- Anthony Davis injury: 49ers tackle out vs. Seahawks
- UFC 181: 3 thoughts surrounding Robbie Lawler’s welterweight title win
- Hero World Challenge 2014: Tiger Woods’ short game fails with 2nd round 70
- Jim Harbaugh defends Colin Kaepernick’s press conference
- Tiger Woods returns, struggles to 77 at Hero World Challenge
- Pac-12 Championship Game tickets least expensive in 4 years
- MLB offseason 2014: Will Nelson Cruz be able to repeat his success?
- Kings’ Slava Voynov will face felony assault charge
- Tim Howard earns U.S. Male Soccer Athlete of the Year honor
- Is Robert Griffin III an NFL bust?
Pac-12 Tournament 2013: UCLA defense, rebounding keys to success
- Updated: March 15, 2013
The UCLA Bruins took care of a hungry Arizona State squad on Thursday in the quarterfinals in the Pac-12 tournament by doing something they hadn’t done consistently all season long — making plays without the ball in their hands.
Those plays, otherwise known as the hustle stats, have made all the difference for head coach Ben Howland’s young team, and like most inexperienced teams, they’ve relied heavily on their raw talent and struggled to match the intensity of their opponents on defense and on the glass.
But like many talented teams before them, they’ve managed to mitigate these deficiencies — if you can call them that — by scoring 75.0 points per game in 2012-13. Unfortunately for fans in Westwood, they’ve allowed a whopping 68.6 points per contest, which ranks 228th in Division 1 hoops. Not only has this narrow margin put them into close games they should have otherwise won, but it has also given them an early test they’ll have to pass before they have any chance in advancing through the NCAA Tournament.
The Bruins rank 92nd in rebounding this season, but they pounded the glass and collected 36 boards to the Sun Devils’ 38. They’ll have to do more of the same, especially on the defensive end, in order to sniff postseason success. The Bruins have their hands full with an Arizona team capable of doing all the things that UCLA struggles with on Friday, namely score, as was the case on Thursday behind the efforts of ASU freshman sensation Jahii Carson. The Co-Freshman of the year who joined Shabazz Muhammad, lit up the Bruins for 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Still, the Bruins prevailed by playing sound ball, and if they’ve fixed their biggest issues off the ball in preparation for the postseason, they’ll threaten any team they face.
Latest posts by Michael C. Jones (see all)
- Anthony Davis injury: 49ers tackle out vs. Seahawks - December 12, 2014
- VIDEO: Russell Wilson makes Fletcher Cox look silly on quarterback scramble - December 7, 2014
- Hero World Challenge 2014: Tiger Woods’ short game fails with 2nd round 70 - December 5, 2014