Ok, I will admit it. On my first podcast with College Pride Press, I predicted UCLA wouldn’t make the tournament and Steve Alford would be fired. Well, I think Lonzo Ball and company heard my comments and used it as motivation for the rest of the season. You’re welcome Bruins fans.
Offense has been UCLA’s main key to success this whole year. The Bruins are first in the nation in effective field goal percentage, second in two-point percentage, and third in three-point percentage according to KenPom. All of UCLA’s starting five can stretch the floor and hurt you from the perimeter which makes them very hard to guard. Lonzo Ball has been a huge factor in UCLA’s supremacy over opponents because of his scoring ability and vision to find the open man which leads to easy buckets.
The record shows that UCLA’s offensive firepower has made up for their defensive inconsistency. Although one can only get so much from analytics, UCLA ranks 310th in the country in defensive turnover percentage according to KenPom. Often times when I’ve watched UCLA, they look lost on defensive and opponents find ways to exploit their lack of tenacity on the defensive end. More recently, especially against Arizona last Saturday, UCLA finally started to get down in a defensive stance and that’s what made the distinction in winning and losing. If UCLA can begin to get after it on defense, they’re going to be a tough team to beat in March.