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Salvaging A Split: UCLA Edges Georgia 60-56

The Bruins will fly back to the west coast with a 1-1 split and a lot of questions to answer.


So 60-56. Defensive struggle, right? No, this ain't your older brother's Bruins under Ben Howland. If I were to tell you that one team went to zone and the other team struggled with it and lost, you'd think that UCLA would be flying home 0-fer. But thanks to an 11 point deficit in the first half with Georgia forward Nemanja Djurisic dominating an undersized Travis Wear and a confused Tony Parker, Howland switched to a zone that we played for almost the remainder of the game and the Bulldogs did something that we Bruin fans are all too familiar with: Settled for jumpers.

The zone had Georgia shooting a Bruin-like 10-34 in the second half including 3-15 from beyond the arc. The advantage inside they had been exploiting all game long disappeared and the Bruins slowly climbed back into it. Steady performances by Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad, and even Travis Wear on the offensive end led the charge to offset a now shockingly quiet night for Jordan Adams. The instant offense off the bench was nowhere to be found, and he'll need to regain that mojo when we return to Old Pauley Under Glass, because the offense is still a directionless mess. The two assists recorded at halftime is a testament to that.

Otherwise, there's not a lot here that we didn't already learn from the Georgetown game, so review that as well if you missed both Legends Classic games. It was a win, yes, but a thoroughly unimpressive one. At least we're not talking about a loss, which we could have been if we hadn't switched to zone (or maybe if David Wear had started). The only thing we know for sure is that the Howlers should be very, very concerned right now. This is not an elite team and Howland is not meeting expectations.

I can't wait to see what kind of lame excuses the Howlers have for this performance. Whatever they are, it's nonsense. This is the No Excuses Tour. Get on board or get run over.