UCLA Basketball: Bruins Wipeout At The Maui Invitational


The UCLA Basketball team comes away from the Maui Invitational with a 1-2 record after losing to Wake Forest in the third-place game, 80-77. If this is any indication of how the season will go, then we  might be in for a season-long wipe out.

The UCLA Basketball team went 1-2 in the Maui Invitational this week, similar to last year, when the Bruins came out 1-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis. This year, instead of starting bad and ending strong, they started strong-ish and ended confused and wiped out.

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The Bruins had an interesting match-up with the Rebels. Though they “barely” won 77-75, this win looks a little better after UNLV defeated #15 Indiana in the fifth-place game. UCLA was a little bit hand-cuffed as Tony Parker was in early foul trouble, but Thomas Welsh and Bryce Alford had carried the Bruins as each had 20 points in the Bruin’s win.

vs Kansas

This was a blood bath. The UCLA Basketball team might have been in this game for the first several minutes, but that did not take long as the Jayhawks’ size, skill and discipline had put up 59 on the Bruins in the first half on their way to a 92-73 victory. The biggest issue was the lack of defense although a struggling offense did not help matters.

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In this game, production was flipped as Welsh and Alford were silent while Tony Parker, Aaron Holiday and Isaac Hamilton had 15, 16 and 19 respectively. Still, it was not enough, by far, and the Bruins earned their first true beating of the season.

vs Wake Forest

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Once again I have to point to the lack of defense for this loss because the the Bruins had several chances to take over this game. UCLA had made 33 field goals, whilst Wake Forest only made 21. What is worse is that the Bruins had a better field goal percentage than the Demon Deacons, 46.5% compared to 40.4%.

For the most part, this was a pretty evenly matched game, but another thing that kept Wake Forest in it was their free throws as they made 30 to UCLA’s 8.

Aside from this lopsidedness, UCLA could have easily taken over. UCLA was down by two points a few times in the last five minutes, but Wake Forest, with out their best player, wanted this game more.

1-2 in the Maui Invitational

So this is not a good look, especially with that smashing at the hands of Kansas. Currently, UCLA Basketball, though talented, does not have what it takes to become elite. That is troubling knowing that even before Pac-12 play, UCLA has Gonzaga, Kentucky and North Carolina on the schedule. If somehow the Bruins can show some fight and get their chemistry in order, maybe they can hang with these big boys of college basketball, but for now, it looks as though it will be another long season.