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UCLA Basketball: Bartow Has Few Answers For Bruins’ Woes

He keeps talking about the players’ energy in practice, but the same effort doesn’t show up in games.

Utah v UCLA Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

If you have any remaining doubt that Murry Bartow cannot be named the permanent head coach of the UCLA Bruins, yesterday’s press conference should remove that for you.

That’s because, when he met with the media yesterday, he had no real answers on how to solve the Bruins’ woes after being swept by the mountain schools last week.

Instead, Bartow offered a lot of vague coachspeak like this:

[O]bviously, our team was devastated after the game the other night. I haven’t seen the guys since then, but we’ll have a good practice today [and] a good practice tomorrow and, then, head north. but we’re all the same. When you compete and you play hard and you don’t finish one out, it was disappointing.

Ben Bolch from the LA Times then asked Bartow how he handles a loss like Saturday’s loss to Utah. To say that Bartow’s response was contradictory and evasive might be an understatement. Bartow said:

We, as a staff, have got to make today number one. I don’t think you...yes, I do think you analyze it very carefully as a staff. I think some things you convey to guys individually and, then, obviously will convey some other things to guys collectively as a team, but we’ve been in this position some in the non-conference...we’ve been in this position some in conference play where were some leads have gotten away or, maybe, it’s been a tie game the next thing you know we’re down 10 or 12. So, it’s not the first time it’s happened, but it’s something we’ve kind of got to get a grip on and get control of.

Well, first, he contradicted himself as he started to say I don’t think you analyze it, but he quickly contradicted that by saying “you analyze it very carefully as a staff.” Then, he spent most of the rest of his answer talking about how it’s happened before. He, then, seemingly talks about how they need to get control of it, but he offers absolutely no ideas as to how he plans to do that.

After that, he quickly moves on to his seemingly favorite subject: the amount of energy the team has in practice. After a month and a half, you would like to think that the coaching staff has found a way to channel all that energy into playing the game the right way, but that, obviously, hasn’t happened and something tells me that it won’t, at least until a permanent replacement for Steve Alford is named.

Here’s Murry Bartow’s full interview, courtesy of Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online.

David Singleton, Jaylen Hands and Chris Smith were also interviewed before practice. Thanks to UCLA Athletics for sharing the video of the player interviews.

The Bruins will face the UC Berkeley Golden Bears tomorrow night at 7 pm PT.

Go Bruins!!