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UCLA Basketball Offense Stinks in a 74-64 Loss to North Carolina

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UCLA has 23 turnovers in another ugly day on offense

UCLA v North Carolina
UCLA players fight hard but their offense is just plain awful.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

UCLA offense is now a huge issue. It was horrible again with almost as many turnovers (23) as baskets (25). Worse than just the numbers, UCLA offense has no flow. It is a lot of dribbling and individual effort. This may be a historical poor Roy Williams’ North Carolina team, but this also may be the worst UCLA offense ever.

The first half may have been the ugliest half of the year for UCLA. And to be clear, the defense was not bad. The offense though, U G L Y. Tyger Campbell had a nice drive and dish for a basket by Jalen Hill. That was seemingly the only basket by UCLA that was not a tough shot or an individual effort.

UCLA finished the half with more turnovers (14) than baskets (11). UCLA had just three assists (and I have no idea when two of them happen) and was 0-6 from three. Even from the free throw line UCLA was bad going 1-4. And to be clear this was not the great Kentucky team that shut out Alford’s UCLA Bruins a few years back, this was a mediocre North Carolina team. North Carolina was up 36-23 at half and the entire margin was their 13 points off turnovers.

UCLA started okay when Jaime Jaquez Jr. got a steal a nice drive to open UCLA’s scoring . A couple turnovers too but he was everywhere for the first 4 points and three rebounds . UCLA was down 8-6 at the first break. Jaquez made things happen with a pump fake and drive. Jaquez finished the first half with a team leading 9 points, 2 steals, 6 rebounds but 5 turnovers

At the under 12 UCLA was still down 2, 15-13. UCLA was our rebounding (10-7) and out shooting 50% to 33% but North Carolina was hitting free throws.

The next 4 minutes had more turnovers than baskets. Both teams were equally inept. But UCLA won the 4 minutes 4-2 to make it 17-17 at the under 8 TV timeout

Jaquez went to the bench and North Carolina then went on a run. Without Jaime we were awful. He came back in we were still awful and North Carolina went on a 17-4 run.

UCLA opened the second half with Chris Smith starting and went on a 12-0 run. Jaquez and Smith keyed the run. UCLA pressed and subbed liberally. And North Carolina was forced to call two timeouts before the under 16 timeout.

But Jaquez missed two free throws when we had a chance to take the lead. Then, North Carolina made a run as UCLA’s point guards had a turnover each with Smith also adding one. North Carolina was up 44-38 lead at the under 12 timeout.

The next 4 minutes were close. But then things came apart with this teams old bugaboo, the three point line. While North Carolina’s Anthony Harris was not a good three shooter, we left him wide open twice and he made us pay. And UCLA started to turn it over again.

The rout was back on, North Carolina was up 16 at the under 4 timeout. Game over, although the Bruins never stopped fighting and made the final margin 10.

Three Takeaways

1. UCLA has a star. Jaime Jaquez is now clearly the best player on the team. He scores, rebounds, passes, and make steals. On a great team he would be a glue guy. On this team, he is the best player. Even when he does not make plays he makes things happen. He is always hustling.

2. The offense is awful. UCLA was 4-21 from three and had 23 turnovers. Forget stats, the defense is okay even good at times. The offense is so bad though. There is not much flow and it way too much dribbling.

3. This team never gives up. On the positive side, UCLA is not a good team but it hustles all the time and never gives up. This team wins the effort battle.

Go Bruins!