Moving ‘punch-drunk’ UCLA loses by 46 to Utah

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN

    • Staff WriterJan 12, 2024, 12:59 AM ET Close Covers college basketball Signed up with in 2011
    • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

After his team sustained a 90-44 loss at Utah on Thursday, UCLA coach Mick Cronin didn’t make excuses for the 46-point defeat, the second-largest loss in Bruins history. (Only a 48-point loss at Stanford in 1997 was even worse, per ESPN Statistics & Information.)

“We got our ass kicked every way we could,” Cronin said after the game. “Coaching, playing, hustling, whatever.”

For the Bruins (6-10, 1-4 in Pac-12), it was their eighth loss in 9 games, as an unexpected slide continues for a team that had reached the Final Four 3 years ago.The storied UCLA program leads all college basketball teams with 11 nationwide titles. Cronin has led the group on a remarkable run because his arrival: 3 successive Sugary food 16 appearances and a Final 4 journey in 2021 that just ended when Gonzaga nailed a last-second winner.But this group, which boasts NBA talent, will require a sweeping turn-around to even reach the NIT. The squad’s internet ranking is 176. And the Bruins have made only 27.9%of their 3-point efforts, one of the worst marks in the NCAA.Editor’s Picks Cronin said the only option for the funk is much better shooting

and performance. But he also said he does not think his group has stopped on him. “I believe guys got punch-drunk,” Cronin stated after the loss.

“They’re excellent kids. We do not have bad kids, believe me. They listen. They’re ashamed, but that doesn’t help. I was interested in this. They’re punch-drunk and you have actually got to fight your way out of it. I’ve been there before. It’s been a while, but I have actually existed before.”Utah(12-4, 3-2 )led UCLA by just three points with 5:04 to play in the first half– and after that UCLA fell apart. With 3:03 to play in the game, Utah had a 50-point lead– 87-37– over UCLA. The Bruins stopped working to finish with a double-digit scorer for the first time in nearly thirty years, per ESPN Stats & Details.”I feel like our team’s self-confidence is not in the best area, “stated UCLA guard Lazar Stefanovic. “I guess that’s regular when you begin losing and are on a losing streak, but we have actually got to discover a way to pick it up and stick as a team and raise each other up.”Cronin stated Adem Bona, a forecasted second-round pick in ESPN’s newest mock NBA draft, needs to play better if

the Bruins are going to have any opportunity to enhance in the weeks ahead.He said he told his team postgame Thursday that the hard losses will not assist them earn any compassion.”Nobody pities them,”Cronin stated.” I tried to inform them Saturday [following a 66-57 loss to Cal]

. 2 straight games we’ve given up 14 offensive rebounds. Because that we can manage. Well, we should be able to manage. Our mind is affected by lack of scoring. [That] starts to affect your defense and your rebounding. That’s when you remain in trouble which’s what I was grossly concerned about. Knowing how potent [Utah is] Understanding they’ve got a lot of guys that can shoot the ball. “

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