Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Happy Handsukkah — The first night of Hanukkah, aka The Festival of Lights, is not a festival for the Lions, as Moses Brown (3 Blocks, 10 Rebounds) and the UCLA Defense plague Loyola to 29% shooting, while Jaylen Hands (10 Assists, 17 Points) leads the Bruin Offense to 82 Points against a (previously undefeated) team that was giving up less than 60 a game, in an 82-58 blowout (but never blow out the Hanukkah candles)

Will the “Jewbilation” last 8 days?  With the Catholics coming to town on Saturday?  UCLA hosts hated former rival Notre Dame this weekend, renewing a rivalry that conjures up images of Austin Carr, Kelly Tripucka, Bill Laimbeer, and “the devil himself” (as Bill Walton calls him) Digger Phelps.  And the Bruins continued to develop some good momentum to take them into that contest, after following up a luau-like feasting on Hawaii with a safari-like trophy hunt of the Lions of Jesuit College Loyola Marymount.

This skinning of the Lions was never close, with UCLA taking control early and cruising with a double-digit lead for almost the entire game.  The Bruins were up by 12 at the Half, and added another 12 to that margin in the Second Half to win going away, 82-58.  You’d never know that Loyola came into this game at 8-and-0, with a Nationally-ranked Defense that was holding teams to under 60 Points per game and under 40% shooting.

UCLA  was able to establish an early lead not because Loyola’s Defense was bad — The Lions’ “mane” issue was their atrocious shooting.  They missed 9 of their first 10 shots, and never recovered.  Their star Offensive player went 2-for-14 on the night, and 0-for-5 from behind the arc.  The rest of the team didn’t fare much better, shooting 29% for the game, and 2-for-16 from Three.

The Lions missed a lot of open shots, but the reason they were shooting from outside in the first place was that Moses Brown was in the paint.  Moses blocked 3 shots, altered many more, pulled down 10 Boards, and added 12 Points on 6-for-7 shooting for another Double-Double.  Brown had help down low, as Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and Chris Smith all made life difficult for LMU inside.

On the other end, we continue to see the maturation of Jaylen Hands as a Point Guard.  Tonight it was about driving and dishing, and finding Moses in the promised land.  Hands tallied 10 Assists, which to me are more impressive and more important than his team-leading (tied with Kris Wilkes) 17 Points.  Hands also had 3 Turnovers, but offset that with 2 Steals on the other end.

Hands may not have the uncanny court vision of Lonzo Ball, but he has a knack for finding seams, and breaking down defenses with his quickness and driving/slashing ability.  And instead of just trying to throw it up and draw a foul, this year Hands penetrates, then finds open men.  Twice early, he located an open Brown in deep for easy buckets.  He also knows that finding Wilkes leads to a good payoff, setting him up a few times, leading Kris to a 17-Point night, despite Wilkes going only 1-for-5 from Downtown.

In fact, the Bruins weren’t shooting well themselves, especially from the perimeter.  No Bruin made more than 1 3-Pointer.  As a team they ended 5-for-21 from deep, or 23.8%.  That won’t get it done in Pac-12 play.  But it’s good to know that when the treys aren’t falling — they made ZERO in the Second Half — they can still score, by going inside to the big men, especially after dribble penetration opens things up.

Prince Ali lost his hot hand from Hawaii, but still scored 9, and added 2 Assists and 2 Caroms.  Jules Bernard came off the bench to also score 9 including 6-for-6 from the line, and he also snatched 6 balls off the glass.  Fellow Freshman Reserve Guard David Singleton came in and grabbed 3 Boards in his 16 minutes, but failed to take a single shot.  Before the game, Coach Alford mentioned that the sharpshooting Singleton needs to take more shots;  Apparently that message hasn’t gotten through quite yet.  But when you win by 24, that failed message loses some importance.  In future games, when the Offense meets more resistance, Singleton will be called upon to be a zone breaker.  Maybe on Saturday night against the Fightin’ Irish, David will hear that calling.

Here are 44 more photos from Sunday’s event at Pauley…

"MOSES PUTS THE “OY” IN LOYOLA" was published on December 3rd, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

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