Almost a month and a half has passed since
Along with the game, Coach Steve Alford says, the
Last season, UCLA scored well in transition, and against weaker nonconference opposition at the beginning of this season UCLA ran and put up big numbers. But the Kentucky rout — and three more losses that followed — created trust issues that have reverberated through the
"We've just been slowed," Alford said. "We're playing one way, and when you get punched in the face by Kentucky ... from a player's standpoint, that hits you hard."
Last season, UCLA's tempo ranked second in Pac-12 play, according to basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy. This year? Tenth. The Bruins' possessions against conference opponents have slowed by about 16% compared to last season.
"Last year we had more ball movement," guard Norman Powell said. "We were able to get up and down."
Alford said the cause and the solution have to do with trust. When UCLA's young players lost confidence, they stopped moving the ball to teammates. Often, the ball would get stuck on one sideline. Easy baskets were harder to come by.
When UCLA has won games, it has passed effectively and worked the ball inside to Tony Parker.
"We want to play fast," Alford said. "We want to play up-tempo. It's our style. We like playing that way."
In a season in which
After the Trojans' 67-39 loss to
"I take the blame," Enfield said of his team's 12-point first half against the Utes.
"Any loss like this is my fault," he added during the postgame news conference.
Enfield didn't make any players available to the media after Sunday's game. At one point in his news conference, he asked reporters not to confuse his frustration toward USC's record with frustration toward his players.
Of point guard Jordan McLaughlin's shooting woes, he said, "I don't want anybody to think that we've lost any confidence."
Of benching the starters for most of the second half, he said he was proud of the Trojans' reserves on the bench.
Of the team's inconsistencies, he said the coaching had to improve.
"I love this team," Enfield said. "We have a very bright future. I back these kids 100%."
UCLA VS. STANFORD
Where: Maples Pavilion,
On the air: TV:
Records: UCLA 13-9 and 5-4 in the
USC VS. CALIFORNIA
Where: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley.
On the air: TV:
Records: USC 9-12, 1-8 in the
Update: The Trojans hit a new low on Sunday against