"I don't hang my hat on the offensive end," Powell said. "I know there are times when guys, and teams, are going to have off nights."
Powell dropped two three-pointers - he had four on the season entering the game - and scored on drives and dunks.
"Norman is a load when you give him freedom in the post and on drives to the basket," Alford said.
. . . Said Adams: "I told him, 'Thank you for everything.' He kept us in the game. It would have been 12-12 if he didn't go off.
"I think this is the first time anyone has asked me about Norm's offense," Adams said. "He gets overlooked. Everyone forgets how talented Norman really is."
Norman has been working on his three shooting. It paid off last night:
"I've really been working on my shot," said Powell, who went 8 of 13 from the field, including two 3-pointers. "I haven't been shooting the 3-ball the way I wanted to. I've been getting up extra shots at practice and on my own. I feel like it's really paying off. I'm really confident in my shot and it's going in."
But the more normal game for Powell is the driving dunk or dish, something this team sets him up to do well:
On the season Powell's been an improved player on the offensive end, entering Thursday shooting 56% from the field and increasing his scoring average from 6.1 to 10.7 ppg. With Adams, Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine the Bruins have multiple players capable of knocking down three-pointers, which allows Powell to be a slasher both in the half court and in the open floor. And while he may not receive the attention of the Bruins' other scoring options, that's a key component for them to have moving forward.
The Bruins as a team had an off shooting night. But last night drove home the point that they have so many weapons it is likely a team can't stop all of them:
The Bruins are an interesting team because they have nine players that just can go off and take a game. Whether it be Zach LaVine, Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams or the aforementioned Powell, the Bruins can put a world of hurt on the Pac-12 Conference if they hit their shots. Having shooters, dribble penetrators and shot creators is exactly the kind of versatility that any coach, specifically Steve Alford, wants on offense.
With the versatility and amount of go-to playmakers like Anderson, LaVine, Adams and now Powell, UCLA can be very dangerous heading into the middle portion of the Pac-12 season. The Buffs are a different team without their best player, Dinwiddie. If UCLA lost one of these guys (Anderson is the most valuable of them all), they would not be depleted as quickly or struggle to find baskets.
Not sure I totally agree as I think losing Anderson would kill this team but generally the point has some validity. Another thing I am not completely sure about is how much the Bruins good defense was because of Colorado missing their star or the Bruins play. Probably some of both:
First and foremost, UCLA defended as well as they have in any big game this season, with Colorado shooting 40% from the field and committing 17 turnovers on the night. With their ability to get out in the open floor and convert those opportunities into quick points UCLA scored 20 points off of those turnovers, and that combined with their 20 second-chance points helped the Bruins make up for shooting 39.4% from the field.
A stat that does seem to be more of a trend is rebounding well.
Sophomore Jordan Adams had 14 points on an uninspiring 4-of-15 performance from the field, but grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds - six on offense.
That latter number helped UCLA continue its recent trend on the boards. Following strong efforts against No. 1 Arizona and Arizona State, it edged the Buffs with a 41-37 rebounding margin.
Bad luck for Colorado, Norman Powell going off, better defense, and winning the Boards all lead to UCLA first win over a ranked opponent.