UCLA's Start Exposes Unfixable Flaws

UCLA's Start Exposes Unfixable Flaws

Immediately after the final buzzer mercifully signaled the end of UCLA's embarrassing 86-66 home loss to lightly regarded Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday night, suspended forward Reeves Nelson offered his thoughts on what he'd just seen on TV.

Tweeted Nelson concisely: "WOW."

Indeed UCLA's woeful 0-2 start is worthy of all-caps simply because the program had so much higher expectations. A Bruins team ranked in the preseason top 25 and projected to win the Pac-12 has endured double-digit losses to LMU and Middle Tennessee State sandwiched around the indefinite suspension of Nelson, their leading returning scorer and rebounder.

The worst part about the predicament for the Bruins is the glaring weaknesses that have been exposed don't appear easily fixable. UCLA lacks the outside shooters necessary to make opposing teams pay for collapsing on their big men in the paint, nor do the Bruins have the perimeter athleticism to keep opposing guards out of the lane as was once their hallmark under Ben Howland.

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