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UCLA Beats A Bad Cal Team

UCLA again proves it can beat bad teams at home beating UC Berkeley 73-54

Looney was head and shoulders above Cal.
Looney was head and shoulders above Cal.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The post game box score is here. This is the way UCLA was supposed to look.  How much of this was an ugly UC Berkeley and how much was UCLA?

UCLA was running down the shot clock early.  Bryce and Isaac were pass first.  We were making sure Tony Parker and Kevon Looney touched the ball.  In the first 11 minutes we had 5 assists.  We even got points from the bench with Noah Allen scoring on a goaltended layup.  One beautiful play was a tough rebound by Parker passed out to Looney at the free throw line passed quickly back to Isaac for a layup.  Hamilton is the ultimate example, his 2 threes and that layup come from the offense flow.

We then went individual with Isaac, Bryce, and Norman going one on one.  It worked for Norman in the open court, Isaac and Bryce not so much.  We had two more assists the rest of the half.

In the first half of the first half we saw how this team should play and can be good.  Go inside first.  Isaac and Bryce pass first.  Isaac looking for set shots.  Powell and Looney looking to create, Powell in the open court.  But in the latter minutes of the half we saw the bad side Bryce finishing 0-7 and 3 or 4 of those were probably bad shots.  Steve called a timeout after back to back bad possessions with misses by Isaac and Bryce on ugly drives.  Hopefully to get those two back on track.

In the second half, we pounded it inside again for the first 8 points of the half with 6 coming from Parker and the other from Looney.  As a result we opened a double digit lead and in reality ended the game.  Bryce finally scored a field goal on a long three and Steve pulled him.  Bryce had 6 assists for the half, relatively early in the half.  Which brings up an interesting point?

Was Bryce passing relatively a lot and trying to be a point guard because Steve told him too?  Or as Chrissorr mentioned was it because a very good defender in UC Berkeley's Wallace was on him?  Bryce's points really are deceptive as they came all late after Berkeley had given up.  Even Goloman hit a three as UCLA put Berkeley away.

So what does it mean?

Glass half full. The Stanford game was a turning point, UCLA is "back."  Five players scored in double figures and Bryce had nine assists.

Glass half empty. Why did it take Steve this long to realize this team only works when Isaac is shooting set shots, Bryce is pass first and only Norman can freelance on offense of the guards.  But most importantly going inside out with Looney and Parker leading the way.  (It should not take a five game losing streak to start calling plays for your best player.)

Reality.  The PAC 12 outside of Utah and Arizona is bad.  We beat two cupcake* teams at home.  One we need a missed free throw and both we needed bad coaches.  UCLA is much more talented than either of these teams and in college basketball the homecourt matters.

Go Bruins, beat SC!