Ducks Destroy Bruins, 91-62

UCLA loses at Oregon in probably one of the most embarrassing losses in school history. Will this be UCLA's requisite one blow-out for the year or is it the harbinger for the rest of the season?

Oregon crushed a confused UCLA squad at Mac Court, 91-62, in what might have been the most embarrassing defeat by a Bruin team in the entire history of the program.

UCLA theoretically came into this game with a good game plan to beat Oregon: Run its 1-4 offense deep into the shot clock to generate high percentage shots and limit Oregon's ability to break, pounding the ball inside, keep 3 men above the arc on each offensive play to get back on d after a missed shot, clamp down on the Ducks' speed game by overplaying certain passing lanes and using some zone press, and limiting dribble penetration by fronting the post and using Mat Barnes up high in the 1-2-2 matchup zone.

Instead, UCLA: Took its shots early in the shot clock, hurried a lot of 3s, rarely got back on d after a missed shot, laid back on d, allowing Oregon to run its speed game at will, and played behind the post players all night. The Ducks led by as much as 25 midway through the second half and settled for a 47-29 halftime lead. The game was over after 5 minutes.

Either Steve Lavin should have had all of his starters hung for mutiny, or else as Captain of the ship he should have hung himself. Either option remains open at this time.

Lavin at least had the sense to bench his veteran starters for most of the second half, after Oregon had extended its lead to 69-34. The freshmen actually went on a 12-0 run and outscored the Ducks 28-22 for the rest of the game (the Ducks didn't sub in their bench until under the 4 minute mark, whereas Lavin began benching his starters with 17 minutes left to go in the game).

There's really not a whole lot of technical analysis necessary for a game like this. I don't think Oregon has more talent than UCLA. Oregon just played like a team with a game plan, whereas the Bruins played like a bunch of individuals with no clue about what they were supposed to be doing out there. Even worse, the Bruins just seemed to quit playing after halftime. If you play hard and lose by 30, that's one thing. If you quit early in the game and lose by 30, that's something else. That's pathetic.

The Bruins are now 2-4 in their last 6 Pac-10 games. None of the losses resembled this one, though I suppose you can argue that the last 13 minutes of the Arizona game resembled this one. I have no idea if this game represents the start (or continuation) of a trend that will control the rest of the season for UCLA, or whether they just got their annual blowout out of their system.

Matt Barnes was 1-9 from the field and 0-2 from the FT line en route to 2 points and 1 rebound in 24 minutes. Matt missed 3 3s, all from the deep corner, which is not where he normally makes his 3s. Normally, he makes his 3s on the wing or at the top of the key. Perhaps someone should point this out to him.

Jason Kapono was 1-6 from the field and finished with 4 points and 1 rebound in 24 minutes. He was 0-3 from 3 and shot all of his 3s on fast breaks.

Dan Gadzuric got 8 points and 7 rebounds in 18 minutes and actually didn't play too badly on offense, though he did miss a lot of 3-footers. His defense was atrocious.

Billy Knight played a good game on offense, a terrible game on defense. He hit 7-11 shots and scored 14 points in 22 minutes.

Ced Bozeman missed all 4 of his shot attempts, including a layup, and finished with 0 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists.

Dijon Thompson got 4 points and 3 rebounds and played one of his better games of late.

TJ Cummings played mediocre d, but that's a step above his usual terrible d. He also scored 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 19 minutes, turning in one of his best performances of the season.

Andre Patterson was solid with 3 points and 5 rebounds.

Ryan Walcott played very well, scoring 7 points and playing the best defense on the team. Ryan hit the Bruins' only 3 of the game.

Rico Hines played 11 minutes and took a charge and got a steal.

John Hoffart scored 3 points.

Josiah Johnson scored 2 points.

For Oregon, Fred Jones got 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and several spectacular dunks. Chris Christofferson registered 14 points and 15 rebounds. Luke Ridnour had 12 points and 6 assists. Luke Jackson added 11 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Robert Johnson went for 11 points and 8 rebounds.

UCLA shot 41.8% from the field, 55.6% from the FT line and 7.1% from 3 (1-14). Oregon shot 56.7% from the field, 72.2% from the FT line and 45.5% from 3. The Ducks outrebounded the Bruins 41-29.

That about does it. I offer no solutions, answers or excuses. This team just sucked against Oregon. Lavin and his staff have to take responsibility for this performance. Unless this team bounces back hard against OSU, USC and the Arizona schools, the Bruins could be in danger of not making the NCAA Tournament.

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