UCLA Basketball: Young Bruins Panicking After Another Early Season Loss

Following a 65-56 defeat at the hands of the Villanova Wildcats on Friday night, your UCLA Bruins fell to a disappointing 5-3 record on the young 2023-24 NCAA season. The club, which boasts seven freshmen and eight new players overall (including transfer junior Lazar Stefanovic), is one of the youngest in the country, and in combination with how few meaningful reps all these Bruins, new and old, have actually played together, their uneven performance does make some sense. 

Stefanovic, who spent his first two seasons with the Utah Utes, doesn’t think UCLA has much time to right the ship, per Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times.

“If we don’t figure it out, we’re not going to be where we want to be,” Stefanovic said. “So, we got to sit down and see and realize — and I think we know what we got to do better. It comes down to going out there and executing and being the toughest team and playing smart and knowing the scouting report and all that stuff. We gotta take our game to the next level as a team, as a group, and everybody individually.”

Stefanovic did score a team-most 14 points, albeit on a paltry 5-of-19 shooting from the floor, as well as pulling down a team-high nine rebounds in the loss. Next up for the Bruins is a future Big Ten conference rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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