I am no smoker but I think I would like one after that game.
If we’re being totally honest with ourselves, the UCLA Bruins should not have been in that game against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are a highly-talented, veteran squad that should have been able to handle a young, inexperienced Bruin squad that found itself integrating yet another major piece so early in the season. Yet it is clear that the culture and never-say-die attitude that was so prevalent during the last few years has not gone away, as UCLA battled for a full 40 minutes before ultimately losing to Marquette by the final of 71-69.
There was a lot to like even in a loss. For example, outside of one brutal stretch midway through the second half, the UCLA defense already showed it is willing to play with the effort and tenacity required by Mick Cronin, as they made the Golden Eagles scratch and claw for every single point. Sebastian Mack has officially emerged as a major scoring option early in his career, combining with Adem Bona to keep the Bruins in the game late. Dylan Andrews had a solid performance while gutting through an injury, and Will McClendon even hit multiple threes!
But you could also see where this team has room to grow. Berke Buyuktuncel did not have a great shooting night in his collegiate debut, but you could see how he fits into this lineup seamlessly. Lazar Stefanovic felt a bit too passive for a guy who is supposed to be a major piece this year. And you could tell that Aday Mara was not ready for this kind of game, as he played little in the first half and did not see the court in the second. Jan Vide, Brandon Williams, and Devin Williams did not even see the court.
But even with those negatives, it is impossible to come away from this game feeling down about the season. This Marquette team is going to be incredibly good and UCLA was able to go toe to toe with them. That’s huge, and a great sign for how the rest of the season will go. And, as a slight consolation, they get an easier game against Chaminade to work on some things before another major game, likely against Gonzaga.
The Bruins will be back at it tomorrow.Go Bruins.
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Hope we get the zags. We need some revenge for the last few marches
What a great game by a gelling Bruin squad that will only get better over the course of the season!
Very surprising to see this young team perform so well in November.
If they play like they did tonight, they will be winning a lot of games this season.
This was a great game, for such a young squad. I’m optimistic of what they can do. They need to get more experience playing as a team.
I hope Cronin uses Chaminade as a chance to play more of his bench, to get them game ready for March. Young players are going to make mistakes, during games. He needs to use it as a learning experience, rather than a reason to bench them or keep them in the dog house. This was too much of his old and broken record. It was at least understandable - in this instance of win to move on - with such a young squad, against a more experienced team.
I'm very okay with what I saw tonight. While it was not championship level basketball, it was good, solid basketball played by the Bruins for large sections of their game and it was a huge step up from their play in the prior 3 games. Where they failed were in the things that made the Jaquez-Campbell teams so strong - composure, the ability to play defense without fouling, and the ability to execute designed plays. For many of the Bruins, this was the biggest game played thus far in their young careers and it showed. There were too many freshmen mistakes, their pace was bad, the shot decision was questionable, and they failed to lock down on defense in the closing minutes, but that is part and parcel of their general inexperience.
Except for one critical stretch where they played exceptionally bad basketball, for the most part, they fought. If Cronin can get them to play intelligent basketball by the end of the year, this team could be a very tough out in March.
I saw things I liked and disliked with the individual players, but unfortunately I don't have time to write up those thoughts. I'll probably have to wait until after the Maui tournament is completed.
The "stretch" was brutal, but the young team hung tough and fought back. I actually think you'll know as much about this team and its attitude with today's game against Chaminade.
This was the first time I watched UCLA basketball this season as I do not get (want) Pac12 Network. My overall impression was that they played far better than I expected of a young, inexperienced team. The two things that were the most bothersome was (and I need to agree with Walton) that in the crucial minutes in the second half, the guards were aimlessly dribbling the ball around the perimeter instead of attacking until there was too little time to make a structured play. This alone cost UCLA the game. Second, this was the first time I saw Mara play and, so far, he is far from living up to the hype of a lottery pick--he looks lost.
Buyuktuncel will be a major force but as Cronin pointed out at half time, he has not played a game in three months so give him some time..
After experiencing yet another disappointing season of football mediocrity, it's so refreshing to see this new Bruins basketball squad compete against a more experienced, top-ranked team and almost beating them. Interesting mix of returning/freshmen/transfer/overseas players for Coach Cronin to manage. Look forward to seeing more improvement as the season progresses. Go Bruins!
It sucks to wake up to bad news, but it's better than staying up to 2 AM and losing. It looks like foul trouble was an issue for both teams. Happy Tuesday, Mighty Bruins!
I actually thought ucla looked really good given the newness of this team and berke’s first game with the team. Mara looks pretty lost against quicker teams, but he had a pretty good 1st half and I think he needs more minutes in the second to get him acclimated to a different speed. I still understand why he didn’t play, but seems like these games are good learning opportunities early in the season.
Dylan getting injured threw off the game a bit as that’s when things went south for ucla for sure. Mack is a great piece for this team. Good that cronin realizes this and has given him a long leash. There was a lot of dribbling in the second half but that’s because Marquette was being allowed to hold, hack, and pull down our players without any calls. Good defense and playing into what the refs were allowing.
UCLA played pretty good defense as well limiting Kolek to only 9 points and 4 turnovers. The talking heads have been drooling over him incessantly. So seeing ucla really limit him shows the talent this team has on defense.
I would have liked more nwuba in this game as well. I truly feel like ucla needs to play to their strengths and have the other team try to compete instead of playing into their game plan. UCLA is huge and should be able to use that against a smaller team like Marquette. Of course your defense will struggle if you went this way and may allow kolek to go off instead so it seems like a fine and take and ucla chose to go with a tough defense. I think Kansas will man handle Marquette inside today and will demonstrate how a better game plan against a small team is to dominate the paint… but we will see.
UCLA had there chance in a well played game where they fought through getting hacked all game and didn’t complain or give up… very impressed and think this team has the ability to win a natty with their size, balance, and defense. Go ucla, get em!
Looking good against chaminade so far, UCLA is up 13-2. Back to the 2 big lineup with mara and bona
Chaminade game is over… but you need to ease your bench players in with the rest. Doing a line change isn’t healthy… need to let fibleil get some time with the starters. Putting in a lineup of vide, fibleil, nwuba, Williams and Andrews doesn’t help any of the 4 bench players… it’s just not valuable
I can’t comment on the new one but Dimitri, you wrote that new post fast