UCLA at Oregon Hoops Roundup: The Numbers Don't Add Up

UCLA lost to Oregon yesterday afternoon and as Jerime Anderson said:

Anderson added, "Obviously this was a huge setback. We're 3-4 (in Pac-12 play) now. I'll let those numbers speak for themselves."

I have to write an entire post, so let me give you ten numbers:

10. 3-4 in Pac-12 (8th place).

That means right now we would have to play in the Wednesday, March 7 first round games and have to win four games to win the Pac-12 tournament and would have to play the #1 seed in the second game. I like you Zeek but this is not happening now:

Besides, guard Lazeric Jones said, "the goals are the same. We want to win the Pac-12."

9. Free throw shooting: 10-21 for the game, 1-8 for the first half.

If you did not watch the game like 66, you would say this is where we lost the game. I don't think that it is but it points to a more important problem. Why did the team shoot so badly from the from throw line? I think it was the Matt Court students. They were loud and obnoxious. They had an effect. They had unique chants for each player from yelling "Jenny Craig" at Smith to making fun of David Wear for missing a dunk. I think they got in our players' heads. Don't forget Travis Wear had made 20 in a row coming into the game.

  • 12.5: UCLA's free-throw percentage in the opening half when the Bruins connected on just 1 of 8 free throws.
A series of Bruins lapses at both ends of the floor fueled an 11-0 Oregon run to open the second half that permanently shifted momentum and rattled a UCLA team that was never able regain its bearings. However, it was in the first half when the Bruins missed a chance to bury the Ducks.

"It's a disappointing loss, a great opportunity to get a road win," Howland said. "And we couldn't get it done."

UCLA was so bad from the foul line that even Wear, who had began the trip having made his previous 20 foul shots, missed both of his free-throw attempts in the first half. The Bruins ended up shooting 47.6 percent from the line, the normally automatic Wear going 3 for 6.

What makes this worse to me is Chianti Dan tried to make this literally impossible for UCLA students by trying to put them so far away from the basket. Matt Court was a true home court and Chianti Dan's lack of understanding that the students are a key part of what make a home court shows once again he is clueless Dan as well.

8. 11 is barely more than 8.

Before the game CBH mentioned that he needed to play Stover more. Stover played 11 minutes instead of his usual 8. CBH blew it again:

UCLA star of the game: Anthony Stover's final stat line won't stand out much as he had only two points and four rebounds, but his defensive presence changed the game every time he was on the floor.

He finished with four blocked shots in only 11 minutes and altered many others. His defensive energy sparked the Bruins for key stretches and Oregon seemed to have trouble scoring whenever Stover was in the game.

7. Josh Smith's stat line was as poor as his waist line.

Certainly Joshua Smith doesn't have it. He is supposed to be the team's dominant player, but he pretty much pulled a no-show in Oregon, combining for 16 points, eight rebounds and seven personal fouls in 31 minutes in the two losses. His body language was awful in both games. He looked dazed and as if he didn't want to be there.

Against Oregon, he played like someone who had mentally checked out before the opening tip and finished with six points, three rebounds and four turnovers in 12 minutes.

6. Two Wear Twins does not equal a small forward.

ESPN's Peter Yoon makes some good points. Yes, this team lacks talent. But they play hard. I am sick of people bitching about the Wears. The kids are playing hard but Howland is just asking too much of them. After squandering the 13 point lead, UCLA went back up by 8. Then CBH inexplicable went to the big lineup of Smith and the Wears. David and Travis Wear cannot play the three and Oregon came back to win. That is not their fault.

It's no secret that this isn't the most talented team UCLA has ever had, but it's a team that should be able to contend in a weak Pac-12 conference. The players frequently talk about their unity and camaraderie, so that's clearly not the issue. . . .

The Wear twins are playing much better, but they also seem to lack the competitive fire and leadership qualities necessary to will a team to victory. The Bruins are playing hard for the most part. They compete, they hustle and they sweat. They are coachable and well-coached and have enough talent to win the Pac-12 conference.

5. Jerime Anderson is not a PG.

The last losing season (2009-10) began with Anderson as the PG. The next losing or unacceptable season will end with Anderson as the PG. Anderson's problem is he has troubles with the most basic of PG tasks: bringing the ball up. Both Oregon and Oregon State exposed that by pressing UCLA. Oregon's press was a key in turning the game around:

His [Oregon Coach Altman] solution was to put the Ducks into full-court pressure. It helped, as did Tony Woods blocking two shots in UCLA's first three possessions and Sim hitting a pair of three-pointers in the first two minutes of the second half, one of them turning into a four-point play when he was fouled.

When Anderson gets sped up, he makes mistakes on both side of the ball. After four years, Anderson is good at running the set offense. He knows it better than anyone else not named CBH. But pressing Anderson, and ball pressure generally, effects Anderson more than it should any PG.

4. 37 and 36 equal 6-16 and 3-9

CBH moved Lazeric off the point in part because he needs to be the number one option on offense. That does little good when Zeek has to guard the other's team PG or best guard (as he has) and play 36 and 37 minutes a night. Zeek is good but he is certainly no AA. Howland needs to get Zeek less minutes:

In addition to the press, Altman felt key factors on defense were Woods' blocks on those two shots and his presence in altering others. Also, Devoe Joseph "turned it up" in guarding Lazeric Jones, UCLA's leading scorer, who was 3-of-9 from the field in the second half.

3. Below average 12 and 15 minutes.

When the guards were facing a press, CBH inexplicably went big in both the Oregon State and Oregon games and away from Norman Powell. He has stated he would not play David Wear at small forward anymore without a zone (that did not happen). CBH also previously said that with Anderson there are diminishing returns when you play him too many minutes. Again despite facing presses for a game and half, CBH played his only backup guard less minutes than average. This disgusts me. Yes Powell was not great but Powell may be the best man-to-man defender (Stover is the best defender) and certainly potentially the best and better than a tired Jones and Anderson.

2. Two starts.

For the first time in seemingly forever UCLA started well. But as Jon Gold pointed out, there are really two starts:

The UCLA men's basketball team has had more false starts this season than a football team starting five freshmen on the offensive line. . . .

Case in point: The Bruins' woeful opening in their three-point loss at Oregon State on Thursday, when the Beavers scored the first seven points of the game. . ..

The Ducks went on a 15-2 run to open the second half and pulled away from UCLA with some clutch free-throw shooting to ruin the Bruins' trip to the Beaver State with a 75-68 win in front of 10,830 at Matthew Knight Arena.

Anderson's foul of Oregon guard Garrett Sim during a 3-point attempt spurred the Ducks (15-5, 6-2 Pac-12) early in the half and had the crowd building on a frenzy caused during a halftime ceremony celebrating the school's Rose Bowl-winning football team. Sim made the free throw to make it a seven-point game, then followed less than a minute later with another

1. Note to CBH: 2 out of 3 equals unemployment.

No UCLA coach can miss the NCAA tournament 2 out of 3 years. That is what CBH is looking at now. The bigger question is will Sports Arena Dan be gone as well:

Oregon showed resilience against a UCLA team that must have John Wooden rolling over in his grave. Coach Ben Howland has already booted the Bruins' most talented player, Reeves Nelson, and skilled 6-10, 305-pounder Joshua Smith is somewhere between a foul magnet and a basket case.

Harsh words but there are really too many reasons to list why this should not be happening.

Go Bruins.

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