Well that was a piece of cake. UCLA advanced to the Pac-12 tournament finals by easily cruising past a mediocre Stanford team on Friday night. Bruins demolished a poorly coached Cardinal team by a score of 84-59. Here is the box score. Thanks again to Stanford Administration for keeping Johnny Dawkins around for at least one more year.
The game was basically over in the first 10 mins when Kyle Anderson single handedly dismantled what appeared to be a bored and disinterested Stanford bunch. Thanks to an electric start by Anderson Bruins raced to a 22-5 lead and never looked back.
Kyle Anderson finished the half with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Yes, we call him Mr. Slow-Mo ... but when he is clicking in all cylinders his game certainly remains LA fans of certain point guard who took the city by storm back in the 80s. Kyle finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Although, we aren't exactly sure why Alford kept him in the game when the Bruins were up by 25 something points with less than 5 mins to go.
It wasn't just Kyle who was on fire early. Norman Powell had 9 points in the explosive first half (he finished with a game high 22 points). Travis Wear was also feeling it in the first half as he connected in all 6 of his shot attempts, scoring 12 points and also getting 4 rebounds. He actually made his first 8 shots as he finished with a season high 16 points. Bruins led the half time by a score of 44-29.
Only thing that didn't work in the first half was the broadcasting by Fox Sports 1 which for some inexplicable reason switched over to Creighton game during ours. We didn't miss much but still that was amateur hour on the part of FS1.
There wasn't a lot of suspense left in the second half. Stanford scored couple of points early and that was about it. Bruins' starting unit maintained their collective intensity as they used an early 7-0 wrong to cement the lead at 51-31. It was basically garbage time after that. Well it has been mostly garbage time for the Trees since Dawkins took over that program.
This was UCLA's best all-around performance since the win against UC Berkeley at Haas few weeks ago. Bruins now go on to take on regular season champion Arizona, which took care of business earlier in the day by easily beating Colorado by a score of 63-43. It should be an interesting game tomorrow in Vegas as Bruins will take on the Wildcats in what will certainly feel like as if it were a road game at McKale Center.
UCLA certainly as the talent to win this tournament as we have the best player in the entire conference, who is flanked by a pretty good core of players (recruited by Ben Howland). The question is whether we have a head coach who can get it done against an average in-game coach like Sean Miller. This is a really bad conference.