Basketball notes: Bruins focusing on finals


– Head coach Steve Alford said UCLA has yet to really scout Prairie View A&M leading up to Saturday’s 5 p.m. tipoff. The Bruins have been solely focused on finals week.

Ranked No. 324 in the country on kenpom.com, the Panthers are almost certainly the weakest team on UCLA’s schedule. They lost 95-53 in last year’s visit to Pauley Pavilion.

– Helped a bit by a cushy nonconference slate, UCLA opened the season as one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country. In their 80-71 loss at Missouri, the Bruins shot just 37.7 percent from the field. Alford thought his team got away from the scheme and failed to space the floor well.

“It was the first time we got away from executing on offense,” he said. “We didn’t take the shots we’ve normally been taking.”

– Rebounding remains a major problem area for the Bruins, who gave up a 30-18 edge to the Tigers on the defensive glass. Missouri forward Johnathan Williams III grabbed 15 boards, while only two UCLA players had more than three. Sophomores Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson combined for 16.

“You’ve got to go out of your area. … Because of our length and our size, we’ve got to be able to have five guys rebounding,” Alford said. “Too many times, we may have one or two guys go to the glass defensively.”

Freshman forward Wanaah Bail did extra work on rebounding with assistant Duane Broussard after Thursday’s afternoon practice

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  • barry1817

    no knock on Coach, who didn’t make the schedule, but this is the schedule that Ben Howland liked, that helped him amass so many wins, and personally it is a reason why attendance at Pauley is sadly lacking.

  • Marc

    I believe we can attribute some of the rebound deficit in the Missouri game to the fact that the refs allowed their forwards push guys out of the way.

    Has the coach had anything to say about the officiating in that game since watching the tape?

    That won’t be the only time UCLA faces a physical team where the refs allow the physicality to be elevated.

    They’ll need to find some adjustments for those types of games, and they’ll need to toughen their kids up.

    Bring Barr, Jack, Marsh, Vanderdoes, and McCarthy into Pauley to scrimmage against. That’ll toughen them up a bit.

    There isn’t anything anyone can do about the refs; it is what it is.

    They have a lot of influence on a basketball game; they can call it tight or they can allow big, physical front lines play.