UCLA's 2009-10 season opened in disappointing fashion last night as we went down to Fullerton 68-65. With 3 average college players as our senior leaders and a couple handfuls of green sophomores and freshmen, it appears that we will need a couple months to become a cohesive unit capable of competing in the conference.
Critical moments in the game for UCLA:
- Roll's missed front end of a 1 and 1 FT at the end of regulation. He could have put UCLA up by 3 with seconds to play.
- Jerime and Malcolm's missed shots at the end of regulation and the first OT could have put away the game.
- Down 10 points (43-33) with about 15 minutes to go in the 2nd half, we went on a 15-2 run to actually pull ahead 47-45 with about 7:30 left. Our defense and rebounding during this time was above average.
- We held them to 40% shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
- Michael Roll has stepped up to be our main offensive cornerstone. While Howland admittedly overused him last night (49 minutes), he almost has to be on the floor for our offense to be productive. He and Malcolm led us each scoring 17 points. He was also the only one to shoot a decent percentage from 3 point land.
- Reeves Nelson, whom Howland called probably our best interior scorer after the game, contributed 11 points in just 12 minutes (Dragovic and Keefe combined for 7 points in 72 minutes) and a memorable block, which probably looked better live from my view behind he basket than on TV.
- While their scoring was atrocious, Dragovic surprisingly grabbed 14 boards while Keefe contributed with 9.
- Dragovic shot 2-14 (1-9 from 3 point line). As a senior starter, we cannot have this kind of performance. Had he scored more than 2 points in regulation, we probably would have won.
- Jerime Anderson shot 1-11 including several missed layups late in the game. UCLA shot a lousy 31% mostly due to these 2 rim-clangers. Jerime also only had 3 assists in 40 minutes of action.
- Malcolm Lee (7-23) also shot poorly but it is clear that he will never be a great spot up shooter (1-8 from 3 point line). His form is shaky and out of sorts especially when he is on the move. Needs to work on extending his shooting elbow for a more consistent shot.
- FT shooting, 8-17 for 41.7%. 3 point shooting, 5-29 for 17.2%
- We essentially went with a 7 man rotation. We need to work Moser and maybe Bobo in a little more. It will help when Tyler comes back.
- Our offensive was completely stagnant when Fullerton smartly went to a zone defense. We could use some more off the ball movement instead of 4 guys standing there while Roll runs back and forth along the baseline.