College basketball is a guard dominated sport, and UCLA did nothing to disprove that notion today, with Farmar, Afflalo, Bozeman, and Collison combing for 54 of UCLA's 68 points. It was a game of runs, with Michigan jumping out to an early 8-0 lead before Afflalo found his stroke and shot the Bruins into the lead. The teams see-sawed until the Bruins pulled away in the middle of the second half, opening an insurmountable 14 point lead. Michigan put a late scare into the Bruins, but a big steal by Afflalo, followed by a dish to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute who dunked it home put the game away. Ryan Wright added the exclamation point with a breakaway dunk at the end.
There's certainly reason for optimism. This team is almost all youth, with Ced Bozeman being the only upperclassmen getting measureable minutes, and those may be cut a bit as Josh Shipp gets healthy (although Howland will probably find ways to take minutes away from the less effective post players). Speaking of the post, Ryan Wright was solid, if unspectacular. At the very least, he shows promise, which is more than we can say for Fey or Hollins, the latter of whom showed, yet again, that he simply cannot catch entry passes. Mbah a Moute is a warrior on the boards, and I really like the potential he's showing, not to mention the game that he already has.
At the end of the game, the Bruins had 2 sophomores and 3 freshmen on the floor. With that, they beat a good Michigan team on the road. The future looks pretty good.
**UPDATE -- Now with the link that I meant to put in yesterday, the lack of which made this section below somewhat confusing.**
Hello to all the visitors from Bruin Hoop Scoop. Thanks to Jeremy for the link. FYI - I try to do game recaps and the like after all games that I can get on TV. Keep in mind that I'm coming to you from Chicago (well, usally anyway - right now I'm in Temple City, but most of the time I'm in Chicago), and we can't get every game there. I'm a UC Riverside grad who grew up a Bruins fan, then went to the University of Illinois for law school (so I'm a big Illini fan, too). Occasionally, when the spirit moves me, I'll do a more general post like this one, which is now looking foolish thanks the 11-0 (and likely to be at least 14-0) Illini. So feel free to look around, and don't be a stranger. During the baseball season, this is pretty much an Angels site. During this time of year, it's UCLA, Illinois, and LA Kings site. And pretty much throughout the year, it's an indie rock site from time to time.