How UCLA men’s basketball has changed with Murry Bartow

Orange County Register

The seconds couldn’t tick off fast enough. The game had gotten out of hand long ago and toward the end of UCLA’s ugly 29-point loss to Cincinnati on Dec. 19, TV cameras caught a telling glimpse of UCLA’s bench.

Sophomore guard Jaylen Hands hid his face behind his left hand, the white shooting sleeve on his arm pulled down around this wrist like a bracelet. Cody Riley, sitting to his right, stared at his feet.

Two weeks and a coaching change later, the bench energy was dramatically different last week when the Bruins threw down high-flying dunks and alley-oops in their Pac-12 sweep of Stanford at Cal at Pauley Pavilion. It was a look at this season’s new version of the Bruins.

“(Cincinnati) was two-and-a-half weeks ago, so I do think right now we’re playing like a different team a little bit than we were then,” coach Murry Bartow said Tuesday. “We just didn’t play real well. So this is a whole kind of new day, new week.”

The Bruins, who continue Pac-12 play at 6 p.m. Thursday at Oregon, almost look like a new team under the 57-year-old interim head coach. He admits UCLA’s two wins under his watch are a small sample size, but he’s been pleased with the revitalization on offense. The Bruins (9-6, 2-0 Pac-12) are running without abandon, pushing the ball forward after makes and misses alike. It’s resulted in back-to-back games of 90 points or more, although Saturday’s win over Cal was marred by 22 UCLA turnovers.

#basketball, #college

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