With 1:01 left on the game clock, UCLA was down seven points and missing its two best players.
The Bruins clawed their way through 11 more minutes, eventually falling 87-83 to Oregon in double overtime. Along the way, they left fans with arguably the most memorable game of the season.
Three hours before the 8 p.m. tipoff, the team had announced the suspensions of point guard Kyle Anderson and leading scorer Jordan Adams.
With little time the prepare, UCLA (21-7, 10-5) went almost the entire first half without an inside bucket and walked into the locker room in a 12-point hole.
No matter. With 1.2 seconds left in regulation, David Wear snuck behind the Ducks’ defense and streaked upcourt for a wide-open three. He caught an inbounds pass from his twin brother, Travis, and drilled a shot from some 30 feet away. Continue reading →
UCLA’s Thursday trip to Oregon will pit the Bruins against the team most capable of matching their pace. The Ducks are 21st in the country in adjusted tempo, second in the conference to Steve Alford’s squad (15th).
“They play a lot of guards,” Alford said. “They usually have four guards in their lineup. Sometimes it looks like they have five guards in their lineup. … Our transition defense is going to come to a test.”
Oregon, which has lost four of their last five, rank 15th in adjusted offense — five spots above UCLA — but rank 130th in adjusted defense. Only Washington and Oregon State are worse in the Pac-12.
Four-star safety Budda Baker has decommitted from Oregon, opening up the possibility that UCLA adds another defensive back to its 2014 class.
Baker had Washington and the Bruins as his two other finalists before announcing for the Ducks last month. He played with UCLA linebacker Myles Jack at Bellevue High, and actually helped Jack with his pass coverage last summer. Continue reading →
– After an upset of Stanford, many USC players called for the school to retain Ed Orgeron as head coach. NBC Sports’ Chris Huston, also known as the Heisman Pundit, argues against removing the “interim” tag.
– Utah quarterback Travis Wilson’s career might be over after a post-concussion exam revealed a pre-existing neurological condition.
Despite a 41-31 win over Washington, UCLA fell a spot to No. 14 in the latest Associated Press poll — switching spots with No. 13 Michigan State.
The Spartans moved up after a 41-28 win at Nebraska that clinched a share of the Big Ten Legends title.
The two teams also made the same switch in the USA Today coaches poll.
USC, still tied with the Bruins for second in the Pac-12 South, moved back into the AP poll to No. 23 after its 20-17 upset of Stanford. It was the Trojans’ first win over the now-No. 10 Cardinal since 2008.
UCLA defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes has already faced Oregon’s offense, currently ranked third in the country in points per game (51.7) and second in yards (596.6). He thinks Washington’s compares favorably — at least at certain positions.
“I think they have the most electric players we’ve seen this season,” the true freshman said. “I think more so than Oregon. Continue reading →
Quarterback Marcus Mariota earned himself a bit of additional respect on Saturday. After taking some big hits from UCLA linebackers in Oregon’s 42-14 win Saturday, his demeanor impressed even Anthony Barr.
“I think people don’t give him enough credit for his toughness and his competitiveness,” the Bruins’ All-American said. Continue reading →
Quarterback Brett Hundley didn’t go into great detail on what went wrong in his 64-yard passing performance Saturday, mostly framing the 42-14 loss at Oregon as a learning experience.
“There’s always those stepping stones that you’ve got to cross over,” he said. “That you’ve got to cross over to really become great at any position. These are games that I really believe I can learn from, and hold dear to.”
Hundley said the hit he took at Utah early this month hasn’t had a lingering effect on him either physically or mentally. The quarterback’s vision went blurry after his head hit the turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Asked about offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s contracting playbook, he stuck to script and said the Bruins just need to execute what’s called.
– The notebook in today’s Daily News covers Hundley’s possible decline in confidence, as well as injuries (Eric Kendricks, Ellis McCarthy, etc.) and some changes in defensive starters.