Arizona saw too much of this from Reeves Nelson and UCLA. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US PRESSWIRE
Arizona comes up empty on its road trip to the Los Angeles schools, as UCLA finishes off the Wildcats 71-49 on Saturday afternoon.
Good thing Arizona had that two-game lead in the Pac-10 heading into this week’s games.
That advantage is now gone.
The Wildcats and Bruins are tied for the conference lead at 12-4 — and with young teams, these traditional powerhouses are poised to lead the Pac-10 … well, Pac-12 … back to prominence in the near future.
In the meantime, the problem for the Wildcats has been the inability to defend the interior. Some of that is size-related, but coach Sean Miller will also point to effort and discipline.
UCLA’s Reeves Nelson had a career-high 27 points against Arizona, as well as 16 rebounds. That follows games in which big men Matthew Bryan-Amaning and USC’s Nikola Vucevic exposed the Wildcats’ ineffectiveness in the post.
Arizona returns home next week to play the Oregon schools. UCLA has to go to the Washington schools.
Given the schedule, the Wildcats have the edge over the Bruins. If Arizona takes care of business at home, it will have no worse than a share of the Pac-10 title and will get to celebrate in Tucson.
That’s not so bad, is it?
* * *
Tweets Jody Oehler of 1490-AM: “If Jimmer Fredette and Reeves Nelson ever played on the same team, they’d beat Arizona by 70.”
* * *
No comeback here. UCLA is up 66-48. This was going to be a tough game for Arizona — with UCLA’s final home game at Pauley Pavilion before a renovation and first place in the Pac-10 on the line — but getting blown out will not serve the Wildcats well when it comes time for NCAA seeding.
* * *
Arizona got within single digits at 57-48, but big Josh Smith tips in a rebound for UCLA with 4:01 to play to push the lead back to 11. Time is ticking away, and the Wildcats haven’t yet shown the offensive punch to rally late.
* * *
Arizona has seven assists after having only two at USC. The Cats will just barely get over double-digits in assists (probably) for the weekend.
After Arizona’s loss at USC, the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy wrote about UA’s lack of a true point guard.
MoMo Jones can score at times, and he’s usually fearless at the end of games. He’s hit some big shots in his two season at Arizona. So, credit for that. But he’s really only a point guard in the sense that he brings the ball up court. When Arizona gets into its half-court offense, Kyle Fogg is as much the point guard, if not more.
Point guard by-committee usually isn’t the best way to win in March.