The No. 13 Bruins looked solid after an jittery start, closing the game on a 14-3 run. Midway through the second half, Indiana State pulled off a 12-4 run that closed UCLA’s lead to 11. Behind Jordan Adams’ game-high 21 points off the bench, the host team opened new Pauley Pavilion with a 50-point outburst after halftime.
Adams was one of the few players on the team that didn’t need time to warm up. He missed a few shots early too, but kept attacking and quickly racked up 9 points in the first half. The freshman was pegged as the team’s best shooter before the season, but his natural scoring ability still snuck up on most people. Adams not only hit from long range (2 of 5 on 3-pointers), he also showed good body control near the rim. The 6-foot-5 guard also grabbed eight rebounds.
Ben Howland said after the game that Muhammad’s shoulder had healed enough that he was ready to play with NCAA clearance. That didn’t come, though it’s still unclear exactly how many games the star swingman will sit out. He will continue to practice for the time being.
For now, expect UCLA to lean on Adams for scoring punch. The Bruins still figure to be a top-20 team even without Muhammad, especially if Kyle Anderson — 10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists — can regularly flirt with triple doubles.
Need for speed: Tony Parker showed that he could hit a baseline jumper, but he and Josh Smith — the only truly big men on the roster — played only 11 and 13 minutes, respectively. Ruling’s still out on how effective they can be if UCLA sticks with running up tempo. Ben Howland is trusting the Wear twins more so far; they combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds. There were good glimpses of the scheme, as on one bounce pass that Larry Drew II threaded across the court for one of his five assists.
Drew also dislocated a finger, but returned to the game after it was popped back.