November24, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Norman Powell (4) against the Chattanooga Mocs during the second half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Bruin Basketball: First (Game) To 100

November24, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Norman Powell (4) against the Chattanooga Mocs during the second half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If there was any doubt that the UCLA Bruins basketball team would play fast, it is probably coming from the school across town. UCLA wrecked the Chattanooga Mocs on Sunday night with a 106-65 beat down. The game was close for the first two minutes and then the Bruins dominated the rest of the game. It was the first time they had scored over 100 points since November 15, 2012 and the first time UCLA has started the season 5-0 since the 2007-08 season.

Nine Bruins scored in this contest of high-flying feats, but nothing was as impressive as the dunk contest Norman Powell and Zach LaVine were putting on for the crowd at Pauley Pavilion. If it was not Powell throwing down windmill dunks than it is LaVine jumping so high that he nearly smashes his head on the backboard. Powell, who averaged 6.1 points in 22.1 minutes last year under the old regime, is using this opportunity to show the new staff that he has what it takes to be a big time contributor. He is third on the team in scoring, averaging 11.0 points a game. Against Chattanooga, he added 19. LaVine also had 19, his career high as a Bruin.

 

Jordan Adams continues to be the go-to guy for the Bruins as he had his 15th 20-point game in his career as he put in 22. He also found a few of his teammates open to contribute five assists. Speaking of assists, Kyle Anderson had seven, three away from another triple-double as he had 17 points and 10 rebounds. I am not sure if the nickname will stick, but being dubbed “Instant Offense” by his teammates maybe the most accurate moniker for a Bruin since Jamaal “Smooth as Silk” Wilkes.

This game came down to raw power and elite talent. The Bruins had 60 points in the paint compared to Chattanooga’s 26. UCLA had a 48-33 edge in rebounding. They even had some good pressure on the defensive side and caused the Mocs to shoot just 35% from the field. Finally, a little bit of defense from the boys in white.

This team is finally clicking and growing stronger as a unit, something that has not been evident in previous years. There are obvious connections that are being made and it is going to be the saving grace of this team. For the second game in a row, Travis Wear, Bryce Alford and LaVine have come into the game four minutes in and have sparked the Bruins with dominating runs. The connection between Alford and LaVine in particular is one to watch as they both seem to know where the other is.

The Bruins now get into some tournament atmosphere as they head to Las Vegas to take on Nevada and Northwestern. The crowd and the competition will be a good test for the Bruins as they get to test their mettle against some stiffer competition. Will they be able to out run their opponents as they have been doing or will some deficiencies be exposed? Stay tuned.

 

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

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Tags: Basketball Basketball Bruins Bryce Alford Chattanooga Jordan Adams Kyle Anderson Norman Powell Offense Travis Wear UCLA Bruins Zach Lavine

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