Well the exhibition part of Steve Alford's first season at UCLA is over. Bruins beat Cal State San Marco by a score of 109- 79 in front of couple of dozens of people at Pauley under the glass and looked ordinary to below average in doing so. The highlight of the game-thread here was food-discussions. Uh yeah. Here is the boxscore.
Kyle Anderson was the best player in the team as he filled up the stat sheet with an effortless triple-double, scoring 22 points, pulling down 12 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. Kyle was being just Kyle. No biggie.
Norman Powell looks a little liberated because he is no longer in Ben Howland's perpetual (and unexplainable) doghouse. His game looks a bit more fluid and natural in the current coach's "motion" offense (which apparently doesn't need a point guard). Well, he did miss a dunk in second half, which was embarrassing. But, I generally liked what I saw from him.
Powell's room-mate from the Howland doghouse - Tony Parker - looked lost in his first game this season. The true sophomore, who looks to be in better shape this year had much better effort tonight finishing with 17 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks. So that was kind of encouraging (crossing our fingers for Tony).
I liked watching Zach Lavine's game. He brings us the kind of explosives we haven't seen the days of RW and he gives us one of the few reasons to keep track of a program coached by some loser who was chased out of Iowa. David Wear still looks the same. Okay, there is something different about him. He is wearing a white t-shirt under his jersey this year ala Toby Bailey and Charles O'Bannon! So that's something.
Balford (channeling Bill Walton) looks terrible. Yet, his Daddy played him for as many mins as Zach Lavine (27 mins each). LOLz. I am not sure what was worse tonight. Ernie Kent's pathetic commentary or Balford's game, which looks to be a combination of Ryan Walcott and Kevin Dempsey or something. Whatever.
Anyway, we beat a team we beat by 23 points during last year's dysfunctional season (83-60). Offensively our sets look a little better and as I mentioned wrt to Powell, there is more of a natural rhythm in how we push the ball up the court. Yet on the other hand defensively we look atrocious. But I am not sure we want to make too much out of tonight's meaningless contest.
Maybe this means we will just have to go through 2 or 3 more of these exhibition seasons before we finally get a legitimate basketball coach leading the four letters in the House that Coach Wooden built?