UCLA proved Thursday in its loss to Arizona that it still has a few more strides to take before it molds into a team that’s capable of beating the nation’s top team.
Nonetheless, the Bruins still remain on the national radar with top talents like Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, who have boosted the Bruins up in major stats like shooting percentage, in which they currently rank second in the nation.
Nearly halfway through the 2013-14 season, here are the Bruins’ most impressive stats.
Through 15 games, UCLA has shot 51.8 percent from the field, which ranks them first in the Pac-12 and second in the nation.
The Bruins’ smooth shooting is a big step up from last season, when they shot 45.1 percent on the season.
Despite its impressive average shooting percentage, UCLA has struggled to pull off victories when it shoots 40 percent or less in a game, which it has done in all three of its losses.
Nonetheless, the Bruins have shot well collectively this season, and they’ll thrive if they’re able to shoot well against tougher opponents.
UCLA has received plenty of production from its bench this season from freshman guards Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine, who have both been sensational from beyond the arc.
Through 15 games, LaVine has averaged 43.9 percent from deep, and Alford is averaging an incredible 51.2 percent.
Because Alford doesn’t average 2.5 three-pointers per game, he technically doesn’t qualify to be ranked nationally for individual three-point shooting percentage; however, if he were, he’d be the top-ranked freshman and fifth amongst all players around the country.
Kyle Anderson not only notched his first career triple-double earlier this season, but has also continued to average near a triple-double throughout the season.
Through 15 games, Anderson averages the closest to a triple-double in the entire nation with his 15.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.
Anderson’s stat line speaks volumes about his tremendous versatility, which has buoyed the Bruins’ free-flowing offense this season.
Led by sophomore guard Jordan Adams, who averages 3.47 steals per game (3rd in the nation), UCLA averages 10.8 steals per game, which ranks the Bruins second in the nation.
In their first 15 games, UCLA has tallied 10 or more steals in 10 games, most recently picking Arizona’s pocket 12 times.
The Bruins’ laudable steals average speaks to their effective team defense and determination to win loose balls on the defensive end.
As impressive as UCLA’s 18.5 assists per game (4th in the nation) are, assists are only as meaningful as their relativity to the amount of turnovers the Bruins commit en route to their failed assist attempts.
This season, the Bruins have managed to rank in the top five nationally in both assists and assist-turnover ratio, as they are ranked third in the nation through 15 games with a 1.75 assist-turnover ratio.
Barring UCLA’s starting point guard Kyle Anderson, who commits an average of three turnovers per game (2.18 AST-TO ratio), each regular guard averages at least two assists per game and less than two turnovers per game.
Better yet, backup point guard Bryce Alford possesses a 2.76 assist-turnover, which ranks him second in the category amongst all freshmen.