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Steve Alford Fails His First Real Test: Missouri Exposes UCLA 81-70

Recap of Missouri's 81-70 win over a disorganized, lazy and soft UCLA team as Steve Alford gets exposed in Bruins' first real test of the season.

Zach and the Bruins had a great first half but were out coached in second
Zach and the Bruins had a great first half but were out coached in second
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Zach LaVine had a great first half including a highlight reel dunk.  He and Bryce, yes Bryce with four steals, keyed UCLA to an 8 point lead.  It was an offensive show which UCLA won by scoring on steals and the run.  At one point CBS's Greg Anthony said UCLA has "the best offense in America."

But basketball is two halves.  Missouri coach Haith told his guys to crash the boards and the game changed.  They also shut down UCLA's offense by slowing it down.  In the second half the game changed to a relatively slow game.  Adams proved how important he was to the team as he drew fouls and rebounded well.  But we could not score from the field and toward the end could not finish as he tried too hard to draw fouls.

Anderson had a terrible game and looked exhausted in the second half.  Alford needs to give him more rest as he did not sit in the second half (Until briefly under 4) and quite frankly had his worst game as a Bruin outside the NCAA Tourney against Minnesota.

Alford did not want to change his rotation because it was working but he needs to realize that these games are different.  When the competition goes up you can't throw Wannah Bail in for a minute (who had a lane violation and a missed bunny) and keep Kyle in the game for almost an entire half.

The talent is there for a very good team as seen in the first half.  It is up to Alford to unlock it.