And the pain continues. Just like the UCLA football team provided some flickering moments of "hope" Ben Howland's basketball program got few of us a little encouraged this afternoon against Texas Longhorns. Just like last, reality also cough up with Howland's flailing basketball program tonight. Bruins dropped to 1-5 (we are not going to count the "win" against Chaminade), losing by a double digit margin again. The final score was 59-69 (boxscore).
Bruins came out scorching hot making their first 7 shots and went up by a score of 17-6. At one point they were up by as much as 11 points in the first half. Then Rick Barnes made some adjustments, few Bruins "checked out," and the Longhorns ran away from the bumbling, stumbling, and befuddled Bruins. To top it off in the first half we had a little "power outage" in the
Garbage Sports Arena, putting an exclamation point on the state of Chanti Dan's major revenue programs (he may have forgotten to pay the power bill). The Bruins still hung on for a 34-28 lead at half time but then completely imploded in the second.
Texas came into the game as an inexperienced team recovering from mass NBA defections and struggling around the boards. As DC Bruins noted in his preview those guys had been out-rebounded 46-30 by the North Texas Mean Green, coughing up 22 boards on the offensive end. Yet against UCLA this afternoon the Longhorns found a way to outrebound a Howland coached team 30-29. They also shredded our defense , shooting 54.7 percent from the floor, making a mockery out of out interior defense in the second half.
I guess Zeek Jones was the leading scorer for the Bruins with 21 points. The problem though was he had a grand total of 1 assist, showing no ability to set up his team-mates for score. He also got torched on the defensive end time after time. The Wear Twins showed some sign of life in the early going but eventually reverted to usual form of putting up one weak jump shots after another killing any natural flow of the offense.
What was interesting is that when the Bruins came out in the first half there was some semblance of flow when the Wear Twins were playing at the 4 and 5. Yet when Howland made his substitutions and had D. Wear playing at the 3, that's when it all started going South. D. Wear continued to get beat at that spot, as the Bruins in general looked like a slow and unathletic bunch against the ‘Horns.
Those guys were bad. Some of their team-mates were just downright brutal. Let's start with the obvious one. Reeves Nelson looked like his mind was somewhere else. He looked to be mentally checked out when he came off the bench and was completely out of sync. Same goes for Josh Smith who once again looked slow, disinterested and out of it. Every time these two guys got on the floor it looked as if the Longhorns were on some kind of "power play." These two guys - who were being counted as Bruins' front court strength - combined for 6 points and 6 rebounds.
Speaking of being out, Howland did not bother giving Brendan Lane any minutes. He also didn't bother using Anthony Stover until situation became desperate in the second half. He never got into any kind of flow or rhythm with rest of his team-mates. One would think he'd give these two kid real opportunities given how Nelson and Smith were completely checked out during the game. Yeah, I am sure all of this is going to really help the chemistry of this program.
We will have lot more on this game later on BN. For now we will leave up to you guys to provide your instant thoughts on the game. If you want to share extended reflections please consider using the fanpost section. Fire away.