Culver City Observer -

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By Steve Finley
Sports Reporter 

Trojan and Bruin Men Flip-Flop Positions in Basketball


January 25, 2018

At the beginning of the season the UCLA men were the surprise team of college basketball. An early season win over Kentucky in December was the highlight of a pre-season schedule that saw the Bruins win 11 out of their first 14 games.

Now the Bruins are currently 13-7 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-12. At press time UCLA had lost three games in a row and on Saturday they face one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12 when the take on Stanford at home at 7:30 p.m.

One of the main reasons for UCLA’s downfall is they lost six key players during the last year for several different reasons. Three freshmen from last year are now playing in the NBA and two freshmen on this years’ team were suspended for one year for shoplifting in China and the other player that was caught shoplifting left the University.

That’s a combination for disaster. A lot of Bruin fans are blaming head coach Steve Alford but this may be his best coaching job in his 27 years of coaching. It’s remarkable that he has a winning record because he has only two experienced players on the team in Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsh.

The Trojans are currently 15-6 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12. They are battling Arizona for first place and they are finally living up to their high preseason rankings. They started out slow because of injuries and a FBI investigation that involved an assistant coach and a player named De’Anthony Melton.

The Trojans have moved on from those problems and they are playing at a high level. Shaqquan Aaron, Jordan Usher, Jonah Matthews, Chimezie Metu, Derryck Thornton, Jordan McLaughlin, Bennie Boatwright, Elijah Stewart and Nick Rakocevic have the Trojans moving in the right direction.

The Trojans play California Sunday at home at 1 p.m.


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