Freshmen shine as UCLA drops Georgia Tech in season opener in China


Steve Alford-UCLA-UCLA Bruins-Georgia Tech

After having a few days to forget, and having to endure the distraction of three of its players–including high-profile freshman guard LiAngelo Ball-– getting arrested and detained for shoplifting, the UCLA Bruins were able take care of business on the court, winning 63-60 over Georgia Tech in the Pac-12 China game.

While three freshman grabbed all of the headlines before the game, it was two other freshman that were the difference for the Bruins on Friday. Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands, both 5-star prospects and McDonald’s All-Americans showed that they have what it takes to be the stars on a team that should return to the NCAA Tournament.

Wilkes led the Bruins with 18 points and was able to score in a variety of ways, getting easy buckets in transition, taking his man off the dribble and finishing at the rim, and knocking down 4 three-pointers. He was 6-for-12 from the floor, adding 4 rebounds.

Hands, the lightning quick point guard showed tremendous poise in helping lead the offense. He finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist and 2 steals.

Wilkes most impressive play was following up with a putback dunk after Hands picked off a pass and raced for a layup.

But despite the win, the most important news still relates to Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley. During the game, ESPN’s Arash Markazi tweeted that the three will not accompany the rest of the UCLA game on the flight home to Los Angeles, and will remain in China for what could be multiple weeks.

he also reported that sources claim there is surveillance video of the three shoplifting, the charges for which they have been accused and were arrested and detained.

The win was great for the Bruins. The experience for most of the players in getting to experience another culture was no doubt unforgettable. But there is not doubt that this scandal will linger with the team for weeks or even months.

 

The post Freshmen shine as UCLA drops Georgia Tech in season opener in China appeared first on Diehards.


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