck this team can over perform, but to say they have shown final four potential is not based on observable facts.

  • anonymous

    Apparently Reeves Nelson was “overperforming” when he outscored, outrebounded, outshot, and outdefended Derrick Williams. In both games.

    At the half Sean Miller told his number ten ranked team they would lose by twenty if they couldn’t stop UCLA’s frontcourt. They lost by twenty two.

  • anonymous

    If beating a one seed is not enough factual evidence of potential to be a Final Four team than what is?

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    How far the Bruins go will depend on a number of factors, but none more important in my opinion than quality of effort. The team has demonstrated the ability to compete with and defeat top-ranked teams (BYU, Arizona, St. John’s) when it is mentally ready to play, and on the flip side to lose to inferior opponents (Montana) when it is not. It is never possible to guarantee the outcome of a game, but it is always possible to guarantee quality of effort. If the Bruins come ready to play, I like our chances of going deep in the tournament. Judging by the rate of maturation of this team, we may be pleasantly surprised. :)

    PS. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but if this team is able to stay intact next year (and yes that’s still a big “if”), we should be quite formidable (as in national title formidable). It is a rare opportunity nowadays in college basketball (especially at UCLA) to see essentially the same team mature from one season to the next (without losing players to graduation or early departure), but we may have that fortuitous opportunity next year. Maturity is a key ingredient that can propel this team to great heights, and we should have it in spades next year (no less than six upper classmen in our first eight). Something to look forward to….

  • anonymous

    I completely agree Lifelong Bruin Fan.
    Turnovers equal lack of maturity.
    Eighteen against Arizona in the first game, we lose.
    Eight in the second, its not competitive.

  • anonymous

    Reasons why this UCLA team has the potential to be a Final Four team other than beating one of the top four teams:

    1. Joshua Smith
    2. Reeves Nelson. He’s outplayed Derrick Williams twice. Which is exactly why Derrick Williams is considered a better player.
    3.Coach Howland
    4. Malcolm Lee’s (who should be the Pac 10 defensive player of the year, even though it could be Joshua Smith) defense.
    5. Talent: Four likely future NBA players.
    6. Four players capable of scoring 25 points.
    7. Two Centers who have a more potent defensive presence than Coach Howland has ever had. Coach Howland has been to the Final Four, three times.
    8. A bench that plays defense as well as the starters.
    6. Three experienced junior guards.
    7. A comically underrated frontcourt arguably as good as or better than any of the one seeds. Greg Anthony described it as good as any in the country. I agree.
    8. Number fifteen St. Johns played with relentless effort and was not competitive against UCLA.
    9. Chemistry
    10. Players who play better under pressure and who have won numerous close games.
    11. UCLA outrebounded one seed Kansas at Kansas in Joshua Smith’s sixth college game.
    12. UCLA has the ability to outrebound any team in the tournament.
    13. Tyus Edney sits near the coach.
    14. Few coaches in the East or in the South other than Steve Lavin know who Reeves Nelson is or are aware UCLA is playing in the tournament and simply will not be prepared for a team which is laughably considered a Bubble Team by some. This is the way Ben Howland reached two of his three final fours.
    15. Over the last ten games with conditioning, statistically UCLA is one of the superior defenses in the country. Effort has always been there for the majority of the team for the majority of the season. The rebounding numbers tell the story.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    I agree with anonymous above (at 11:01 AM) that this Bruin team has the potential to go far in the tournament, however I respectfully disagree that effort has essentially always been consistent this season. I’ve seen almost all of the games this season either on TV or in person, and there has been a noticeable difference in effort/focus level depending on the opponent. Most recently against (a clearly outmatched) ASU at home, for the first 8 minutes UCLA looked like it was reverting to Montana mode. Uncontested layups on the defensive end, no inside looks on offense, etc. Of course UCLA then proceeded to produce one of its finest 30 minute stretches of the season (which was subsequently topped by a brilliant 40-minute performance against Arizona). If it was a conditioning issue (except for Smith) this problem might rear itself at the end of games, but not at the beginning. If you watched the Arizona game, it was clear from the opening tip that the Bruins came ready to play. Guys crouched and actively sliding their feet on defense, nothing uncontested in the lane, controlling the defensive boards, etc. They were *into* it.

    At any rate I like anonymous’ list of reasons why we have the potential to make a good run in the NCAA tourney this year. That said, I think we also have the potential of being beaten in the first round if we don’t come mentally ready to play. This is where maturity comes in. A good prognosticator will be this Washington trip and our showing in the Pac-10 tourney.

  • Anonymous

    Jon,

    I told you back during the exhibition games … we’ll go to the Sweet Sixteen and lose there. Other than that, we hopefully sweep this week and win the Pac-10 Tourney. Would love to see the Bruins in Anaheim for the Sweet Sixteen after routing two teams in AZ the first rounds!