UCLA fought hard all season long to get back into the top 25 rankings and they finally became ranked once again this week garnering the No. 23 ranking. They did all of that work just to let it slip away to the worst team in the entire Pac 12.
It seemed like the Bruins had finally turned a corner in the last two weeks as they were on a four game winning streak including their latest marque win over Arizona. The freshman were playing great and the whole team was playing with a renewed confidence but it’s hard to know what to think of the Bruins after this latest upset loss at Washington State.
UCLA was thoroughly outplayed, especially in the first half as they went into halftime down 11 points, they never led during the game and at one point the Cougars lead was 21. One of the more glaring statistics of the night was Washington State’s decided advantage on the boards. The Cougars dominated the Bruins 46-23 in the rebounding battle, including an absurd 18 offensive rebounds.
How does a team that is playing some of its best basketball of the season, and one that is on a four game winning streak, lose on the road to not only the worst team in the conference but to a team that lost its previous eight games going in? Not only that but how do they get dominated like they did in every facet of the game?
Is it coaching? Is it a lack of preparation? Or is it because UCLA simply overlooked the last place Cougars and figured they would just roll over them?
It seems like it was more of the latter and once they realized a win would not be that easy to come by it was too late. UCLA still seems like they are in good shape to make the NCAA Tournament but they will have to win their next game and make some noise in the conference tournament next week to keep it that way.