Dimitri did an excellent job recapping the highlights and the problems in last night’s loss to the Oregon State Beavers, but let’s allow some reporters to give it some color.
Kris Wilkes with possibly the ugliest 21-point game ever. UCLA also show 10 of 21 on FTs.— Thuc Nhi Nguyen (@thucnhi21) January 14, 2019
Wilkes hit three threes late when the game was over. Interim UCLA Bruins head coach Murry Bartow described it this way to the AP:
We were just stagnant, really stagnant offensively, didn’t zip it around like we’ve been doing.
How ugly was it? Let’s contrast the coaches’ thoughts. The Oregonian’s Nick Daschel noted:
The Beavers offense caught fire during the second half, scoring 47 points against UCLA. Wayne Tinkle was particularly happy with the stat line of 21 assists on 29 baskets, and three players – Thompson Jr, Ethan Thompson, Tinkle – having six assists each.
“That’s when the good juju really spreads,” Tinkle said. “I really love how these guys are sharing the ball.”
Good juju versus ugly hero ball. Contrast this with UCLA’s starting point guard and other just plan dreadful stats noted by Sam Connon in the Daily Bruin:
Hands’ pass to a slashing Wilkes on that run was one of his two assists – tied for his season low and just the second time this season he finished with fewer than three....
UCLA shot 38.1 percent from the field, their worst outing under interim coach Murry Bartow.
Once again, the Bruins shot 47.6 percent from the charity stripe, tanking their 62.8 mark entering the game – which was the worst among major D-1 programs – down to an even 62.
I think it is worth noting that UCLA did come back to take a brief lead midway through the second half but that was it. Ben Bolch mentioned this in his LA Times article:
It momentarily appeared as if Wilkes might be heating up when he made a layup in transition to give UCLA a 47-46 lead midway through the second half. But the Beavers (11-4, 3-0) responded with an 11-1 run that included three-pointers by Tres Tinkle and Ethan Thompson before nudging their lead into double digits for good on two Thompson free throws with 6½ minutes left.
UCLA is fighting more under Bartow. Bartow thinks things can be fixed, but, as Dimitri pointed out, this is still an Alford team. Ben Bolch quotes Bartow:
“Too many perimeter shots, not enough inside-outside action and we were just a little stagnant and our transition game never really got going,” Bartow said. “I think we can solve it, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Jaylen Hands noted we got a split in Oregon which is very Alford-like. That brings us back to Connon for the last word:
And like most of the Bruins’ losses this season, it wasn’t even close.
The 13-point loss was actually the second-closest matchup of the seven games the Bruins have dropped this season.
So, yeah, things are getting better, but this is still an ugly Alford team.