clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Fearsome Threesome: Episode 6, Snapback to Reality

Buzzer Beaters, Premature Court Storming and Yes we’re back to a Threesome

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Oregon road trip was… not ideal.

UCLA received their first setback of the year by way of a Dillon Brooks buzzer beater in Eugene, Oregon and have fallen to No. 4 in the rankings. UCLA arguably played their worst game of the season against Oregon with the threesome of Lonzo Ball, Isaac Hamilton and TJ Leaf combined for only 29 points. Along with those subpar performances, UCLA turned the ball over 14 times compared to Oregon’s nine turnovers. And even with all of these statistics, UCLA had a chance to push their lead to three with Bryce Alford on the line.

Alford stepped up and missed the front end of a one-and-one which then lead to Dillon Brooks hitting a cold blooded three to all but seal the Bruins fate. Now, should the refs called a technical foul on the Oregon crowd for storming the court before the game ended? Maybe. But, did UCLA have a chance to seal the game on the free throw line, yes. Bryce Alford choked, plain and simple. Missing the front end of a one-and-one is inexcusable, especially in that situation. However, it is time to move on. Oregon took advantage of UCLA’s youth and lack of defensive talent. The crowd rattled the team. Ball had his worse game in a Bruins uniform and the team simply had no answer for what Oregon was bringing to then. Even with all this said and with UCLA playing one of their worse games they were a last second shot away from still being undefeated.

Watching the game gave me confidence that the team can compete with anyone even away from home. The Steve Alford can use this game as a lesson moving forward and it will allow the team to stay hungry and not be complacent. I would much rather have an early season loss to a Pac-12 team on the road, than a loss in March or a loss in the Pac-12 tournament.

After a very emotional and pretty devastating loss to Oregon the Bruins bounced back in Corvallis against Oregon State. The Bruins showed some semblance of defense in this game as they held the Beavers to only 63 points. The Bruins offensively were not as sharp as they usually are in this game as they were held to their second lowest scoring output at 76 but, they got the job done. Ball and Leaf both scored over 20 respectively and Leaf added 10 rebounds to his stat sheet.

Home never sounded so nice for the Bruins as they face a fairly soft schedule in the coming weeks. UCLA will host Cal and Stanford and travel to Colorado next week. UCLA is much more talent than all three of those teams and should be able to take care of business pretty handily. Steve Alford should use these games, especially the ones at home, to get the team playing some defense. While these games are important, Steve Alford should keep one eye on the home game against Arizona on January 21, a.k.a the two most important games against any opponent for UCLA and their Pac-12 championship dreams.