Kyle Anderson scored a career-high 23 points in UCLA’s 83-60 blowout of Weber State, but missed out on the second triple-double of his career.
The sophomore had 19 points, 9 rebounds and six assists with 13:30 left in the game, but sat on the bench late as the Bruins’ lead swelled to as much as 30. He finished with 10 rebounds and six assists. Continue reading →
Earlier this month, Missouri outscored UCLA by 17 in the second half of a nine-point victory. In Thursday night’s 80-63 win at Madison Square Garden, No. 8 Duke did the same to the Bruins.
Now 11 games into their first season under coach Steve Alford, UCLA has rolled over subpar opponents while falling short late against big-name programs. The team is promising: it can put up points, and it can do so at the breakneck pace promised before the season. But it also lacks fortitude on defense and on the boards, and has yet to prove late-game resolve.
UCLA (9-1) vs. No. 8 Duke (8-2)
Location: Madison Square Garden, 4:33 p.m. PT TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Andy Katz) Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Tracy Murray)
1. This is UCLA’s shot to earn some more national respect before conference play. Ten games into the season, the Bruins look like a good team, not a great one, and a loss at Missouri was enough to drop them from No. 18 in the Associated Press poll to out of the rankings entirely. First-year head coach Steve Alford has said a few times this season that he wants to schedule tougher opponents in the future, and was responsible for getting Duke on the calendar with relatively late notice. Continue reading →
– UCLA handled Prairie View A&M with ease in Saturday’s 95-71 win, running out a 20-point lead late in the first half and stretching it to as much as 34 in the second. The main story of the night, though, was Travis Wear’s return to the starting lineup.
Following his appendectomy in late October, the senior forward has looked rusty early on, going without a field goal in his past two games. Originally penciled in as a starter alongside twin brother David before the season, he told Alford he was fine with a reserve role. Continue reading →
– 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. Continue reading →
UCLA maintained its perfect record with a 95-79 win over Northwestern Friday night, closing out the Las Vegas Invitational.
Sophomore Kyle Anderson was named tournament MVP and nearly had his second career triple-double. The point guard finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, four steals and a block. He also made both his 3-point attempts, chipping in to the Bruins’ absurd 13-of-16 rate from downtown. Continue reading →
UCLA opened the season with a narrow 72-67 win over Drexel, sprinkling some good moments of transition offense in with uneven defense. Coach Steve Alford was generally positive afterward, and maintained that the problems he saw were very fixable.
“You either win that opener or you lose that opener,” he said, “and winning the opener feels a lot better than losing.”
Another exhibition game, another 30-point win. Lifted by a pair of strong sophomore showings Monday night, UCLA easily dispatched Cal State San Marcos, 109-79.
Kyle Anderson, entrusted with more ball-handling duties his second year, stuffed the box score: 22 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists. He also hit both his attempts from beyond the arc, where he struggled a year ago with a 21.1 percent conversion rate. Continue reading →