It’s Friday, which means that it’s time for another edition of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk podcast. Rob Dauster’s once again joined by Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips, and they discuss this weekend’s schedule that’s filled with quality games including No. 12 Villanova/ No. 8 Virginia, No. 22 UCLA/ No. 11 North Carolina and No. 17 Butler/ No. 9 Purdue.
They also get into quick conversations on Bo Ryan’s retirement, Christmas shopping (and music), and the new uniforms North Carolina will wear Saturday afternoon at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, or you can simply click the “play” button in the Soundcloud link embedded below. Enjoy!
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Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford combined for 33 points and six assists, committing just a pair of turnovers on the night, as UCLA landed their second big win of the season, going into Spokane and knocking off No. 20 Gonzaga at The Kennel, 71-66.
And while it was the back court that made the big plays for Steve Alford’s team, the star of the second half was Tony Parker. The 6-foot-9 senior center was dominant during a stretch where the Bruins extended their lead to as much as eight points. He finished with 16 points and made his first eight shots from the field, overpowering a Gonzaga front line that is beat up.
Prezemek Karnowski did not play again. The 7-foot-1 center — by far Gonzaga’s best low post defensive presence — has been dealing with back spasms for the last week. He didn’t play in the loss to Arizona and he missed the near-loss to Montana. Domantas Sabonis played well — 18 points and eight boards — but he’s just not the same presence as Karnowski is.
Kyle Wiltjer began the game on fire, hitting threes on three straight possessions, before Steve Alford made a switch. Initially, Parker was guarding Wiltjer, but Alford put Jonah Bolden in the game. Bolden is 6-foot-10 and long but he’s far more athletic and mobile than Parker is. That switch made a difference; Wiltjer finished with 20 points, but shot just 4-for-12 from the floor the rest of the way. Bolden finished with 10 points and 11 boards in 30 minutes, by far his best game in a Bruin uniform.
So what do we make of UCLA?
I’m seriously asking you.
Because I don’t really know.
They beat Kentucky … when Kentucky was missing their best big man and their starting point guard was banged up. They won at Gonzaga — who isn’t really the typical Gonzaga this season — while they were missing their best big man. They’ve lost to Monmouth at home, lost to Wake Forest in Maui and got worked over by Kansas.
There is a ton of talent on that roster in a year where the Pac-12 is wide open, but I can’t convince myself to fully trust this team just yet.