In a game in which freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt was seemingly everywhere on the court, it was only appropriate that he found himself right in the middle of the action late in the second half with the outcome still up in the air.

There was the bullet pass to senior guard Michael Roll through the middle of the lane for a layup that gave the Bruins a three-point lead with 5:11 remaining. There was the layup while getting fouled by Stanford’s Jeremy Green, bringing the crowd at Pauley Pavilion to its feet and prompting Honeycutt to give a little shoulder-shake to the camera.

And then, with the Bruins (11-11, 6-4 Pac-10) up by three with 38 seconds left in the game, Honeycutt was there to bring down a crucial rebound off a missed foul shot by freshman forward Reeves Nelson.

In the Bruins’ 77-73 victory over Stanford (10-12, 4-6) on Thursday, Honeycutt did a little bit of everything, nearly amassing a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. As if offense weren’t enough, Honeycutt contributed three blocks and two steals on the defensive to round out arguably his best game of the season.

“It just adds another threat,” Roll said of Honeycutt. “Early in the season he wasn’t performing like he is now, just probably because he was hurt. But when he’s acting like this, he does a little bit of everything. I think it’s good for our team.”

In his post-game press conference, UCLA coach Ben Howland praised Honeycutt’s ability to see the floor and make the right pass, comparing him to former Lakers great Magic Johnson because of Honeycutt’s passing combined with his height.

“The thing he does a great job of, he does a great job of seeing the floor, and he’s learning now not to over-dribble because he’s got his height,” Howland said.

So the question was, did the thought of getting a triple-double enter Honeycutt’s mind during the game?

After joking that both Nelson and Roll missed opportunities that would have given him the two elusive assists needed for the triple-double, Honeycutt said that he did not allow what possibly could affect his play.

“I’m not looking to over-pass to get a triple-double.”

UCLA switches to man:

After weeks of going against the way Howland teams have approached defense in the past, the Bruins reverted back to their familiar style and played some man defense against Stanford.

Recently, the Bruins had made the switch to a 2-3 zone defense because of their inability to stay in front of other teams’ more athletic players. Yet with their zone beaten consistently by the Cardinal, led by senior forward Landry Fields’ career-high 35 points, Howland made the transition back to man.

“Because they’re such a good shooting team they really spread us out, and we had to come out of our zone late in the game,” Howland said. “I was glad that we were able to man up and do a good job there.”

Dribblers:

Former UCLA standout and current member of the Denver Nuggets Arron Afflalo was in attendance. Former governor of California and Stanford graduate Gray Davis was also present.