Montana point guard Will Cherry came face-to-face with UCLA last night during the Grizzlies' 66-57 win at Pauley Pavilion and loved what he saw.
It was a discombobulated Bruins team, looking like it had final exams to take the next day and had stayed out too late the night before attending the rivalry football game.
"Stop after stop, layup after layup, foul after foul; it looked like they were ready to give up," Cherry told The Missoulian. "There was kind of some bickering. When we were making shots, we could see it in their faces that they were ready to break. That's what told us to keep our feet on their necks."
Not exactly the look to his team coach Ben Howland was going for coming off a one-point loss at Kansas. The Bruins shot 31 percent from the field, and after the loss, team captain Malcolm Lee conceded the team might have looked past Montana, an NCAA tournament team out of the Big Sky last season.
From ESPN Los Angeles:
"I think we took this team too lightly," said UCLA guard Malcolm Lee, who led the Bruins with 13 points. "I think it was kind of like a hidden feeling that we almost beat Kansas and then two days later we're playing Montana. Not taking nothing from them, but we just played a No. 4 ranked team and we just came out slow and lazy.
But this UCLA team is not good enough to think it can succeed without maximum effort every night. The Bruins must use this as a learning experience going forward.
"I think our sense of urgency is going to be a little bit more," Lee said "We can't take no team lightly I guess now. Our first three losses were really good teams. I'm not saying nothing against Montana, but now we can't take no team lightly. That's embedded in our minds."