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.
UCLA freshman guard Jordan Adams is out for the season with a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He had scored a game-high 24 points to carry the Bruins to a 66-64 win over Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.
Adams injured the foot trying to defend Solomon Hill’s last shot, and told teammates as he limped off the court that he suspected it was broken. He suffered a similar injury two summers ago.
“It’s horrible,” forward Travis Wear said. “His toughness and his shot, and what he brings to this team, it’s going to be hard to replace. The way, he’s been playing, it sucks.
“He came out and he put us on his back. To hurt your foot on the last play of the game, with what we have coming up, it doesn’t get worse than this.”
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.
At 6-foot-9, 275 pounds, Parker is UCLA’s lone true big man — an asset that, if developed, would solve one of the Bruins’ most glaring woes. He’s yet to become that frontcourt salve, a combination of poor health and inconsistent play keeping him off the floor.
That changed a bit Sunday, as he pick-and-rolled his way to eight first-half points in a 75-59 win at USC. When UCLA tips off against Arizona State at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the freshman will get another chance to earn minutes.
“It’s just teaching him to play with physicality,” coach Ben Howland said. “He’s got a great lower body. He’s got good strength. He’s got good hands.”
The downsides? His defense, while improving, isn’t where it should be. He dribbles too often in the low post, giving opposing defenders a chance to block his shot. Continue reading →
Travis Wear is day to day with a sprained ligament in his right foot, an injury he sustained five minutes into Saturday’s practice. Judging from his Instagram, he probably won’t be ready to play against Arizona State on Wednesday.
UCLA (19-7, 9-4) at USC (12-14, 7-6)
Tipoff: 12:30 p.m., Galen Center TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net/AM 570
At a glance: Ben Howland is just 13-9 against USC, and another loss would mark the third time he’s suffered a season sweep against the Trojans. USC has only swept the Bruins six times in the past 52 years.
Also at stake is UCLA’s chance at a Pac-12 championship. Should they lose on Sunday, the Bruins would fall into fourth place in the conference — trailing Oregon and Arizona (tied at 11-4) as well as Cal (10-5). Continue reading →
Forward Travis Wear isn’t expected to play tomorrow at USC. The Daily Bruin’s Chris Kalra ran into him at Pauley Pavilion today, where the junior — wearing a boot — said he had sprained his right ankle badly. How long Wear might be sidelined is unclear. A UCLA spokesperson said Wear injured his right foot at the beginning of Saturday’s practice and did not return.
Wear is averaging 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds this season, and had a career-best stretch of seven double-digit scoring games earlier this season. That streak ended when he suffered a concussion in late January, an injury that sidelined him during a 78-60 loss at Arizona State.
His twin brother David started in his stead for the Jan. 26 road game, but struggled to five points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Asked this week what it was like watching film of his team’s loss to USC, Ben Howland didn’t mince words.
“It’s depressing,” the UCLA coach said.
The Trojans stunned the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion three weeks ago, debuting in the new stadium with a 75-71 overtime upset. It marked UCLA’s only consecutive loss this season, and sent USC on a four-game winning streak that made interim coach Bob Cantu a legitimate candidate for the full-time job.
Point guard Larry Drew II had the most pointed words that night: “When we play SC again, it’s going to be war.” Continue reading →
Ben Howland, long known for his methodical halfcourt offenses, said he once used as many as 45 different sets.
In Saturday’s win at Stanford, the UCLA coach cut that number down to nine. After using around 18 to 20 for most of the season, he wanted to simplify the playbook even further for his young team coming off a quick turnaround.
Two days earlier, the Bruins had shot just 30.3 percent in the first half 76-63 loss at Cal. Against the Cardinal, UCLA shot 54.4 percent from the field.
“It’s all about execution and reading,” Howland said. “You have different reads: ‘If he trails me, I’m going to curl. If he goes ball side screen, I’m going to fade. If he fades, I have to shorten the pass. If he goes underneath, I have to re-screen.’” Continue reading →