Arizona State 78, UCLA 60: Bruins head home bruised

Lucky to be down just six points at halftime, UCLA needed to enter the second half swinging.

The Bruins proceeded to give up a 10-4 run to ASU, creating a 14-point deficit that only shrank to single digits briefly — for 16 seconds in the with just over two minutes left in the game. Less than two full days after a triumphant win over No. 6 Arizona, UCLA fell apart against the Sun Devils.

Rebounding had been the supposed emphasis throughout the week’s practices, and the Bruins actually beat the Wildcats on the boards Thursday night. But that grit did not last. ASU dominated UCLA with a 53-33 advantage on the boards. The Bruins’ next-worst margin was only -11, against UC Irvine.

Can lack of energy be blamed? UCLA looked worn out for much of the game, but it’s not like Arizona State had an advantage off the bench: two points to the Bruins’ zero. The Sun Devils essentially played their five starters the entire game, with only center Jordan Bachynski seeing fewer than 38 minutes. This, after four players eclipsed the 40-minute mark two days ago.

In their best win of the season, ASU proved itself a team with legitimate NCAA tournament prospects — a quick turnaround given their back-to-back 10th-place conference finishes. UCLA becomes a much harder team to peg, one capable of knocking off the conference’s best teams, but also one that can be maddeningly inconsistent.

Oregon’s path to the Pac-12 title, meanwhile, has been cleared. Arizona, ASU and UCLA each have two losses apiece, and none get another regular-season shot at the Ducks.

UCLA’s loss fittingly ended with Carrick Felix blocking Jordan Adams’ meaningless, last-second layup. ASU had outworked the Bruins all game; it wasn’t about to stop short.

More stats and notes:

– UCLA shot 20 of 75 from the field, beating out a 28-of-74 performance against UC Irvine as the worst of the season. The Bruins also failed to attack the basket, settling for missed 3-pointers as the second half dwindled away. They attempted a season-low six free throws, split evenly between Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad. The team’s lowest mark prior was 11 in a loss to San Diego State.

– David Wear started the game by making two of three shots, but missed the remaining nine he took in the game. He also missed a wide-open dunk late in the game. Just an awful day overall for the fully healthy Wear twin, who couldn’t back up his assertion that he was as capable as Travis. It was the sort of performance that draws sympathy more than scorn.

– Speaking of Travis Wear, would his presence have changed the outcome at all? As transformative as he has been on offense lately, it’s hard to imagine how he would have limited Jordan Bachynski’s career performance. The 7-foot-2 center had a career-best 22 points and 15 rebounds, and tossed in six blocks and a steal for good measure. He missed two of his 12 shots.

– Tony Parker might have helped if his development was sped up a few months. As it stood, he picked up two fouls early and was more or less a non-factor for the rest of the game. He missed a shot and grabbed a rebound in his 13 minutes of play. Yes, he could potentially be better now had he been trusted more earlier, but he didn’t do anything notable with his biggest opportunity yet.

– Arizona State beat UCLA by 15-plus points for the first time since 2003. UCLA couldn’t finish off its first road sweep in the state since the 2007-08 season.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.hersberger Mark Hersberger

    Let’s turn off the Tony Parker hype machine: 0 points and 1 rebound.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    I disagree with Jack’s assertion that Tony Parker “might have helped if his development was sped up a few months,” as if the blame is on Coach Howland for his lack of development. No, that is on Tony Parker himself. If Howland really showed favoritism to returning players, none of the other three freshmen would be getting nearly the playing time they are, and Tyler Lamb would not have transferred. As it is, Lamb is gone and Powell plays significantly less minutes than any of the three freshmen starters.

    Tony Parker has great potential, but as it stands his game is still relatively undeveloped compared to the other three freshmen and to the Wears who play ahead of him. Parker’s first order of business is to get in better shape, even if that means running extra sprints after the end of practice. He appears to tire quickly and sometimes seems bewildered at the speed of the game. (E.g., he routinely picks up fouls because he is not moving his feet, and today he missed a nice inside dish today that went out of bounds because he didn’t have his hands up ready to receive the pass.) I’m still enthusiastic about his future but he needs to prove that he deserves more playing time, starting in practice.

    • grateful_bruin

      Agreed. He has potential but needs to develop. Borderline Josh Smith type of player.

  • Marc

    David Wear is not his brother. Lets stop the blind adoration of the Wear twins and of Ben Howland. Travis is good, but his absence didn’t lose this game. The Wears don’t rebound.

