UCLA basketball, and its season, has wound up with another astonishingly disappointing performance.
The 11th-ranked Bruins fell to the Cal Poly Mustangs, 70-68, on Sunday night. The Mustangs (1-3 in 2012) came in looking like yet another Big West also-ran and kept UCLA on its heels the entire contest, keeping up with the Bruins for most of the first half before rallying from a second-half, 18-point deficit to beat UCLA.
The Bruins have now lost two games out of six and among the wins come close calls against Georgia and UCI, both of which are far from well-regarded in the college hoops world.
Cal Poly did what other teams have done to UCLA to expose their defense, penetrating on the interior and taking advantage of flighty inside defense, while the Bruins were slow to rotate to three-point shooters and the Mustangs took advantage, going 9-for-25 from downtown including a few, key threes down the stretch.
With UCLA’s rotations being far from what they should be, and with the UCLA offense looking listless, all while the Bruin defense is porous, Ben Howland’s seat has become increasingly heated. Given the talent Howland has at his disposal, UCLA shouldn’t be losing to teams such as Cal Poly, and they really should be destroying teams like these Mustangs or UCI or Georgia, all three of which were close losses and/or losses.
The Bruins look nothing like the team everyone expected, and as a result, Howland is now in serious trouble.