UCLA Basketball: Good At Pauley Pavilion, Not So Much On The Road


UCLA Basketball is fantastic at Pauley Pavilion under Steve Alford. On the road, they have a lot of work to do.

The UCLA Basketball team is hot at Pauley Pavilion. Currently they are on a 5-game win streak which includes an 87-77 victory over former #1 Kentucky. Sure they lost to Monmouth in the season opener, but that is looking more and more like an anomaly.

The point here is that in the Steve Alford era, the Bruins do well defending their home court. In the last three season, UCLA Basketball is 37-4 at Pauley Pavilion.

In his first season, Alford lost two games at home, one of which was without his two of his top players, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams.

RELATED: UCLA Beat Kentucky, But Has A Long Way To Go

Last season, the Bruins lost to Gonzaga at Pauley in a game that could have gone both ways. Additionally, UCLA Basketball went undefeated at home in Pac-12 play. Incredible, right? Yes, but things get a bit lopsided when considering how the Bruins play away from Pauley.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

Considering true road and neutral site games, the Bruins are 9-19 in the last three seasons. That includes a 4-4 preseason tournament record and no conference road sweeps. In road/neutral games against non-conference opponents, the Bruins are 4-8.

This is important considering the Bruin’s next opponent against #20 Gonzaga which will be played in Spokane, Washington on Saturday night. This will be the first true road game for UCLA this season and a cause for concern.

Here is the good news, the Bruins are playing some good basketball right now. Returning from the Maui Invitational 1-2, UCLA Basketball had then destroyed CSUN, beat the aforementioned Kentucky Wildcats and came back to defeat Long Beach State.

In every one of these last three games, the Bruins showed that they can come together as a team and take over a game with balanced offensive production, defense that has stepped up significantly and some effective scoring off the bench.

The bad news is that UCLA is going to enter a hostile environment the likes they have not seen this year. As the first true road game, the Bruins are going into an environment in which 6,000 Bulldog fans will be ready to verbally maul the Bruins.

So how will UCLA play in this game? Overall, it looks like they are ready. They have experience playing against a Top 25 team away from home (though they lost 92-73 in that game against Kansas) and since then have been playing some sound basketball.

What the Bruins need to do up at Gonzaga is avoid the noise and play their game. Can they continue their unified production or will they cave to pressure? We shall see.

Next: UCLA Basketball: 3 Things We Learned From The Maui Invitational

What would be considered a success is if they they not just win, but play a tough, close game. Honestly, if they lose by 5 points or less, that can be a positive going forward. Let’s hope the Bruins show that they can Fight Fight Fight as they continue to improve in non-conference.