— UCLA’s 89-76 win was solid given that UCSB shot lights out early and looked like a team that could earn a March Madness berth. The key was a 27-of-36 showing at the free throw line, the first time the Bruins shot more than 30 in a game this season.
They are 8-0 for the first time since 2006-07.
— Freshman Zach LaVine led the team with 13 points at halftime, showing off his range with a number of deep threes. He still needs to improve his shot selection, but doesn’t seem fazed by a hand in his face or rushing defenders. I write more about him here.
Still relatively unknown nationally, LaVine was named No. 12 on ESPN’s latest top-100 prospect board.
“It’s a confidence booster,” he said of the increased attention. “It’s always been in the back of my head, just the ‘I told you so. I should have been this, should have been that.’”
— The team will likely struggle all season with containing skilled big men. UCSB’s
Andy Alan Williams led the game with 23 points, adding eight rebounds and an assists. He drew two fouls in the first two minutes on UCLA center Tony Parker, relegating him to the bench for the rest of the first half.
Parker did finish with nine points and six rebounds, contributing what coach Steve Alford called his “best minutes” of the season.
“It’s tough,” Anderson said of Parker’s early foul trouble. “Tony’s a big body in there. … We needed Tone. He did a much better job in the second half. Gave us great minutes.”
Senior Travis Wear also had four fouls in 15 minutes off the bench, and still looks rusty after having an appendectomy in late October.