UCLA Men’s Basketball team has struggled mightily for most of the season. They started the season 2-5 with five of those losses coming against competition like Loyola Marymount, Middle Tennessee State, Kansas, Michigan and Texas. Only two of those schools are ranked, sadly, and they were both double-digit losses. (In fact, all five of UCLA’s losses were by double digits.)
Of course, this all came during Reeves Nelson’s rift with head honcho Ben Howland. Nelson, arguably UCLA’s best player, seemed to be a hell of a troublemaker despite his talents. The dude was dismissed not too long ago and, guess what, the Bruins are back on their winning ways.
Following a figurative castration of UCI (a game in which the Bruins covered the 16-point spread and won 89-60), the Bruins are on a four-game winning streak that began when Nelson left the team before the game against Penn.
Aside from the win against Penn, all victories have come by double-digits, including an absolutely disgusting thrashing of UC–Davis by a score of 82-39.
What does this say? It says that this team may have had a lot of chemistry issues, especially with Reeves Nelson bogging down the ability of the coaches to build rapport with their players. Now that the apparent negativity in practices and on the court are gone, Ben Howland can get back to coaching a winning basketball program.
Just in time, too. After UCLA’s home game against Richmond, the Bruins start Pac-12 conference play, starting with a strong Stanford Cardinal team that’s had just one loss all season, which was against a ranked opponent in then-#5 Syracuse (and they only lost by six).
Let’s hope this streak continues. Go Bruins!