Well that was weird, another college game where some mental errors at the end of the fourth quarter cost the team the game. This time, it was UCLA against Arizona State who pulled off the upset. A lot of talk in the news about West Coast bias and to some extent I agree, the PAC-10 is decent by probably a little overrated based on what I've seen.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. The situation is: 35 seconds to go, ASU up by 2 and inbounding from the sideline in their backcourt. UCLA is in full court pressure. Watch what happens in the next minute or so of play,

Now, as you can hear Len Elmore of ESPN say, it was just zeal. I agree and disagree somewhat. Obviously that was not what UCLA's Aboya wanted to do. But you definitely don't expect it from a Senior, at that stage in the game. To give up 2 free throws, and the ball back, probably sealed the win for ASU.

To add insult to injury, UCLA lets ASU's Glasser to catch the ball, avoid all the defenders who don't really try hard enough to foul him, and he dribbles all the way down to find a teammate for the alley-oop. Just not very cerebral.


I've watched a few UCLA games this past season and they're just not as tough as they used to be in past years. They have a lot of individual talent, but they don't play as well as a unit. Case and point, ASU's half-court zone game UCLA problems all game, just wasn't patient enough. They played decent defense, but not the kind of really hard-nosed style we've been used to the past few years. A lot of more double-teaming to compensate.

I think ASU is kind of a Jekyll and Hyde team. I've seen them play really well, and sometimes they rely on Harden way too much. Their zone is a double-edged sword. Against teams that have an average half-court offense it works reasonably well, but against well-organized, well-prepared teams, not so well.

For a great video on building winning teams and players, take a look at Coach Morgan Wooten's DVD on coaching to win. Coach Wooten is probably the most successful high school basketball coach ever at DeMatha Catholic before retiring. Head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss all of your hoops.