UCLA sneaks past UC Irvine in overtime, 80-79

UCLA leaned heavily on freshman Jordan Adams and was very lucky to remain undefeated with a 80-79 win over UC Irvine on Tuesday night.

Here’s the game story and here’s a notebook on Larry Drew II getting the majority of the point guard minutes.

UCLA may have won but the game had a similar feel to previous early-season, head-scratching losses like Loyola Marymount (2011), Middle Tennessee State (2011) and Cal State Fullerton (2009).

The biggest takeaway from the game, outside of the obvious (Jordan Adams is a special player, David Wear has never heard of James Madison, Josh Smith has regressed and despite what Ben Howland says, UCLA should not have allowed a team like Irvine to hang around past the first half), is that the Bruins lack an identity right now.

Are they a fast-break team like they claim to be (four fast-break points on Tuesday)? Are they a half-court team? Are they big (out-rebounded 55-44 by Irvine? Are they guard-oriented? The Anteaters were successful because they had a clear gameplan and stuck to it by playing sound, team ball.

UCLA’s chance at redemption comes Thursday night against James Madison of the Colonial Athletic Association, which has yet to play a regular-season game and went 13-20 last season.

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  • Reformed Droog

    Call me Chicken Little, but HOLY $#%@ – all signs point to this being a disappointing season…

    • Here you go, Chicken Little. A full refund: $0.02

  • This up tempo thing doesn’t work for me. Just results in rushed, low percentage shots.

  • Rob M

    Thanks for a thought provoking post Sam. Please keep it up…

    I’ve always supported and defended CBH, but perhaps he truly can’t adapt to his players. His only successful years were when he could implement his system and forced his players into that style (Big East/defensive/ball control). This year’s offense looks more open but, I agree, the team still lacks an identity. Granted, the season is only 2 games old, so its hard to pass judgement on this year’s team… but CBH’s body of work doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in an identity change. I thought the UCI game was going to be another in a long line of stinkers that CBH has lost to “lesser” schools recently (LMU 2011, Middle Tenn State 2011, CSUF 2009, Portland 2009, CSULB 2009). Is it too much to ask to have the gritty CBH defense with an open (not necessarily up-tempo) offense?


    Howland was TERRIBLE. At the end of the game, he tried to enter Wear into the game for defensive purposes but was too late sending him in so the
    refs wouldn’t allow him in the game. Could have cost him the game. Then, UCI had no timeouts left and the game was tied with 7 seconds left and UCI had the ball. So what does Howland do? He calls timeout to set up his defense, which allows UCI to set up a game winning play without any timeouts. Lucky the play didn’t work. Howland is TERRIBLE! I hope he stays forever.

    p.s. I like Jordan Adams game. He’s tough as nails nailing FT’s like a professional.