UCLA's physical play exploits BYU's lack of depth
Anaheim, Calif. • Brigham Young's 86-79 loss to UCLA exposed the Cougars in the paint and off the bench.
In winning their first 10 games, the Cougars (10-1) masked injuries and lack of depth.
"We need to get everybody healthy," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We figured out ways to win but haven't come together as a cohesive group because we've had a lot of adversity."
It hurt BYU that post Noah Hartsock, still feeling the effects of being out with a concussion, was unable to make a lasting contribution. He played only 11 minutes.
"I thought Noah was in pretty good shape to start the game," Rose said. "As the game progressed, he was kind of a step slow. I was proud of him. It was a really good workout for him tonight."
BYU forward Chris Collinsworth, struggling the past three weeks with an ankle sprain, played 20 minutes and managed seven rebounds and four points.
Even if the Cougars had been healthy, it appeared as if it would have been difficult for them to match the physical play of UCLA (6-4). The two teams were whistled for 48 combined fouls.
"They were as physical a team as we've guarded with size all year," Rose said. "[We're] not strong enough with the ball."
UCLA coach Ben Howland had a different point of view about the perceived physical play.
"I didn't see it being any more physical than any other game we played," he said. "I felt it was good basketball."