Anderson and Powell pace UCLA for Alford's first win

11/9/13 in NCAABB   |   D_Haugh   |   0 respect

Kyle Anderson puts up a contested jumper against Drexel (Kirby Lee USA Today) Steve Alford began his tenure as the 13th UCLA head basketball coach with a 72-67 victory over a not so cupcake of a team in Drexel who are favorites to win the Colonial Conference. Despite the Dragons 13-18 record last season they brought back three starters, while 6-year senior Chris Fouch returned to the starting lineup after sitting out almost all of last year due to a broken ankle. Tony Parker started the game off with a 10-foot jump shot that rattled down and filled the young sophomore with emotion. Parker was rather quiet after that, showing there is still work to be made in his game. He would finish with six points, five rebounds, and four Fouls. UCLA, who was already missing big men Travis Wear (recovering from appendectomy) and Wanaah Bail (Knee), was hurt by Parker's foul trouble and footwork on defense. UCLA's largest lead was 38-25 with 2:21 to go in the first half, a point in time where you'd think the Bruins wouldn't look back. Drexel would use a 9-2 run to start the 2nd Half to stay in the game. 

Kyle Anderson and Norman Powell had great synergy between each other on fast break opportunities, and Anderson would have three assists on Powell's four baskets. With Shabazz Muhammad and Larry Drew gone, Anderson (2012 second team All-conference) would step into a rather larger role with the Bruins inexperience at point guard. After manufacturing a triple-double in UCLA's last exhibition game, Anderson showed why he's so savvy with the ball in his hands. The sophomore finished with 12 Pts, 6-12 FG, 12 Rbs, 7 Ast (tying career high), 2 Blk, albeit turning the ball over once. Zack Lavine showed off his jump shot going 3-of-5 from 3PT with 14 Pts, but had his mistakes. Lavine who came to college with a ridiculous 41'' standing vertical got caught mid-air in choosing whether to dunk or lay the ball up resulting in a miss. Lavine and Fellow freshmen Bryce Alford also heaved up some unwarranted three pointers.

With just 2:21 left, Dragons guard Frantz Massenat drove through the Bruins defense for a quick lay up, cutting the lead to just two. Massenat finished with 20 Pts, 8-16 FG, 5 Assists, 4 rebounds to lead the Dragons. With the lead down to one, UCLA's returnees seized control; Adams connected on all four free throws late and Norman Powell split Drexel's defense to find a wide open Tony Parker for an easy dunk extending the Bruins lead to five with under 1:30 to play. Steve Alford and his staff are well aware of the work these Bruins need to put in defensively before games @Missouri and that much anticipated game in Madison Square Garden against freshmen Jabari Parker and the Blue Devils.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview