Does Norman Powell Give UCLA a Better Chance to Win?

By David LaRose
Gary A. Vasquez- USA TODAY Sports

UCLA is still in a position to win the Pac 12 regular season championship, with a little help, but for them to be at their best head coach Ben Howland should make a change to his starting lineup.

Larry Drew II carries the more high profile name but fellow guard Norman Powell actually gives the Bruins a better chance to win, simply because of what he brings on defense. Powell plays an aggressive, physical style that provides a much needed mean streak that the Bruins severely lack.

For the most part the Bruins’ defense is lackluster and they struggle at times but with Powell on the floor they play with a spark and play with more energy on both sides of the ball. Don’t get me wrong, Drew is one of the reasons that UCLA is in a position that they are because he’s a true point guard that can run their offense but on the other side of the ball there’s much to be desired.

A move like this, this late in the season, would shake things up for the better and give the Bruins a kick in the butt. They may not need it with their recent play, winning four of their last five games, but something like this could spur a run through the conference tournament and into the NCAA Tournament. Moving Powell into the starting lineup has been compared to the move that was made at North Carolina that now has the Tar Heels playing their best basketball.

Would moving Powell into a starting role do the same for the Bruins? It’s hard to compare the two because they have different teams but Powell’s defense and energy would be a nice boost for a team looking a source of motivation.

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