Is there anything left to say at this point? Really could this game end any more perfectly to sum up one of the most disappointing UCLA basketball season since Coach John Wooden arrived in Westwood.
This game was never really in doubt. At least not for me even when we got off to a good start. In the back of mind I knew even if we went ahead Ben Howland was going to figure out a way to coach us out of this game by sticking with his pet players even though it would cost UCLA the game. Sure enough when the Bruins went up by 10 in first half Howland brought in Jerime Anderson. Just like clockwork the Bruins lead evaporated to 1 point and even though the Bruins made another late run, Cal closed it with an effortless Jerome Randle 3 pointer right in Nikola Dragovic's face.
The script was the same in the second half as Mike Montgomery took advantage of Ben Howland's stubbornness allowing Cal to take total control of the game. UCLA got off to a horrid start with Rag effectively shooting us out of the game. The spectacle of brick after bricks with total implosion on both ends of the basketball court, completely taking a team out of the game and destroying the moral of the players and the entire fanbase shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone. It was telling at one point in second half when Michael Roll gave a disgusted stare after another Rag clanker and then his routine defensive screw up on the other end. Roll's face told us all we needed to know.
If you really care about the box score here you go. Not much in the mood for doing any kind of game analysis. I will leave it up to you break down what happened (as if it is hard to figure out). Guess we can celebrate a little that the season of Dragovic is officially over.
Really what else can you say about Rag? He managed to stoop to a new low. He leaves Westwood perhaps as the worst basketball player ever to put on a UCLA uniform (with two arrests to show for). Yet he has nothing to worry about. He got unlimited playing time, a privileged scholarship well over $100,000, and the time of his life partying it up in Westwood without showing the slightest amount of respect for those four letters or the community that cares about it. Isn't America great.
We have done extensive analysis on what went wrong this season and what Howland needs to do in the coming months. It is not rehashing going all over them again. What is deeply disappointing is how Howland managed to throw away all the good will he accumulated over the years in just one season (even though this implosion has been building up thanks to shoddy recruiting and bad personnel management over last two or three seasons).
We just have to wonder what will Howland be doing in the coming months to erase this unacceptable and disgusting season from our memories. We are still rooting for him to get it right but nights like this (we have had a number of these all season and also last year) make it very hard.