So not much to take from last night's game. In terms of how our guys played we can probably take as much from that game as we did in our blowout win over the Beavers at Pauley, which is not a whole lot.
But for the stat geeks among us here are some notes courtesy of Perelman over at What's Bruin:
>> The 41-point margin is the biggest of the season for the Bruins; they defeated Idaho State, 89-49, on Dec. 15 at Pauley Pavilion.
>> The Bruins shot 47% for the game (27-57) and 40% from three-point range (8-20), but held Mississippi Valley State to just 19% on 13-66 from the field, the lowest by a Bruin opponent this season (previous, 31.3% by Michigan on Dec. 22). The Della Devils made just 13 field goals, also a season best for the Bruins, which gave up only 17 field goals to Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 13.
>> UCLA had 50 rebounds to 29 for Mississippi Valley State today. That's a seasonal high for the Bruins (49 vs. Youngstown State on Nov. 12) and the biggest rebound margin in any game this season (previous best, 19 four times).
>> UCLA was credited with 13 blocked shots (equal to Mississippi Valley State's made field goals!), a season high; the best previous performance was 10 vs. Oregon State on Feb. 21.
>> The Bruins also forced 11 turnovers, the 16th straight game that UCLA's opponent has had 10 or more turnovers.
Again the most significant stat of the game was none of our starters played more than RW's 26 mins. Even more importantly LRMAM got to rest his sore ankle, which will allow him to be fresh for Saturday's brutal matchup against Texas A&M. From the OC Register:
"We were going through the walk-through and he switched my shirt and put me in the rotation and afterward he came up to me and said I was starting, that we were going to try to keep Luc rested," Keefe said.
Mbah a Moute said that he still had some swelling in his ankle when leaving the Bruins' shoot-around, but that he would be able to play against the Aggies, who advanced with a victory over Brigham Young.
"I was glad I didn't play - it was good for me for next time," he said.
Going back to the game, per Pucin in the LA Times, there was something from last night's game, Howland and his players were not happy about:
"We have to learn not to make mistakes," he said. What mistakes did the Bruins make? "We gave them too many offensive rebounds," he said. And, indeed, the Delta Devils did have an advantage on the offensive boards, 15-12.
Love had to think a minute before coming up with his lesson learned. "It's going to be a while before a 16 seed beats a one seed," Love said. The message Howland had pounded into the Bruins was that it would be bad to have that record -- the first top-seeded team to lose to a 16.
"In reference to James [Keefe], his play has earned him more minutes and more potential to play as we move forward into Saturday's game. We're going to need him. These guys from Texas A&M -- that was the most physical game we played in last year, here in the Wooden [Classic].
"[Joseph] Jones is just a big, strong kid inside, [Bryan] Davis is huge; they have a kid ... who comes off the bench now [Chinemelu Elonu] who's ... just so strong and athletic -- obviously DeAndre Jordan that Kevin [Love] alluded to. They have as big a front line, as athletic a front line as there is in the country. Their wings are 6-5 and 6-6, and they can really shoot it, especially [Josh] Carter. So we have our hands full and we're going to need all the bigs on our team to perform on Saturday."
Texas A&M obviously will be a huge challenge tomorrow. I will try to post some notes on them this am before heading out to Seattle for a little vacation. I will be back Wednesday. I will see if I can pop in here via my laptop or phone. But I am sure Ajax, Meriones, Tydides, Telemachus, Menelaus, Achilles et al. will keep this place rocking while our Ben Ball warriors keep approaching this tourney one game at a time.
And just in case anyone need to know the motto of our Ben Ball Warriors for this special time of the year:
Photo Credit:Gina Ferazzi/LA Times
That motto applies to the entire Bruin Nation.
Onward. Time to zero in on the Aggies.