In the first meeting between Stanford and No. 23 UCLA on January 23 the Cardinal struggled mightily in the paint. While scoring just 12 points themselves Stanford watched UCLA score 46 points in the paint on their way to a comfortable 91-74 victory. While the Wear twins were quiet, combining to score six points, Tony Parker was not as he accounted for 22 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
The Cardinal performed far better in the rematch at Maples Pavilion, and as a result they knocked off the Bruins by the final score of 83-74. UCLA held a six-point edge in points in the paint (32-26) but Stanford managed to shoot 62% from the field and 11-for-20 from beyond the arc. And this occurred with senior forward Dwight Powell being quiet for much of the afternoon, scoring just nine points to go along with five assists and three rebounds.
With Powell limited by UCLA others needed to step up, and the triumvirate of Anthony Brown, Josh Huestis and Chasson Randle did just that. Brown, Huestis and Randle combined to score 66 points with Randle tallying 26, with 20 of those points coming in the first half. Stanford did have issues with the UCLA pressure, especially in the second half, with the Bruins converting 15 Stanford turnovers into 24 points but the gap in that stat (minus-12) wasn’t as large as it was in the first meeting (22-1 UCLA).
UCLA was limited to 44% shooting on the afternoon, and the struggles endured by Jordan Adams played a role in the outcome. After racking up 28 points (12-for-19 FG), six rebounds and five assists in UCLA’s blowout win at Cal the sophomore was limited to just eight points on 2-for-7 shooting. UCLA may have multiple scoring options on the perimeter but it’s Adams who is their most important scorer, and when he struggles it becomes tougher for the Bruins to be at their best.
Stanford was able to make things tough on Adams, and even with UCLA having four other players score in double figures this did impact their offensive efficiency. Stanford was able to execute at a higher level on both ends of the floor than they did in the first meeting, and as a result not only do they have another quality win but there’s also the chance of earning a first-round bye in next month’s Pac-12 tournament.
And looking past the Pac-12 tournament, Stanford’s taken another step towards the first NCAA tournament berth of Johnny Dawkins’ tenure.
Five-star point guard Trevon Duval is the most electrifying lead guard in the Class of 2017. The native of Delaware dominated the Under Armour circuit this spring and is currently regarded by many as a top-five player in the class by most recruiting services.
Now he’s down to 10 schools as his recruiting is starting to become more of a focus. The 6-foot-2 Duval is down to Arizona, Cal, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, St. John’s, Seton Hall, UCLA, USC and Villanova.
Things are still early in the process for Duval and it will be interesting to see if he schedules any official visits soon.
Ohio State has lost quite a few transfers and hasn’t had a lot go their way with regards to recent recruiting, but things could be changing after a good weekend.
The Class of 2018 is starting to look really good for the Buckeyes as they landed commitments from wings Darius Bazley and Justin Ahrens this weekend. The two in-state products are grassroots teammates together on King James and they give Ohio State three commitments in that class.
Bazley is considered a four-star prospect on Rivals while Ahrens checks in as a three-star. They join another Ohio native, guard Dane Goodwin, in the class as this could be the group that helps bring Ohio State back in regular Big Ten contention.
Butler picked up an important commitment on Monday as four-star forward Kyle Young committed to the Bulldogs.
A Class of 2017 stretch forward who can hit jumpers and has an improving skill set, the 6-foot-7 Young comes from Massillon, Ohio and he’s regarded as the No. 109 overall prospect.
Young was impressive in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer with King James as he averaged 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as he shot 48 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.
This is a nice grab for Butler as Young is the type of versatile perimeter shooter that they like to utilize and he should be able to help a bit on the glass as well.
Young joins a class that includes guards Cooper Neese and Jerald Butler.
Earlier this summer, we told you the story of Collin Sexton, how the 6-foot-2 Georgia native went from being a mid-major recruit to a five-star prospect being courted by the likes of Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina and Villanova.
It’s because he’s a bucket-getter.
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He averaged 31 points in the Nike EYBL circuit, nine points better than Michael Porter, who finished second in the league in scoring. No one puts points on the board like he does, so it’s only fitting that he was the guy that made a shot from the balcony during ‘The Trip’, Nike’s effort to keep kids associated with their brand from Elite 24:
UCLA capped their three-game trip to Australia on Sunday night with a 94-91 win over the Brisbane Bullets, a game in which sophomore point guard Aaron Holiday finished with a team-high 17 points. Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton both added 16 points and freshman Ike Anigbogu finished with 13 points and 10 boards.
This win came just two days after the Bruins lost to Melbourne United, 89-84, when Hamilton — 18 points and five assists — and Holiday — 16 points — were both once again impressive. Alford also added 18 points in Friday’s loss.
It’s not surprising that the Bruins had some up and down performances abroad. Everyone does. It’s what happens when a team of college kids, with three freshmen playing key roles, heads to the other side of the world to square off against teams made up of professionals. Don’t go hanging the ‘Fire Steve Alford’ banners on anymore airplanes just yet.
There are, however, two interesting things to consider from this trip:
– Lonzo Ball, UCLA’s star freshman, was, at best, their fourth-best perimeter player. Seniors Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford and sophomore Aaron Holiday all played well and posted impressive numbers on the three-game trip. Ball? He didn’t shoot well. At all. In UCLA’s 47-point opening win, he was 3-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-3 from three, putting together was was by far his best shooting performance of the trip. In the three games, he shot a total of 25 percent (9-36) from the field and 19 percent (4-21) from three. He did average 5.0 assists and, in one game, notched 13 boards, but Ball’s ability to shoot will be something to keep an eye on.
– And then there’s this, from Bryce Alford:
UCLA needs to travel with more towels.