Abyss-mal: Up and down season goes south up north, as Bruins free-fall in Seattle while Huskies gorge on UCLA’s donut Defense, 97-68
Every time you think the Bruins don’t suck, they dial up a performance like this one.
On the heels of a sweet, 20-point victory on the road over Washington State, the Bruins churned out one of their worst clunkers of the year, with a totally listless 29-point loss to the Huskies. The Bruins have lost 6 in a row at Washington, and before that, had taken some pretty awful teams up there, but Saturday’s beating was the Bruins’ WORST-EVER loss to Washington, of all time.
After cutting the Husky lead to 22-16, the ice-cold Bruins watched Washington run off 14 straight points, and the game was lost. The lead was 23 at Halftime, and hovered between 23 and 31 for most of the 2nd Half. Washington dominated the game in every way, as they often do in their Home arena. They thrived on the energy of their Senior Night, on their desire to avenge their last-second loss to UCLA last month, and on their need to bounce back from their last-second loss to sc on Thursday.
UCLA was unable to get the ball inside (until they were down by 30), so they forced up a lot of contested outside shots. Drago and Roll started out cold, with Roll missing his first 5 shots. Then, with some mental mistakes and Turnovers mixed in, the Bruins allowed Washington to take over. The vaunted Bruin Zone Defense seems to miss James Keefe. The Huskies were consistently able to penetrate the middle of the Zone (Donut = No Middle), breaking it down for easy shots and uncontested dunks. And when the Bruins DID close in on the ball inside, the Huskies kicked it out and hit their Trey’s. Led by Quincy Pondexter and Isiah Thomas, they hit 11 Three’s in just 20 attempts, while the Bruins countered by going 3-16 from behind the arc.
Lucky for UCLA that Washington has a mental block about playing on the road, so UCLA, despite all their glaring deficiencies, could still fare well in the Pac-10 Tourney. They have already beaten Cal and Washington, sc isn’t eligible, and Arizona will probably have to beat the Bruins a third time — twice in LA, which is not an easy task for a young and inconsistent team. The rest of the teams are beatable on any given night for UCLA. The biggest issue is getting the Bruins to go balls out 3 (or maybe 4) nights in a row. On Saturday night, Senior Drago had some really Senior Moments, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. And Malcolm Lee did not look solid or decisive running the Offense. In order to salvage the season with a Tourney run, the Bruins will have to be firing on all cylinders each night, and that might be a little too much to expect, even for the die-hards… especially after seeing them fire on only one or two cylinders on Saturday night.
And a final note: Bobby Knight was the color commentator on ESPN for this game, and for two hours, he showed how much he hates UCLA, and how immaturely jealous he STILL is of John Wooden. For the entire game, Knight analyzed everything from the Huskies’ perspective — What the Huskies are thinking, what the Huskies need to do, and what the Huskies are doing right. And it wasn’t due to the score. Knight was taking pot-shots right from the start, and topped if off with sour grapes over Wooden’s Bruins winning the 1975 National Championship ONLY because Knight’s star player that year broke his arm. No wonder so many people in the world of College Athletics can’t stand this arrogant, petulant, chair-hurling blob of envy. Of the thousands of Basketball “experts” over the last 35 years, only Bobby Knight and Digger Phelps have failed to give proper credit to the Greatest of All Time, which tells you that when it comes to having class, integrity, and a grasp on reality, Knight and Phelps are the Worst of All Time.