UCLA came into the Pac-12 Tournament looking to build it's resume and try to move into a 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, possibly. They have done quite well up to this point to improve their current tournament seeding. Beating Arizona State and Arizona, for a 3rd time, and doing so by coming from behind to win. The only problem for the Bruins. They lose second leading scorer Jordan Adams to a broken foot, which he suffered on the last play of the game.
Losing Adams is definitely a huge loss. He is probably the best pure shooter on the team and he knows how to score the ball. Also, he has stepped up in games where Shabazz Muhammad has struggled. The biggest problem however is this injury leaves UCLA with only 7 scholarship players now. That could be a huge issue when the tournament starts next Thursday or Friday. If UCLA was to get into foul trouble they would have nobody but walk-ons available.
This Bruins team has gone through a lot this season and it is actually quite impressive to see them continuously succeed. They have lost two guys to transfer and have been under extensive scrutiny this entire season. The fact that they won a Pac-12 regular season and are now going into the championship game of the tournament says a lot about this team.
Larry Drew II, Shabazz, and Kyle Anderson are really going to need to step up in Adams absence. Also, it is time to see Tony Parker get more time on the court and he definitely will be thrown into it. But, the biggest pressure will be felt by Norman Powell. He has shown that he can be spectacular at times and look like a high school freshman other times. If he can be consistent the Bruins should be fine.
With a win tonight against Oregon, expect UCLA to climb up to as high as a 4 seed with a 5 seed being more likely. With a loss, expect to see a 7 or 8 seed. It's impossible to know how UCLA will play in the tournament. As we all know this season has been a strange one with nobody wanting to cling to that top spot. I think there are legitimately 10 teams with a chance to win a title and 10 more who, if they got hot could cut down the nets. UCLA being right at the top of the second wave of teams. It's all going to come down to match-ups and whether or not this team can find a way to overcome another loss.Back to the UCLA Bruins Newsfeed