Sorry for the delay, but the wireless in my room was down last night. So I had to wait till this morning. Quick notes, the scores are hotlinked to boxscores and graphs from statsheet.com
Also if you are ever in Tempe and want a good meal and a quality beverage. Go to Four Peaks Brewery, great food, great atmosphere.
Well, the Wildcats got a big confidence booster with a decisive win over Washington State. Arizona buried 15 3-pointers in the win.
From Bruce Pascoe's game story ...
With improved ballhandling setting up good shots, the Wildcats hit a season-high 15 threes on 26 attempts, making a full five times the number of long-range shots they did against the Buffaloes in a 64-63 loss.
As much as the shooting was a team redemption for the Wildcats, there was also some individual healing done by UA guard Kyle Fogg.
Fogg, who had 18 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, went 4 of 6 from beyond the arc after a rough outing at Colorado. Fogg made just 2 of 7 three-pointers at Colorado and was 3 for 12 from the field overall.
"Definitely, for me and my teammates, it felt better," Fogg said. At Colorado, "I didn't play as well as I could have and I really cost my team the win."
But the game wasn't just about good shooting by the Wildcats. In fact, it couldn't be, the way UA coach Sean Miller said it, pointing to UA's 50 percent free-throw shooting.
"This is a very inconsistent shooting team," Miller said. "We were also 10 for 20 from the foul line, which we'd be talking about if the game were close."Here's some Seen and Heard notes, including Ken Bone's technical foul. Columnist Greg Hansen writes about people doubting Sean Miller's in-game coaching skill.
For the Cougs, the loss was painful, but they also lost reigning Pac-12 player of the week Faisal Aden to a knee injury. From Christian Caple's game story ...
Coach Ken Bone said afterward that Aden has a sprained MCL in his left knee, but didn’t have any other details. It’s not yet known how much time he might miss, though Bone said he doubts Aden will be able to play Saturday against Arizona State.
Aden drove toward the rim against Jordin Mayes in the open court with about four minutes to play in the first half. Replays showed his left knee buckled badly as he took off. He was eventually helped to the locker room by two WSU staffers.Caple has this blog post with some video of the injury ... not exactly easy to watch. And Caple being ever the overachiever has this blog post with some postgame quotes and links.
Yeah, this wasn't really a surprising result. Chris Foster of the LA Times called it a "get well moment" for UCLA. And it's true. Utah can be the team that you get some confidence against.
Utah joined the Pac-12 this season and the welcome wagon was rolled out — and it continues to roll over the Utes (5-15, 2-6), who are 0-10 outside Salt Lake City this season.
Joshua Smith scored 14 points, while Jerime Anderson and David Wear both scored 13. UCLA shot 58.7% in what amounted to a extra practice session before its game Saturday against Colorado, which is in a four-way tie for first place.
“This was a real confidence booster for us,” Wear said.
The Utes have been a care package in high-tops for much of the season. They have been pummeled by Colorado (73-33) and California (81-45). The Bruins joined that crowd, taking control of the game with a 14-4 run that gave them a 36-21 lead at halftime.
The second half was more about group therapy.
The Bruins had a 13-point lead at Oregon on Saturday and collapsed in the second half. They pushed the lead to 20 points in the first four minutes of the second half Thursday.
UCLA shot 73.7% in the second half.Peter Yoon of ESPN LA has five observations from the game.
From his game story ...
But coach Larry Krystkowiak targeted one broad aspect of his team’s performance in the 76-49 loss. Throughout this 5-15 season, Utah’s subpar offense has begrudgingly been accepted as a product of a mishmash of undertalented players.
Thursday, however, the Utes weren’t only bad. They were selfish.
"We were going to try to beat them with one-on-one moves that we don’t possess," the first-year coach said.Damn, Krystkowiak doesn't sugarcoat things. Must be his Montana upbringing. Oram also has this story on the Utes being 0-10 away from the SLC ... That's Salt Lake City for the uncool out there.
Another expected outcome as the Buffs finally get their first conference win on the road. USC might be worse than Utah, and I think ASU might be slightly better than those two. Just three bad, undertalented teams that have been hurt by injuries and defections.
From Ryan Thorburn's game story ...
After Colorado's 74-50 demolition of USC on Thursday night at the sparsely populated Galen Center, Tad Boyle's team is back in first place in the Pac-12.
The Buffs (14-6, 6-2) are currently tied with Cal (16-5, 6-2), Oregon (15-5, 6-2) and Washington (13-7, 6-7) entering Saturday's game at UCLA.
"It's a huge game. Not because of the standings," Boyle said. "We're looking at the fact that we have an opportunity to go on the road and win two games. That's what we came here to do. We've got one out of the way, and now it's time to turn our attention to one of the most storied programs in college basketball history.
"Our guys will be ready, I can promise you."
CU, which has already enjoyed success recruiting in Southern California, made itself right at home in L.A. while picking up the program's first Pac-12 road win.
The Buffs opened the second half with a 20-2 run and cruised as the bench outscored USC's reserves 27-16.Here's Gary Klein's story from the LA Times.