A late-season renaissance has UCLA sitting one game behind Pac-12 Conference co-leaders Oregon and Colorado.
Several UCLA players have shown progress in their respective games during coach Mick Cronin's first season at the helm of the program.UCLA rallies to to beat Washington State with Cody Riley scoring 11 of his 19 points in the extra period. Advertisement Junior guard Chris Smith, once susceptible to lulls that lasted weeks, has shown more consistency while becoming a go-to scorer. “I think we’ve grown up a lot,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said after his team completed an 86-83 victory over Washington State. “The reality for our guys is, none of them have ever been in a position where they had to play well or UCLA wasn’t going to win and now all the guys who play are in that position. So now it’s a responsibility to be an every-play guy.” The collective improvement has resulted in a late-season renaissance for the Bruins, who have gone from losing to Cal State Fullerton on the eve of Pac-12 Conference play to winning six of their last eight games, including two victories over nationally ranked teams. UCLA (14-11 overall, 7-5 Pac-12) sits one game behind conference co-leaders Oregon and Colorado heading into a game against last-place Washington (12-13, 2-10) on Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion. Currently tied with USC for fifth place, the Bruins are just half a game out of fourth place, which would give them a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Conference tournament. Riley is the latest Bruin to barely resemble the player he was last season, or even last month, which is exactly the idea for a team seeking drastic improvement. The redshirt sophomore forward lost his starting spot in January amid Hill’s emergence and his team’s move to primarily a four-guard lineup but continued to play a valuable role as the first big man off the bench. Read more: Los Angeles Times
GO BRUINS!!!! What standings are you looking at?
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