If you missed the UCLA basketball game last night, you missed an effort that comes once every four games. If you missed the game, you missed watching the Bruin’s on-again-off-again center Tony Parker make Stanford his play toy. If you missed UCLA beat Stanford 91-74 behind Parker’s 22 points and 7 rebounds, off the bench… you missed a damn good game for the Bruins.
Parker has had some unproductive games this season, as you can read about in UCLA Basketball: Tony Parker’s Inconsistencies. He did well in the game against Alabama and was a monster in the throttling of USC, but then there were stretches were he was non-existent, like this past weekend in Colorado and Utah. But make no mistake, Parker was in “Beast Mode” against Stanford.
For the casual observer, it was apparent that Parker was determined to make his mark. For us critics, he was “En Fuego”. Parker was just too good and scored in a variety of ways. His teammates were able to find him under that basket and he would finish off a great pass with a dunk or he would follow the basketball and tip it in after a rebound. He was doing everything he could against Stanford and it paid off.
My personal favorite was a move he made in the first half. He got a rebound about ten feet out and took it to the hole himself. While doing that, he lowered his head and charged to the basket, a la Myles Jack. Hey, coach Jim Mora, need a fullback for next year? But, seriously, the basketball team will need him for next year. Getting injured due to football would be just silly.
Anyway, sorry to gush over Parker, he just had one of those games.
Other Bruins contributed too, like Jordan Adams who finished the night with 19 points. He also had a physical game against the Cardinal as he was getting himself to the basket at any cost. Adams was another who was quiet in that horrendous Utah game, so to have him bounce back like this is pure brilliance.
Let us not forget the guy that radiates offense, Kyle Anderson. He was three rebounds shy of his second triple-double of the season with 13 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. It is productive nights like this that have him in the John R. Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 25.
The Cardinal were able put up a bit of a fight as they had two guys with a double-doubles. Dwight Powell collected 17 points and 13 rebounds while Josh Huestis made 12 points to go with 12 rebounds. For as much offense they had, their defense could not stop this monstrous effort by the Bruins.
The bottom line here is that the Bruins got their groove back. Stanford was able to hang with the Bruins, but there was so much determination in the eyes of the Blue and Gold boys, that Stanford was a basically in their way. welcome back, Bruins. And welcome back, Tony Parker.