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How UCLA mens basketball has changed with Murry Bartow

How UCLA mens basketball has changed with Murry Bartow
Published On: Fri, Jan 11
Dec 31, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; East Tennessee State Buccaneers head coach Murry Bartow during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The seconds couldna€™t tick off fast enough. The game had gotten out of hand long ago and toward the end of UCLAa€™s ugly 29-point loss to Cincinnati on Dec. 19, TV cameras caught a telling glimpse of UCLAa€™s bench.

Sophomore guard Jaylen Hands hid his face behind his left hand, the white shooting sleeve on his arm pulled down around this wrist like a bracelet. Cody Riley, sitting to his right, stared at his feet.

Two weeks and a coaching change later, the bench energy was dramatically different last week when the Bruins threw down high-flying dunks and alley-oops in their Pac-12 sweep of Stanford at Cal at Pauley Pavilion. It was a look at this seasona€™s new version of the Bruins.

a€œ(Cincinnati) was two-and-a-half weeks ago, so I do think right now wea€™re playing like a different team a little bit than we were then,a€ coach Murry Bartow said Tuesday. a€œWe just didna€™t play real well. So this is a whole kind of new day, new week.a€

The Bruins, who continue Pac-12 play at 6 p.m. Thursday at Oregon, almost look like a new team under the 57-year-old interim head coach. He admits UCLAa€™s two wins under his watch are a small sample size, but hea€™s been pleased with the revitalization on offense. The Bruins (9-6, 2-0 Pac-12) are running without abandon, pushing the ball forward after makes and misses alike. Ita€™s resulted in back-to-back games of 90 points or more, although Saturdaya€™s win over Cal was marred by 22 UCLA turnovers.

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