Losses are never pretty, and this was no exception. Arizona made more than twice as many free throws as field goals, sinking UCLA as UCLA could not guard the paint area.
With all this focus on defense, the Bruins really need to strengthen their ability to guard the paint… without fouling.
This is especially disappointing for me, as I will not have had a successful revenue sport team the four years that I was here.
While I can accept that the Bruins fouled more than the wildcats, I definitely felt the refs favored Arizona. A high fouling game never favors UCLA as WE SUCK AT free throws. Josh Smith only played 9 minutes before he fouled out. Heck, forget conditioning, stop fouling! UCLA shot around 60% on free throws again, and we attempted less than half of the attempts Arizona made. That was the entire game right there. Not much more needs to be said.
What makes this game extra frustrating was that this was a game that we could have won easily. We dominated the ball again, taking 59 shots to their 43 AND shot a better percentage. Fouls literally changed the game from a win to a loss.
I’m guessing we can get a NIT invite. Sure, it’s nicknamed “not in tournament”, but the last time we won this tournament we had Reggie Miller on our team, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
All that said, I’m looking forwards to next year. I’m going to be bold here and predict we are conference champions next year.