UCLA 65, Arizona 58
The Wear twins were going to have to work on one thing to be the mainstay bigs for the UCLA Bruins--defense. The Bruins were a poor to average defensive team for most of the year, and it didn't look like that was going to change as long as Travis and David were the ones trying to guard inside.
It's too early to make any firm judgments on their long-term ability to defend. But today was a start in the right direction.
Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry played well, but were hardly dominant inside, in fact shooting less than 50% from the field. And they were totally gashed on the defensive side of the basketball, giving up 13 of 16 baskets.
With the Wear twins not needing so much assistance on that side of the basketball, they were able to play decent perimeter defense, and Arizona missed 14 threes. It was that type of night for the Wildcats, who continue to struggle offensively without Derrick Williams. With guards on either side unable to pick anything up offensively (shooting around a combined 30% in this contest), it was the big man play by the Wears that made the difference.
Most interestingly, the UCLA big man rotation looked a lot better without the always noticeable Joshua Smith not clogging the paint. If Smith gets healthy soon, could Ben Howland hold off on bringing him back? Anthony Stover and Brendan Lane are hardly offensive cogs, but their defense does seem to be a net-plus for the type of team Howland wants on the court.