In our last game preview, we predicted UCLA (21-7,10-5) was to defeat Oregon, and stated that the Bruins were going to get back into form after losing on the road to Stanford the previous weekend. But something strange happened. The Bruins have not been without drama this year and it didn’t stop on Thursday as we found out before the game that both Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams had been suspended for unspecified reasons.
So let us start this article by saying that when Oregon State (15-12, 7-8) comes in to Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, the Bruins will definitely be ready.
The suspensions for Anderson and Adams were only for one game, which means that they will be playing against the Beavers. UCLA hit their first two-game losing streak of the season with the loss to the Ducks, albeit without their two best players. Still, a loss is a loss.
So on to the next challenge.
In their first meeting up in Corvallis, UCLA lost to Oregon State on the second of a two-game road trip. For some reason, the Bruins have not been as effective in the backend of their conference road trips as they are in the front end. Well now things are happening at Pauley Pavilion and the Bruins get there two best players back.
Anderson and Adams should have a bit of a chip on their shoulder after their embarrassing absence on Thursday, but the story will be about the growth of freshmen Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine. Without the Bruin’s two best players, Alford and LaVine carried the team on their back and pushed the struggling (yet full roster of the) Ducks to two overtimes, ultimately ending in a loss.
LaVine could not be stopped at times and came away with 18 points. Alford put in a career effort with 31 points. The Bruins now have some proven back-up to their power players, so when they take the floor against Oregon State, expect a Beaver beat down.
And why is that? Well, they have Pac-12 scoring leader, Roberto Nelson (20.6 ppg) to go with Angus Brandt (12.6 ppg) and Devon Collier (13.5 ppg), but not much else. These three lead the Beavers over USC in their last game, but not before a 24 point loss to Washington occurred the week before. Needless to say, they are very inconsistent.
The Beavers had fire in their game against the Bruins in Corvalis, but this is a bad situation they are walking into. Anderson and Adams are back, the Bruins are looking to avenge their loss at OSU and it is the final home game of the season for UCLA. Which brings us to…
THANK YOU SENIORS!
The game may start at 6:00 p.m., but UCLA asks that you be there at 5:45 p.m. for a Senior Night presentation.
Be sure to arrive to Pauley by 5:45pm Sunday for a special Senior Night presentation prior to our 6pm PT tipoff. pic.twitter.com/6DgAK6pDBe
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) March 2, 2014
David Wear, Travis Wear and Aubrey Williams, thank you for your hard work! You are forever Bruins and will be missed.