UCLA Basketball News and Notes, Post Sacramento State Edition

Jordan Adams on his way to another of his 8 steals - Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Adams leads UCLA to a win against an intramural type opponent

It is hard to take much away from a game against a team that basically would lose to the best UCLA basketball intramural teams.   (Myles Jack would score on these guys.)  From the LA Times:

It is the time of the season when good basketball teams schedule ones that aren't so good.

And so we get games such as the one at Pauley Pavilion on Monday night. The arena was maybe a third full and UCLA needed a big run to end the first half to make this game feel safe for the Bruins.

An alley-oop pass from Kyle Anderson to Norman Powell that ended with a slam dunk for Powell and a 40-23 UCLA lead early in the second half did bring some of the sparse crowd to life. A few even stood.

Another highlight play was a flying slam dunk from Powell and his free throw that grew UCLA's lead to 62-30.

How bad was Sacramento State? Well how is this statistical oddity?  The Hornets did not even shoot a free throwin the first half and only went 1-2 for the game.

I guess there are a few takeaways that are positive.  First is Norman Powell.  He is working hard on defense and attacking the hoop.  It will be interesting how he does against better competition but he is looking like a much better player now that Ben Howland is gone.

Also, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams are living up to the expectations as a point guard for Anderson and Adams coming back from injury.

Jordan Adams scored 21 points, including seven straight during a 14-0 second-half run, to lead No. 22 UCLA past Sacramento State 86-50 on Monday night.

Adams has led the Bruins (3-0) in scoring in each of their games after breaking his foot to end last season.

Zach LaVine and Norman Powell added 14 points each, David Wear had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Tony Parker scored 10 points. Kyle Anderson had a career-high eight assists in the first of three games for the Bruins this week.

Adams registered a career-high eight steals, the highest single-game mark for any UCLA player since Darren Collison had nine in a non-conference win over Long Beach State on Nov. 28, 2006.

More on the good Jordan Adams news and Steve Alford was impressed by the defense.

With Adams setting the tone, it was the Bruins' defense that most impressed UCLA coach Steve Alford. Sacramento State (1-2) shot 34 percent from the field and was sent to the free-throw line just twice the entire game.

"They did a lot of different things that we had to guard," Alford said. "I just thought the guys really fought and did a lot of good things. Really pleased defensively."

. . .

Adams completed his 13th career game with at least 20 points with a pair of 3-pointers late in the second half, the final of which swelled the UCLA lead to 84-45 with 4:25 to play. In all, Adams made 4 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc.

"It's good to establish your rhythm early against teams like this before you get into Pac-12 play," Adams said. "Last year I went through a couple of shooting slumps, so I'm mainly trying to focus on that."

The biggest news of the night may have happen off the court.

UCLA's starting power forward missed the first three games of the season after undergoing an appendectomy Oct. 28, but will return for Friday's game against Morehead State. Indications were the senior could return Monday, but he is yet to practice with the team or endure contact drills.

"He's been no contact," UCLA coach Steve Alford said. "They way I understand it, it's not something you gradually have to get back in. Because of the surgery, it's basically a matter of days, or in his case, weeks, and then once that passes you're free to go. He's felt very, very good, but there's a timetable we had to stick to."

The preseason All-Pac-12 third-team selection started 31 of 32 games last season and averaged 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.

[On Noah Allen]: "I would assume that would be a six-week deal," Alford said. "Nobody's given me a time table. He had successful surgery. He was by practice the other day and I told him ‘I hope the other guy looks worse.' It was just one of those tough things. I say that kiddingly, obviously."

It will be good to have Travis back and it is too bad that Allen can't play against the "bad teams" UCLA is currently playing.

The final quote goes to Bryce Alford for his behind the back pass to Jordan Adams:

"I had Jordan to my right and Zach to my left, and I just knew if I got it to one of them, they would finish. I'm not sure why I threw it behind my back. I've had a virus and a sore throat all week, but I just fought through it. We [Zach and I] know our role on this team. We don't have many bodies, so we have to be ready to play. I felt like our man-to-man defense was much better. We did a great job of scrambling and guarding everybody."

I hope Bryce understands his role is to pass first.

Go Bruins!

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