UCLA Basketball: Report Card for Bruins' 2013-2014 Season

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UCLA Basketball: Report Card for Bruins' 2013-2014 Season
Dean Hare/Associated Press

It was never the best of times, it was never the worst of times. The Bruins' basketball season never lifted itself up above the clouds to look down on the mere mortals of the game, but neither did it crash into the mountain with a trail of wreckage left over miles of country, never to completely recovered.

Instead, UCLA mostly existed, winning most of the games it was supposed to win, losing some of the games it never should have lost, and winning none of the games that would have established its credibility at a national level. 

It finished 23-8 (12-6 Pac-12), second place in the league and a lock for the NCAA tournament. A good run in the conference tournament in Las Vegas would dynamically color its resume if it included a win over Arizona.

As for the regular season, it is finished and can be graded out. For the sake of simple cogency, there are three categories: offense, defense and the abstract, but well understood, concept of competitive excellence. To play good offense is to score points efficiently. To play good defense is to prevent points and rebound. To be competitively excellent is to play one's hardest and best when the moment demands it. 

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