    Part of it was that 7’2″ guy ASU had. He looked incredible today. Now, they’ve lost four times, so he obviously isn’t unstoppable, but UCLA helped make him look like an All-Anerican today.

    We’ll see how the team plays against usc on Wednesday. They should beat them handily, though, we’ll see. I will also be interested to see how they play against ASU when they play them at Pauly in a couple of weeks. Will they make the necessary adjustments?

    This team needs to solidify the #2 spot for the PAC-12 tourney. They then need to work hard to win that tourney. I’m hoping for a 3 seed in the tourney. We shall see…

    • Lifelong Bruin Fan

      Hard to say whether Travis Wear’s absence “didn’t lose this game.” Having your best post player and clutch shooter out for the game with less than stellar substitute performances makes for a lopsided loss. Among other things, Travis’ ability to hit consistently from the outside would have pulled their center away from the basket and provided more opportunity for other Bruins in the paint. But we obviously need to play better starting with not allowing dribble penetration off the high screen, and much better defensive rebounding even if it means 5 guys to the glass. I would double all touches by their big man and force ASU to hit from the outside (they were only 5 for 20 from 3 pt line).

      • Marc

        One big stat that stands out to me is the twenty rebound advantage they held. Travis Wear is not a rebounder. You could have a point that if he’s hitting from 15 feet out, that 7’2″ center comes out to guard, but I’m not sure they would do that. He was a machine swatting shots and grabbing every rebound within five feet of him. I though he got away with a few fouls and I believe you’ll see a few called on him at Pauley.

        Do the coaches pull him from his spot (blocks and rebounds) to guard Travis out away from the basket; I’m not so sure. We’ll see; they play again in a few weeks.

        • grateful_bruin

          How about somebody blocks him out? Agreed Travis Wear would create some match-up problems because he would shred ASU from the outside if the center did not come out to guard him. That would free up the interior, agreed. At this point I would hope Travis has a speedy and complete recovery from that BS hit to the head from Zona.

      • Marc

        One big stat that stands out to me is the twenty rebound advantage they held. Travis Wear is not a rebounder. You could have a point that if he’s hitting from 15 feet out, that 7’2″ center comes out to guard, but I’m not sure they would do that. He was a machine swatting shots and grabbing every rebound within five feet of him. I though he got away with a few fouls and I believe you’ll see a few called on him at Pauley.

        Do the coaches pull him from his spot (blocks and rebounds) to guard Travis out away from the basket; I’m not so sure. We’ll see; they play again in a few weeks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sakatalaw Cliff Sakata

    You have been getting credit on the Bruin Nation website for your reporting. Good job!

    • grateful_bruin

      thin gruel for Jack.

  • Marc

    I just have to say this because it has to be said.

    Tydides – are you a slightly overweight, alcoholic, immature person who bullies people in his workplace and social network? My analysis taken be the way you treat people on bruinsnation would be yes to all three.

    Before you start considering people “thoroughly refuted”, come up with some valid refutation points. Has it been a while since you’ve taken a critical thinking class and has the information left your brain (perhaps from incessant alcohol abuse)?

    It is you and your cohorts who resort to ad hominem and red herring fallacies all the time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sakatalaw Cliff Sakata

      Who is Tydides and what does it have to do with the Arizona state game?

      • grateful_bruin

        He’s a graduate of short-bus high school, whose current therapy involves slandering UCLA athletics at a honey-pot ucla blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.bonaccorso.5 Frank Bonaccorso

    One sad flaw in the Bruins approach to fundamental basketball was the turnover on the in bounds play after a Devil basket when T. Wear step out and tossed the ball to a team mate to take out of bounds. John Wooden would have shredded his rolled program between his teeth on that boner. I believe the Bruins has a similar violation only a couple games ago.

    • Marc

      You are correct, sir. Same boneheaded issue last week; I believe at home against Oregon. How do they screw that up?

      You are also correct about coach Wooden. He had details down to how the players tied their shoes. Details such as this should not even be an issue; especially twice within a few games?!?! Wow.

    • Lifelong Bruin Fan

      I agree it’s pretty sad that an elementary mistake like this would be committed, let alone repeated. Actually when it happened against Oregon we got bailed out by the refs who ruled that Howland had called a timeout before the violation, so technically not a mistake, but you would think something like this would be ironed out in the first week of practice.

      A basic rule to prevent this from happening is only the designated inbounder inbounds (and even touches) the ball after a made basket, etc.

    • grateful_bruin

      Travis Wear has a concussion and did not play ASU game. David Wear?