The UCLA basketball team predictably played into the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils as they lose their third consecutive conference game.
The thing about UCLA basketball’s loss to Arizona State is that you already know what I am going to write before you read it. It was the same old patterns. The same old runs. The same old basketball under Steve Alford.
The only problem is that Alford is not here anymore, but the Bruins continue to play as if he was.
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After getting embarrassed at USC last weekend, one would expect that the Bruins would come out against Arizona State on fire. Which they did. But one could also predict that they would let up off the gas, which they also did.
For the first three minutes of the game, we saw what kind of basketball team these Bruins can be. During an 11-0 run to start the game, UCLA was making clean, crisp passes, they were being very discriminate with the type of shots they were taking, and they were playing aggressive defense.
Just over ten minutes later, Arizona State had taken their first lead of the game as they slowly chipped away at the Bruins. Physicality was the key for the Sun Devils as they bullied their way into the paint. What came from this is the realization that Moses Brown and the other low post threats need to hit the weight room as they were getting backed down on and posterized more than was necessary.
Arizona State also had no problem driving into the lane, especially their perky little upstart Remy Martin who led the charge against the Bruins all night. Watch for this guy in the next few seasons as he is not only a ball of energy, but he demands attention.
It could have been a similar story for Jaylen Hands, but certain elements of this game were not in his favor. Though he managed to score 15 points, he only recorded 4 assists, most of which came early in the game.
- UCLA: FG – 27/66 (40.9%) | 3FG – 9/25 (36.0%) | Rebs – 40 | Ast – 17 | Turnovers – 15
- Kris Wilkes – 15 pts, 6 rebs | Jaylen Hands – 15 pts, 4 asts
- ASU: FG – 31/61 (44.9%) | 3FG – 7/27 (25.9%) | Rebs – 48 | Ast – 18 | Turnovers – 17
- Remy Martin – 15 pts, 11 asts | Zylan Cheatham – 9 pts, 20 rebs
Kris Wilkes had a slightly better game as he continued his double-digit scoring with 15 of his own, but it took a lot to get there as he was 5/13 from the field.
Moses Brown was almost as known factor as he was getting pushed around most of the game. He finished with only six points and four rebounds.
Predictably, UCLA had some energy coming out of the break, but like clockwork, it fell to the wayside and Arizona State simply had to wait out the Bruins’ blunders and dominated the scoring in the second half, 41-29.
With this being their third loss in a row, UCLA is 3-3 in conference play. Though the Bruins are statistically still in the running to win the Pac-12, this is most likely the beginning of the end.