Without shooting guard Jordan Adams, UCLA couldn’t do enough to beat Oregon for the Pac-12 tournament championship. As Adams sat at the end of the bench with a broken right foot, the Bruins lost 78-69 and failed to put together one strong, late rally.
UCLA cut the Ducks’ to two points with 12 minutes left to go on a 3-pointer by Larry Drew II, but proceeded to give up a 6-0 run over the next 90 seconds. It went the rest of the way down between six and 12 points — save for a 19-second stretch that saw the deficit shrink to four.
Oregon won its first tournament title since 2007. No team has won both the regular-season and tournament championships since the Bruins did so in 2008.
– UCLA’s seed for the NCAA tournament will likely drop due to Adams’ absence. The NCAA selection committee often account for injuries in their decision, and the Bruins being without their second-leading scorer could weigh heavily. In 2000, top-ranked Cincinnati missed out on a No. 1 seed when Kenyon Martin broke his leg. In 2009, St. Mary’s missed the tournament despite 26 wins because point guard Patty Mills hadn’t shaken off rust after breaking his hand. Continue reading →
UCLA pulled out a big 66-64 victory against Arizona to advance to the Pac-12 title game, but the cost was a season-ending broken foot for Jordan Adams (story here). The freshman guard erupted for 18 second-half points, including 13 straight, as the Bruins beat the Wildcats for the third time this season.
Tomorrow’s 8 p.m. tipoff (ESPN) pits UCLA against Oregon — a tough matchup for the Bruins even with Adams.
The Pac-12 tournament opened with Arizona State’s 89-88 overtime win over Stanford, one that sets up the Sun Devils as perhaps the toughest second-round matchup UCLA could have had.
The Bruins tip off against ASU at 12 p.m. Thursday after splitting the season series, and will have to contend with Co-Freshman of the Year Jahii Carson. The 5-foot-10 point guard dropped a career-high 34 points on the Cardinal, just one shy of the program record for freshmen. Senior forward Carrick Felix, an all-conference defender, is also a concern.
Some quotes from the Sun Devils after that win, touching a bit on the rubber match with UCLA. Continue reading →
For two decades, the Big East has staged one of college basketball’s biggest events: a raucous celebration of the sport in its mecca. Could the Pac-12 one day compare?
UCLA coach Ben Howland was enthusiastic about his current conference’s decision to move its postseason tourney to Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, comparing its potential to that of the Big East tournament in Madison Square Garden. He led Pitt to victory in that competition in 2003, shortly began coaching the the Bruins.
“People love to go to Vegas,” Howland said. “It’s gonna be happening. This ticket, in this league, three years from now, will be one of the most difficult tickets in the country to get. That’s what you have to have. Continue reading →
Count Ben Howland among those who weren’t happy when the Pac-12 announced its conference awards yesterday.
“I was just really disappointed, miffed, stunned that Jordan Adams wasn’t on the all-freshmen team,” the UCLA coach said. “I couldn’t believe it. I felt hurt, sad, stunned, miffed.”
He’s not alone. The exclusion of UCLA’s freshman had many crying foul, including Arizona coach Sean Miller. The least touted member of the Bruins’ recruiting class quickly became the team’s most valuable player — especially while Co-Freshman of the Year Shabazz Muhammad missed three games and worked his way back into shape. Continue reading →
Q: How do celebrities (e.g. NBA players) get courtside seats at Pauley Pavilion?
UCLA holds back courtside seats for donors, recruits, etc., with the number varying depending on the overall demand of that game. The seats are usually free, but sometimes the school will charge if — for example — an NBA player calls up at the last minute. Broadcasters (CBS, ESPN) typically reserve seats for on-air talent, who then use them however they see fit.
Q: Has there been any mention of Larry Drew II as an NBA prospect? Not that he’s first-round material by any stretch, but he looks the part of a solid young PG coming off the bench on the right NBA team. Also, who else is slated to play the point next year besides Kyle Anderson? Continue reading →
UCLA has won the Pac-12 regular season championship for the first time since 2008.
The Bruins clinched a share of the title with a 61-54 win over turnover-prone Washington, their first road victory over the Huskies since 2004. A few minutes later, Utah finished off Oregon with a 10-point win in Salt Lake City, leaving UCLA alone at the top of the conference. Continue reading →
Nearing the end of his lone season at UCLA, senior point guard Larry Drew II carved a place at the top of the program’s record books. The North Carolina transfer set a new single-season assist record with his fourth on Saturday against, feeding the ball upcourt to forward David Wear for an open dunk at 13:10 in the second half. He broke Pooh Richardson’s old mark of 236, set in 1989.
Drew entered the game ranked third in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.38) and assists per game (7.8).
Washington holds a 31-30 lead at halftime, but UCLA surprisingly holds a 20-16 edge on the boards. Another anomaly? Point guard Larry Drew II only has one dime for the Bruins, who are very much in this game despite five assists against seven turnovers. Forward Travis Wear’s right foot looks healed and he leads the game with 10 points.
UCLA is only shooting 1 of 6 from 3-point range, but the Huskies are just 2 of 6 at the free throw line.