David Singleton came off the bench – and he put up a perfect stat line.
The freshman guard shot 4-of-4 from behind the arc, 2-of-2 from the free throw line, and had four assists and zero turnovers while backing up sophomore guard Jaylen Hands at the point in UCLA men’s basketball’s exhibition game Saturday night.
Coach Steve Alford said the versatility of Singleton allows the guard to both run the offense and play off the ball for the Bruins.
“(Singleton) can really extend defenses, which is going to be good for us,” Alford said. “And we can play him with (Hands) as well, so I think there’s been some good growth with what he’s been able to do in the last week playing in different positions.”
Singleton – who registered two steals in the exhibition contest – was one of four players to record multiple steals Saturday night.
“Losing (freshman guard Tyger Campbell) for the season, we had to kind of see how that would work – like who could give (Hands) a blow here or there and play a back up,” Alford said.
Campbell tore his left ACL at practice Oct. 7 and will be sidelined for the entire season.
Hands logged 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the exhibition. Although the guard shot just 4-of-12 from the field, Alford said he thought Hands took smart shots.
“We need for (Hands) to shoot the ball because he’s a good shooter,” Alford said. “I thought he did a good job of picking and choosing when he shot and when he should pass.”
Alford had previously said after practice Oct. 17 that sophomore guard Chris Smith would be Hands’ primary backup ball handler. Smith, however, finished 2-of-8 from the field and committed three turnovers.
In the exhibition against NYIT, six Bruins scored in double figures and all 10 players in Alford’s 10-man rotation scored at least three points.
“We shared the ball a lot, (getting) a lot of people in double figures,” Hands said. “I (also) thought we did good defensively (and) everyone played with a lot of energy.”
The sophomore assisted two of freshman center Moses Brown’s five dunks in the first 10 minutes of Saturday night’s game.
“(Hands) did a very good job of running the show and running his team,” Alford said. “When you look at how the shots were distributed, I thought he did a good job of making sure he got everyone involved.”
If players stay healthy, redshirt junior guard Prince Ali said UCLA’s deep bench will give the starters valuable rest during games this season.
“Every year I’ve been here, we’ve been about seven or eight deep,” Ali said. “This is the first time the whole starting five was subbed out, so it’s good to have depth.”