Tuesday, May 21, 2024

AdvertiseDonateSubmit
NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

IN THE NEWS:

USAC Elections 2024SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLA

Play-by-play roster rotation to make UCLA women’s basketball ‘unguardable’

Sophomore guard Londynn Jones attempts to shoot the ball against a defender. Jones scored 20 points in the season-opener against Purdue. (Brandon Morquecho/Assitant Photo editor)

Women's Basketball


UC Riverside
Day, 7 p.m.

Pauley Pavilion
UCLA Livestream
Bellarmine
Day, 2 p.m.

Pauley Pavilion
UCLA Livestream

By Grace Whitaker

Nov. 9, 2023 4:02 p.m.

In the 2021-22 season, UCLA accepted a forfeit on Jan. 28 against Oregon due to its inability to fulfill the NCAA-mandated seven available players amid an injury-riddled season.

Two years later on their opening contest of the 2023-24 campaign, the Bruins played 10 of their athletes, posting 44 substitutions throughout the four quarters and had no single player compete longer than 28 minutes.

No. 4 UCLA women’s basketball (1-0) will continue its opening week with two home matchups against UC Riverside (0-1) and Bellarmine University (1-0) on Thursday and Sunday, respectively. UCLA is heading into the weekend after a 92-49 statement over Purdue University on Monday.

Coach Cori Close said the ability to use a huge portion of her roster Friday was integral to the team’s success.

“I’m thrilled to have more depth,” Close said. “I’m thrilled to have a complementary group, I’m even more thrilled to have a group that doesn’t care who gets the credit but is willing to step up for what the team needs.”

In Friday’s contest, the Bruins took hold of the lead in the opening seconds off of a basket from sophomore center Lauren Betts. The initial advantage was one they wouldn’t forfeit for the remaining 39 minutes and 46 seconds, headlined by double-digit scoring performances from every member of its starting five group.

Sophomore guard Londynn Jones – who earned her first career start Friday – said the depth and hard work of this year’s troop are significant steps toward the Bruins’ lofty goals this season.

“Really powerful new additions to the team, and I think that helps so much in how we grow,” Jones said. “We know what we’re capable of and we know our goals this season and so as long as we’re doing that to prepare us.”

Betts and Jones – two of UCLA’s first five on the floor – each crafted 20-point performances, significantly more than their respective per-gamepoint averages of 5.9 and 8.6 last season.

Close said big improvements from each season to the next are a requirement, not a recommendation, for each player.

“At this level, if you don’t take a big leap every offseason, you get passed up,” Close said.

In addition to the high-scoring notches from five Bruins, UCLA was sure to give nine players 10 minutes of playing time each on its road to the win. In the first quarter alone, the Bruins went no more than two minutes at a time without the buzzer signaling for a new player to enter the game.

With UCLA’s first substitution coming one minute and 45 seconds in, Close said she puts minimal emphasis on the selection of a starting five and instead will maneuver the decision on a game-to-game basis as the season continues.

“Game to game, starting five, I say hold it loosely,” Close said. “That’s got to be our complete commitment and focus that every game, what does the matchup require, who’s prepared well, how do we put ourselves in the best chance to win.”

Graduate student guard Charisma Osborne, a five-year starter for the Bruins, said the ability down the roster makes them a formidable opponent to defend.

“It’s gonna be hard to guard different lineups,” Osborne said. “And they can’t just focus in on one or two players, there’s going to be multiple players, which pretty much makes us unguardable.”

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Grace Whitaker | Sports senior staff
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
COMMENTS
Featured Classifieds
Apartments for Rent

WESTWOOD VILLAGE Large 1BR 1 Bath $2,700 (includes 1 parking space). ONLY TWO LEFT!!! Available July 1 and September 1. Beautifully landscaped courtyard building, laundry room, pool, elevator, subterranean garage. 691 Levering Avenue leveringheights.com (310) 208-3647

More classifieds »
Related Posts