After shooting 37.9 percent from the field through his first six games, UCLA freshman Bryce Alford is up to 47.2 over his last six. Notably, he is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, and has at least one 3-pointer in all but two outings.
“I think I’ve proven so far that I belong on this team and that I can play with this team,” said the backup point guard.
Point guard Kyle Anderson agreed that UCLA’s recent improvement in rebounding showed the team it wasn’t playing up to its potential earlier in the season. The Bruins beat ASU on the boards, 42-29, on Sunday.
A torn ACL has ended Spencer Dinwiddie’s season, robbing No. 21 Colorado of their leader in scoring, assists, steals, 3-pointers, and free-throw shooting percentage.
The Buffs will need to prove that they are still worthy of a March Madness bid without 6-foot-6 guard. The loss also strengthens Arizona’s inside track toward the league title, as well as UCLA’s case as the No. 2 team in the Pac-12.
Most ppl tweet somethin sappy in this situation but y'all know that ain't my style. Always tell you I think Im invincible and I still do.
UCLA’s emphatic win over Arizona State has pushed the Bruins back into the national top 25.
A 15-point victory convinced enough voters that Steve Alford’s team belonged at No. 25, tied with Oklahoma. UCLA is now just two spots behind Duke, a team that last month — then ranked No. 8 — defeated the Bruins by 17 points at Madison Square Garden.
No. 1 Arizona remains undefeated, and received all but four first-place votes. No. 21 Colorado is the Pac-12′s only other ranked team.
Oregon fell out of the poll from No. 17 after a 96-83 home loss to Cal. Both the Ducks and the Bears, who started 3-0 in conference play, received votes.
After a mini-slump doused the fiery start to his UCLA career, freshman guard Zach LaVine shot back with a vengeance on Sunday night, keying the Bruins to a 87-72 win over Arizona State.
There were the customary dunks, including a vicious windmill that had all of Pauley Pavilion holding his breath as he hung in the air. There was the 3-point range, rediscovered as he drilled his first three attempts. Continue reading →
You are an NBA scout, or if you’ve worked your way up, even an executive. You’ve circled Jan. 9 on your calendar, carving out a spot on your busy schedule to watch UCLA host No. 1 Arizona. You’re excited about this one, and you’re right to be. Awaiting you is the best atmosphere Pauley Pavilion has seen in years, as well as a sick, one-handed reverse alley-oop by lottery prospect Aaron Gordon.
But you try and roll into Westwood about — oh, an hour or so before tipoff. After spending half that time stuck in the long line of traffic leading into Lot 8, another realization: There are 44 others who requested (and were granted) scouting credentials to this game. You get seated far above your usual accommodations, much too distant to hear any on-court expletives or see any beads of sweat.
And so, you start complaining to the media.
Here it goes …
Plenty of grumbling from NBA execs from UCLA-Arizona last night about how poorly they were treated. "I'll never go back to Pauley" one says.
– UCLA can be a much better rebounding team than it has been all season, though what it’ll take to keep that effort consistent is unclear.
Arizona entered the game averaging a +12.1 rebounding margin to UCLA’s +4.3, but it was the latter that held a 20-19 edge on the glass at halftime. The Bruins came out strong on the boards, visibly making the extra effort to box out or jump up and tip the ball to a teammate.
They were especially good on the offensive board, grabbing 16 for the game. The team ended up just one rebound shy of Arizona’s 37.
– Pauley Pavilion was louder than it had been in years, with an announced sellout crowd of 13,238. Continue reading →