The fact that UCLA was even in the game late was evidence that we have superior talent and for the most part, are a superior team. However, having superior talent only means you're wasting it if you're not going to work and today, UCLA didn't work. While we were reaching for balls, they were diving for them. While we were waiting for rebounds, they were jumping for them. While we were jogging down court, they were running. Every point the Huskies got they deserved and every sprint Howland makes the Bruins run for this, they'll deserve it.
The most disappointing part of the game though was DC. Bad games happen and players have off days where they're just a step slow, but there is no excuse for having such a lack of effort. On at least 4 occasions, DC was jogging down court while Dentmon ran and Dentmon ended up either scoring or assisting those 4 times. DC was also caught watching what was going on and essentially leaving the Bruins to play 5 on 4. The worst of these was when Aboya and Shipp doubled on the baseline while DC stood and watched. When they got the ball out of the double and started in transition, DC started jogging down while Dentmon sprinted. Dentmon got the ball and hit the jumper. I usually give our players a lot of leeway, but DC was an embarrassment to the four letters on the front of his uniform today. He needs to apologize to his teammates for the disgusting effort he put forward today.
This is a team with a senior, redshirt junior, 3 juniors and 2 sophomores in our 8 man rotation. This isn't a young team and they're running out of excuses for these games. While teams like Kansas, Duke and Memphis keep on winning, we're blowing games like this and USC. We came into this game only 1 game up in the Pac 10 so it's not as if we're just playing out the season. These games matter and we can't keep chalking these games up to "wake up calls." We were missing Luc today and no doubt it hurt, but missing a player isn't an excuse to stop working.
Update [2008-2-11 0:30:13 by ryebreadraz]: I did a terrible job articulating my point in my final paragraph so I have deleted because the way it came across was an insult to the program Howland has rebuilt. However, the points in the preceding paragraphs still hold true.