Great recruiting class for next year but this year's team might just be plain bad as Monmouth beat UCLA 84-81 in overtime. The thing is the game was not exactly a shock.
Why? The Monmouth game went to theme to some extent. UCLA's Big Big lineup dominated inside. Both bigs set career highs in rebounds. Tony Parker had 16 rebounds early in the second half (and 19 for the game) Thomas Welsh had his first double digit rebound game. UCLA out rebounded Monmouth 60 to 37. UCLA had 22 offense rebounds. This also meant that when Tony Parker fouled out late , UCLA was doomed.
For UCLA needed Parker or it did not have an advantage Monmouth won the game because their guards were better. Their guards exposed the fact we don't have a point guard and our best option, Aaron Holiday is raw. Monmouth had 16 steals. Monmouth had only 7 turnovers and UCLA had 23. Monmouth had over 25% of their points off turnovers.
As far as the specifics. UCLA lost the game on a terrible foul call when a Monmouth guy ran over his own player and made the two free throws. But that is not really how we lost. We lost when with 40+ seconds left we decided to have Aaron Holiday go two for one and he raced up the court and shot and got the rebound and went 1-2 from the free throw line.
We lost when Bryce forced an ugly three in a tie game toward the end of regulation that resulted in an airball.
We lost the game because Isaac Hamilton proved again he is as consistent as a piece of paper in a windstorm going an ugly 0-6 with 4 turnovers and missing a key rebound at the end of the game.
We lost because our best point guard is an out of control RAW freshman who had 1 assist to 6 turnovers and down one with 18 seconds left in overtime he passes to Alex Olensinski on the wing (who is only playing because Jonah Bolden was suspended and Parker fouled out), probably the last guy you want to shoot in that spot.
We lost the game because while our bigs were dominant, our starting guards of Aaron Holiday and Bryce Alford shot 8-30 while Welsh and Parker 13-20. Who should get more shot attempts?
We lost because this is a team without a dominant player and/or leader. And its most likely candidate for that position, Tony Parker, had a number of his shots from offense rebounds. And FWIW, Parker had a career high 4 assists so it is not like he is not looking to pass.
UCLA was up 5 in OT when Parker fouled out with 1:49 left. They were outscored 9-1 the rest of the way.
Why is Parker so special? He is the last Howland player left. And the Alford players, many good kids, just don't make a good team. And that is on one person:
Cal Poly Sunday.