Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
After squeaking by Texas, UCLA easily handles an upgrade in competition by romping Prairie View A&M 95-53
At least for one half, it wasn't completely painful to watch the Bruins play. UCLA logged 25 assists on 33 made baskets, moving the ball and playing relatively unselfishly. The Bruins shot at a 60% clip in the first half and raced out to a 23 point lead at halftime. A 25 point breakout game for Shabazz Muhammad on the offensive end provided a lot of the fireworks, and even better, lineups that didn't feature both Wears were abundant throughout the game. Kyle Anderson ended up with a double double. Tony Parker saw early PT, and this ended up being one of the more watchable halves of the entire year.
The second half was rather forgettable. Fouls, turnovers, and cheap sore loser type PVAM fouls had us counting down the seconds to the end.
While I'd like to say it was the change in the lineups and distribution of laying time that we've been calling for that made the difference, you have to give a little more "credit" to the competition. To put it lightly, Prairie View A&M is a team that is allergic to layups. Like "fetch", our M2M defense is not happening, and it doesn't look like Howland is going to be able to make it happen. A team that can finish their drives and avoids dribbling the ball off their own two left feet would have made us pay for our lapses. It's also questionable as to whether Howland has realized his infatuation for the two Wear lineup is a net negative for his team. The improving health of Tony Parker is taking away his justification for playing his pets huge minutes, especially with only 8 scholarship players.
Nevertheless, you can expect Chianti Dan to tout this as yet another "huge" win. After all, if a win over RPI 212 Texas is huge, then a win over RPI 170 PVAM that has only 2 Division 1 victories all season long must be, what? Gigantic? Enormous? Astronomical?
Whatever it is, at least the kids looked like they were having more fun than they have in a while. That's good, because that's what this season is really about now, here after Game 10 of the
No Excuses Farewell Tour.