UCLA Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

UCLA Bruins
Pac-12 (20-13, 11-7)


Through most of the regular season, UCLA’s year did not go according to plan. An early ranked-teams clash between the Bruins and North Carolina proved UCLA may not have been correctly rated heading into the season. This was followed up soon after by a demoralizing five-game losing streak that wasn’t so bad if each piece was examined in a vacuum. But as a collective, it put a damper on this team’s year and proved something fans would have expected; a lot of good basketball players left Westwood last spring.

Big Wins: 1/29 Utah (69-59), 2/5 at Stanford (69-67), 2/14 Oregon (72-63)
Bad Losses: 1/2 at Colorado (56-62), 1/22 at Oregon State (55-66), 2/7 at California (62-64)
Coach: Steve Alford

Why They Can Surprise:
Even while UCLA lost a ton of productive players during the offseason, a lot of talent remains on this squad, starting with freshman forward and double-double machine Kevon Looney. Looney came on the scene like gangbusters, recording 20 points and nine rebounds in his first ever game. From there, he was off, notching double-doubles in seven of his next nine contests. Looney blocks shots, defends his position, has a good three-point stroke and has been a bright spot for UCLA. The other bright spot has come from the team’s trio of starting guards. Two sophomores, Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton, and one senior, Norman Powell, dominate playing time, assists, free throws and threes on this team. While they haven’t always shot it well, these four players, along with final starter Tony Parker, make up a tremendously powerful starting unit, especially compared with what the Bruins have gotten from their bench this season.

Why They Can Disappoint:
It was so important for Coach Steve Alford to bring in a large recruiting class this season because the depth on this team had been cleaned out. Even still, UCLA is so heavily reliant upon its starting five. The team has gotten very little production from anyone off the bench this season. This is somewhat explainable in that the rotation players are very young and inexperienced. They also all didn’t enter with the prospect pedigree of a Kevon Looney. To make matters worse, the Bruins play suspect defense, a result that is heightened by the lack of reliable subs. And so, when the spotlight is targeted on just five guys, their personal performances need to be stellar for the team to succeed. Thus, low shooting percentages, especially from the foul line and three-point line, have been the anchor on Alford as he has nowhere else to turn.

Probable Starters:
Bryce Alford, Sophomore, Guard, 15.1 ppg, 5.0 apg
Norman Powell, Senior, Guard, 16.4 ppg, 2.0 apg, 4.7 rpg, 1.9 spg
Isaac Hamilton, Sophomore, Guard, 10.7 ppg, 3.1 apg
Kevon Looney, Freshman, Forward, 11.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.4 apg
Tony Parker, Junior, Forward, 11.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Thomas Welsh, Freshman, Center, 3.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Noah Allen, Sophomore, Guard, 1.5 ppg, 1.0 apg
Gyorgy Goloman, Freshman, Forward, 1.4 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.5 (78th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.9 (220, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (176, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (114, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (202, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.4 (118, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.0 (248, 9)
Rebound Margin: 4.4 (50, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (83, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (99, 6)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over Tulsa
2014    NCAA    Third Round win over Stephen F. Austin
2014    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Florida
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Minnesota
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Michigan State
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Florida
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over VCU
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Villanova
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Mississippi Valley State
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Texas A&M
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Western Kentucky
2008    NCAA     Regional Final win over Xavier
2008    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Memphis
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Weber State
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Indiana
2007    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Pittsburgh
2007    NCAA     Regional Final win over Kansas
2007    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Florida
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Belmont
2006    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Alabama
2006    NCAA    Regional semifinal win over Gonzaga
2006    NCAA    Regional final win over Memphis
2006    NCAA    National semifinal win over LSU
2006    NCAA    National final loss to Florida

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules