Tag Archives: Stanford Basketball

UCLA Men’s Basketball: The Bruins can reclaim Pac-12 dominance this weekend

Jerime Anderson, courtesy JMR Photography

So after a 2-5 start to a season that looked like a lost cause, the Bruins fixed some things (read: dismissed Reeves Nelson) and are on a 5-game win streak, now 7-5 on the season.

Sure, only one of those games came against a not-crappy opponent in Richmond (their most recent win), but the important thing to note is that this team is riding a hot streak going into a weekend which will see them play against Stanford and Cal (two of the top three teams in the Pac-12) tonight and Saturday night respectively. Cal is 10-3 on the year, Stanford is 10-2, while tonight marks the opening of Pac-12 conference play.

To open up the season, the Bruins were considered the favorite to win the conference. After a shoddy start, they can catapult themselves into contention for the first time all year, especially now that all teams are 0-0 in-conference.

Of course, implications aside, both Cal and Stanford are beatable especially since our Bruins have a hell of an advantage inside (if Travis and David Wear can get their shizz together, and if Josh Smith can be as active as he can be). Though our backcourt is a bit more of a question mark, the talent available to us (although Lazeric Jones was hurt along with backup Normal Powell; both will play on bum ankles, but neither figure to be 100 percent) is formidable enough for us to keep up with the incumbents at Stanford.

Regardless, the Bruins need — and can obtain — a “W” leaving Palo Alto on Thursday night. Hopefully, they’ll give us a belated Christmas present.

 

UCLA Men’s Basketball is on a roll without Reeves Nelson. No, seriously.

Joe Bruin

Joe Bruin, letting *you* know how to win basketball games.

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!