Is UCLA pulling off the most remarkable in-season turnaround?

The Bruins road win after Stanford was more impressive than most people realize, especially for those who have not been paying attention to UCLA Basketball lately.
Feb 7, 2024; Stanford, California, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Dylan Andrews (2) attempts to score during
Feb 7, 2024; Stanford, California, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Dylan Andrews (2) attempts to score during / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

As LL Cool J once said, "Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years." The vast majority of college basketball had dismissed the Bruins this season after not playing well earlier in the season but they should not have easily dismissed the Bruins as UCLA is showing that they are back and making a run to potentially win the Pac-12 conference this year.

74. 517. Final. 82. 518. UCLA defeats Stanford

Bruins on fire from deep: UCLA had its best shooting performance of the season from beyond the arc, connecting on a season-high 11 three-pointers on 25 attempts (44%). This outstanding ability to make double digits in three pointers, particularly in the second half, helped them pull away and secure the victory. Sebastian Mack, Lazar Stefanovic, and Will McClendon combined for nine for sixteen from three point land.

Bona and Mack led the charge in the win: Adem Bona had a strong all-around performance with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals including a crucial three-point play late in the game. Sebastian Mack provided consistent scoring throughout, finishing with 21 points.

UCLA's defense still was the reason for the victory: Although Stanford shot well from the field overall, UCLA held them to just 4-for-17 shooting from three-point range (23.5%). This defensive effort, particularly in the second half, was crucial in preventing Stanford from mounting a comeback. Key steals and contested shots down the stretch helped seal the deal for the Bruins.

This win represents UCLA's fourth straight victory and strengthens their position in the Pac-12 standings as they are now in fourth place and only a game and a half out of being in first place. They are now ahead of Stanford in the race for a top-four seed, which comes with a bye in the conference tournament.

The bigger picture is that UCLA won six of their last seven games with three of those six victories being on the road. No one could have really predicted the Bruins playing this well these past weeks but any one who has followed Mick Cronin's tenure at UCLA knows that he always finds a way to get his players to play their best basketball towards the end of the season.

What is next for UCLA?

518. FOX. Saturday, Feb 10. 2:30 PM PT. UCLA going to Cali. 10-13. 2287. Haas Pavilion. 12-11


Next. UCLA in the rankings. UCLA playing well in the month of February. dark