UCLA falls to Kansas 72-56

Exactly what cost UCLA in the first half helped the Bruins in the second against Kansas.

And then, just as quickly, their three-point shooting deceived them once more.

UCLA fell behind by 20, rallied to close it to within five with some hot shooting, and watched Kansas run away with a 72-56 win in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational.

The Bruins fell behind early as they were plagued by turnovers and poor shooting in the first half, trailing 12-2 less than six minutes in and 22-12 less than 10 minutes in.

By halftime, UCLA was down 43-26 and showing little fight.

In the second half, though, the shots started falling, from all over.

Down 51-31 with 15:16 left in the game, the Bruins went on a 21-6 run over the next seven-plus minutes to cut it to 57-52. Reeves Nelson hit a pair of 3-pointers – six of his 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting – to spur the rally – and Jerime Anderson and Tyler Lamb joined the fun, as well.

Eventually, though, the rhythm ended and Kansas surged back ahead as UCLA’s defense faltered.

Lamb led the Bruins with 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Anderson finished with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

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  • uscfd

    With Cal getting pounded tonight, the Pac-12 needs to wake up or we’ll have a hard time getting anyone in the Tournament (other than the conference champ).

  • NomoreHowlandNeuheisel

    a 1-3 start. We are going to miss the tournament again. Guerrero, please do something about the coaches in men’s basketball and football instead of worrying about some stupid uniforms.

  • Coach Thom

    How useless is Josh Smith? That slack whale can’t even get out of his own way. He’s slow, clumsy, out-of-shape, and always fouls out. What a waste of a scholarship.

  • BRUINBEATCH

    NomoreDG! Is what your name should read!

  • Semi-Pro

    For some reason this team, unlike every previous Howland team, just does not want to buy into Howland’s system which has proven results of not only producing winning teams…but successful NBA players. This team just does not want to play tough Howland defense. Shooting goes hot and cold…but you can always fall back on great defense.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong. It’s not “not wanting to buy into system”, it’s lack of talent/athleticism. Howland’s system, like most systems, only works with talent/athleticism. Notice how this team does not have Love, Luc, Collison, Farmar, Afflalo, Westbrook, etc. These guys were either elite NBA talent and at the very least shut down defenders. And please, almost all of those guys were going to be successful NBA players regardless of whether they played for Howland or not. Get that through your heads UCLA fans. Howland is not some kind of magician, who turned random players into NBA players. Quite the opposite. These guys made Howland look really good. Heck, Howland even misused some of these guys (think Jrue and Love). Instead of raving about 3 straight Final 4s, a better coach could have at least won one title with such extreme talent. That kind of talent in such a short time span comes once or twice in a lifetime for a coach that recruits like Howland.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s fairly simple that Ben Howland the GM has failed. The mix of players he has on the roster is perplexing and the misses on the perimeter players would get any GM fired.

    Ben loves to play hard nose man to man which is great. However, why does he have a roster of the Wear Twins, Brandon Lane, Reeves Nelson and Josh Smith? That’s 4 power forwards and an overweight, slow center. Only Reeves Nelson can play and he’s a head case. You would have thought Josh Smith would have improved his fitness – ah, not so much. The other players I could understand recruiting if you didn’t already have the existing mix of players.

    We’ve been spoiled with the prior guard play – Affalo, Farmar, Collison, Westbrook, Holiday, and Malcolm Lee. Now we have Zeke Jones, Jerime Anderson, and Tyler Lamb who did shoot the ball better but, they are not top 10 or for that matter top 25 material. In my mind these were all misses.

    I do believe Howland saw the writing on the wall and I give him credit for brining in Coach McCray. I think Howland realized his mistakes and needed help in the general manager/recruiting and thus brought in McCray.

    However, now he must allow Anderson, Adams and Powell to play free next year and get rid of the ball control offense.

    Fire Ben Howland the GM and keep Ben Howland the coach

  • Maze

    Thom…you’re an embarrassment. Put down the drink, and step away from the keyboard. If you don’t care for Smith’s play, strive to be more articulate (a “grown” man taking potshots at a 19 year-old is downright pathetic). Put your UCLA degree to good use (if you have one).

