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Dec 31, 2023·edited Dec 31, 2023

At this point it’s hard to feel happy for moral victories. But the team that showed up today was better than the team that played against Villanova and CSUN and Maryland.

I love how Berke is slowly being reintegrated into the lineup. I still think if we had Berke to start the season, and didn’t lose him for 3 weeks to an ankle injury, our record would look very different now. Brandon Williams has been a revelation. He’s playing at a much higher level than Dylan Andrews was last year and he looks like he can be a star by next year. Mack seems to be one of those players Cronin talked about after the Maryland game, that loses a bit of confidence when things don’t go their way. A few TOs and missed shots and all of a sudden he stops attacking and begins passing up open shots/lanez and forcing his passes, which leads to more TOs. McClendon and Lazar should switch spots in the starting lineup. Or have Berke play as a big 3 alongside BWill and Bona

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It’s going to be a work in progress. Until they can consistently hit outside shots, we are doomed in the paint. Please, would a freshman or someone else please step enough to bench Stank-o-Vich. They guy is a liability. The fact that will - 41% shooter (out beat 3-point shooter) passed an open look to an open Stank was a horrible decision. Of course bricked it. Still love my Bruins but looking more and more like a non invite year.

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Definitely an ongoing, developmental/work-in-progress effort. The dropoff in talent and experience from last season's team is steep, but at least they're showing some improvement even though they aren't winning most of their games. Currently, their defense prevents them from suffering blowout losses, but they really need a TON of practice on shooting and taking care of the ball. Participation in March Madness seems unlikely because they have zero wins against any Quad-1 or 2 opponents so far, and the Pac-12 conference itself is relatively weak. The Bruins were 8-9 (1-3 in Pac-12) in early-January during Coach Cronin's first year at UCLA, so the best outcome for this year's team is to replicate a similar turnaround and end this season on a hopeful note. Anyway, Go Bruins! (And congrats to the Lady Bruins for beating U$C!)

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OK - for the good news first: Our undefeated #2 Bruins beat $outhern cal at Pauley 71-64! JuJu Watkins might have had 27 & 11 but it took her 24 shots and 11 free throws to get there and she was outplayed by Londynn Jones who had 21 & 7 on 8-12 shooting all from the field - 5 of 8 from 3 (if only the men's team had someone who could shoot that well from beyond the arc!)

I think today showed a path forward - more Berke and BWill (and Fibleuil darn it!) and concerted effort to get the ball in to the post especially on nights when Mack is struggling to either get to the line or the rim but we've got to defend the arc better - if we're going to get/keep games in the high-50s/low 60s, you can't let teams make a run of 3s - we just don't shoot well enough to withstand those spurts... On that note, I get that "shooters gotta shoot" but someone has to tell Lazar he's not actually a "shooter"!

All these close losses to good teams mean the rest of the Pac12 season is kinda preseason for the conference tournament anyway (except for the zona and Colorado games which are Tier 1) so hopefully we can work on stuff to come together in late Feb/March

Happy New Year Bruins!

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It's just going to be a down year. Hopefully guys like Andrews and Mack develop so they can be great contributors to next year's team. And maybe one of the Euros if we are lucky.

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While there is slow improvement overall, we do not have any reliable 3 point shooters--315th in the nation. Last night proved that it is almost impossible to beat the better teams shooting 15% from the three. It was excruciating to see our players scratch and claw to a seven point lead in the second half only to have Shelstad & Co. hit quick, consecutive threes to wipe out the lead. This team will be the one to break Cronin's streak of making the NCAA tournament. Can not make a silk purse from a sow's ear and can not teach players currently throwing up brick threes to correct their mechanics to make those shots during a season..

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On another subject, why is it that "The Mighty Bruin" does not see fit to even make a mention--no less an article--about our women's basketball team? Undefeated, ranked number two and just beat a top ten, previously undefeated U$C?

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All of your comments pinpointed well the team's woes. They are insightful, worth discussing. I hope Cronin pays heed. Other than that, what's the point of saying yeah, this is for sure a down year and blah, blah, blah ... Who doesn't know ?!?

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We’re tied with Arizona in the conference standings!

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The offense is junk.

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This roster needs time to develop the skills to play well both offensively and defensively, not that they have "no weapons ". Cronin is a good material coach. He will mold them together in due time.

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Go Michigan and UW today, btw

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It's the holidays and the site is run by a small team. When you have limited resources you have to choose. Happy holidays and happy new year! :)

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When I watch the Bruins, my concern are the returning players who are starting, who seem to be more concerned about their points than the distribution of the ball and trying to set up other teammates for a shot. The immaturity of those returning players are hurting this team. Not sure why Bona isn’t being used as the focal point of the offense to either take his shot or setup other players. Often, Bona becomes to emotional losing focus, making mistakes.

Let’s hope it improves. Happy new year Bruins.

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