ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 17: Anthony Stover #0 of the UCLA Bruins blocks the shot of Eddie Miller #21 of the UC Davis Aggies during the first half at Honda Center on December 17, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
A turning point? In the second game of the Pac-12 season? Well yes, that tends to happen when you limp into this game at 6-6 against Division I competition. Beating BN's predicted winner of the conference on the road is going to be a tough task, but it's also tough trying to dig out of an 0-2 conference hole to win the Pac-12. Without getting into the details of "expectations vs. predictions", let's just say that Ben Howland and his team had better find a way to end this disastrous year for Bruin athletics on a high note, or you'll only see the Hot Seat talk intensify.
All teams have questions surrounding them, but the questions surrounding the Bruins at this late stage are of great concern. Will we handicap our own chances of success by rolling out a 2x Wear Man to Man? Will our point guard play value ball movement and distribution over shot hunting? Will we hold players accountable for taking defensive plays off and failing to block out and secure rebounds? Will this year's Bruins finally grab a NCAA Tournament resume building win, rather than feasting off of cupcakes?
This game is a turning point, and the way we answer the questions above could go a long way in determining whether this team continues to walk the tenuous path to a Tournament berth or goes into a death spiral. We're all about to get some answers soon. Let's close 2011 out the right way.