  • Stan

    Its a shame that we have the Wear twins for 3 years. These guys should be taking room up on the bench, not the floor. Can’t shoot, rebound or defend. It’s amazing that these guys were rated so high. CBH says that having these two on the floor is his best team, last night, anyway. Then play to your strength and go to a zone. As for Josh Smith, Thom is right to a certain extent. The man came to this season huge and out of shape. Apparently, he dosen’t really care about this team or he’d be prepared to have a great season. As for he point guard position……Anderson should start. Zeke has been bad for the second season….last year the hand.this year? overrated talent. What has happend to this program. No other program falls this far this quick. As for NBA early entrees….damn….every top notch school has the same. We’re tired of all the excuses.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Maze: A little harsh on CoachT and a little easy on the Big Fella, huh?
    Please don’t forget that Josh Smith is a grown man, as well, and not just because he downed his 7th donut to complete his power breakfast oh, maybe 5 mins. ago … I don’t know where you are from, what sex you are or what your political views are, but you sound a bit twisted. PLEASE don’t offend anyone who has died on the frontlines defending this country again. That can happen as young as 18, in case you’ve just crawled out from some rock. Ditto the fact that he can vote, drink in some states and countries already and you get the picture.
    He’s a grown man.
    And he’s horribly out of shape, eating himself out of MILLIONS and, every month that he rolls around at 325 instead of 285, costs this program untold wins and success because he simply cannot stay on the court.
    Do I love his dominating play during the few puffs that he is fresh? Yes, more than anyone. But that could happen NIGHTLY in 25-15 fashion if he’d of done ANYTHING in the off-season.
    This was my exact post during the McDonald’s Game his senior year after signing with us. It was so clear to see. “If this kid can gain some self-control, he’ll be unstoppable. If not …”
    Well, you see the whole movie being played out in front of you now when we most need him.
    Robert “Tractor” Traylor (RIP)
    Chris Farley (RIP)
    John Candy (RIP)
    Welcome to your life, Big Josh. He will be 425 one year after his playing career is through, and that probably due to a part or parts of his body giving out because they simply are not designed to take hardwood-pounding with 40 pounds of extra fat (picture carrying a full bag of dog food around EVERYWHERE) slogging around.
    Sad.
    But true.

  • Power

    I agree with one of the anonymous posters.

    At the time it would have seemed absurd.

    But, I do now believe that Howland underachieved with those 3 consecutive Final Fours. They should have won at least 1 or more titles. Especially, the second time around against Florida.

    Duke did it to UNLV after their horrible blowout loss the year before…way back in 1990 and then getting revenge in 1991.

    Anyways, you see the talent that Howland had back in the F4 days. And, you see what has happened in the most recent years.

    It does seem like those players like Westbrook, Collison, Afflalo, Farmer, Love, etc. made CBH look better.

    On another UCLA board it was asked why would Lee and Honeycutt leave for the NBA with the lockout looming. Perhaps, they felt that if they did stay CBH and staff wouldn’t help improve their game? If that is the case that’s a pretty bad indictment for a coach and his assistants.

  • Semi-Pro

    Yeah…Lee and Honeycutt’s games are REALLY improving now that they’re sitting on a couch somewhere instead of playing on a top ten D1 powerhouse team (which UCLA certainly would be if both players had stayed).

    No, Lee and Honeycutt left because people (likely agents) told them they’d be first round picks, instant millionaires, and that the lockout wasn’t really going to happen. Im sure Howland and his staff did everything they could (within the rules) to get both to come back. But to a 20 yr old kid, those dollar signs are too tough to pass up when you’ve got someone in your ear telling you you’re a star.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, everyone loves Howland for the 3 straight final 4s, but look at his rosters during that time. That is top shelf talent, with elite defenders (Afflalo, Luc, Westbrook). These guys are shutdown defenders in the NBA. It doesn’t get much better than that. Throw in excellent defenders such as Collison, Hollins, etc. On top of that a once in a lifetime talent such as Love for one year. I can understand the Florida teams being better, but UCLA got blown out both of those years. Very disappointing. A better coach would have at least kept the games closer. Plus, one of those years UCLA stole a game from Gonzaga. Some officiating help, and magical moments. Some of those games were very painful to watch. While our defense was stellar, our offense was high school level. You can only get away with such bad offensive sets by having elite talent to bail you out. The Memphis game was also very “win-able” and CBH got outcoached by a non Xs and Os coach. Love did not get enough touches the whole year. A better coach who knows his offensive Xs and Os would have found a way to get the ball into Love more often.

    Not sure exactly why Honeycutt and Lee left. I don’t necessarily buy that they thought they’d be 1st rounders. Don’t forget that a lot of these guys are only at school to play the game, and if given a chance to go to the NBA they’ll take that shot. School becomes a drag, especially the schoolwork to maintain eligibility.

    But “coaching up” NBA talent is extremely overrated. Sure, there is some of that, don’t get me wrong. Most of it is talent, hard work, and God-given athleticism. Take Westbrook. He was a very good shooting guard at UCLA, but played PG at the next level. Was that because of Howland? I think not. At UCLA, he was very good but often played out of control. But his work ethic and God-given athleticism allowed him to flourish at the position in the NBA. The NBA game is very one on one dominated, and taking his defender off the dribble was something that Westbrook was always good at. He is also a lock-down man to man defender. Again, due to his explosiveness and quickness.

    Coaching is taking what talent you have and getting the most out of it. And to that, I’d say that Howland indeed underachieved given the talent that he had.

    UCLA would certainly be better with those guys. But UCLA is so deficient in talent right now that even with these guys they’d be nowhere near a Final 4 team. Atrocious PG play. Jones is at best a backup Pac-12 PG, and has no business playing starters minutes. This brings back to the talent argument. CBH needs some badly at the PG position. I doubt Kyle Anderson is going to be a true effective PG. Way too slow. CBH hasn’t been able to recruit a good one since Jrue, and he got to start as a PG at UCLA. So you’d have to go back to Collison, I think.