UCLA forward Travis Wear was cleared to play Wednesday against Washington State, but played just fifteen minutes in the Bruins’ 73-61 loss, appearing to have re-injured the same foot that has limited his availability in recent weeks.
Wear played just 15 minutes before being fouled around the rim and leaving the game with the injury. He returned to the UCLA bench, reportedly with a wrap on his right foot.
As for the Bruins, three major concerns emerged Wednesday night against Washington State, the first of which was a slow start shooting from the floor that remained throughout the game.
UCLA began 1-of-10 from the floor Wednesday, falling behind 17-2. They ultimately shot 39 percent from the floor and freshman Shabazz Muhammad was 4-of-19 from the field, including 2-of-11 from three-point range for 14 points. That leads into point No. 2: rebounding.
The Bruins were outrebounded by 23, outrebounded at that rate by a team that ranks 251st in the nation in that category. Part of that had to do with the absence of Wear, the team’s second-leading rebounder, but it also had to do with a lack of a patchwork of rebounders that usually helps UCLA to secure the glass.
And added to the shooting and rebounding problems, UCLA allowed the Cougars to shoot 49 percent from the floor, seven percentage points above the team’s average.
Now, is this a cause for long-term concern? Considering how well UCLA had played in the seven games previous, the answer would seem to be “no.” But some of the defensive problems and concerns about the lack of offensive flow first showed up during rough patches earlier in the season. UCLA will have a chance to bounce back Saturday against Washington.