UCLA’s Mick Cronin has been “rescued” when he won the Sweet 16 after failing against Alabama
INDIANAPOLIS – Twitter no one is waiting for, nothing, not even five minutes of basketball extra time. And that explains why UCLA coach Mick Cronin has been criticized as hard as he has lost along the way for his two-decade career victory.
With 30 seconds left of David Singleton Bruins junior reserves, scoring just 10 points in three games in the NCAA Championship, he took free kicks in a row as his team put themselves ahead of Alabama in the NCAA East Region semifinals. The only thing the Bruins Elite can keep from the Eight would be a 3-point rumor and a rough extra schedule.
The obvious move, in which the Bruins deliberately foul and prevent an Alabama player from attempting a 3-point shot.
Great game; great shot. That’s Mick Cronin. Missing 3!
– Chris Yates (@ CPY87) March 29, 2021
Imagine being able to easily miss before the shot, and not miss
– Springy Heaterson (@LockyLockerson) March 29, 2021
Don’t let UCLA distract you from winning this game for a team that was 11 out of 25 from the free kick line that Mick Cronin missed 3 fouls. Amazing.
– Jake Winfrey (@winfreyjake) March 29, 2021
Here’s a weird thing about what happened at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday evening: Cronin agrees.
“I’m a bad guy,” he told reporters after the Bruins dominated overtime to escape the next round of the Martin Madness – the first Elite Eight since 2008 – to win 88-78 over the Crimson Tide.
What he meant was that he preferred to command his players, in that situation, to make a direct foul and send the opposing team to the free-kick line to avoid a 3-point tie for the opponent.
In this case, however, he knew that Alava coach Nate Oats had seen his players say they were missing. And when Oats called the time limit, it was feared that Oat would use that break if his players immediately threw the ball towards the goal if he came close to missing a Bruin, which could result in three free kicks in a foul. 3 shooting.
“The NBA, they don’t have that reason,” Cronin said. “The pro guys are very cunning. So we thought with four seconds … if we make a turn and drown that side of the floor, we steal that pass and they don’t even get that shot.
“Of course, the kids saved me. They played really well in overtime.”
Cronin said later that the Bruins played as well as a team could in the OT, and although it may seem hyperbolic, it’s hard to argue. They scored 23 points in five minutes. Taking an absurd but mathematically correct conclusion, it’s an 184-point pace for a regulated college basketball game.
And yet, mostly the defense won the game. This has not been the prototype of Mick Cronin D. In Cincinnati, he then led the top 20 defenses. This UCLA team is ranked 56th. It was a huge improvement in the years before he arrived, with four consecutive Bruins teams ranked 85th or worse.
“I think that’s a big part of who he is,” Jaime Jacquez told UCLA wing reporters. “It affects us all that way. He brings out the best in us all. So when he’s going outside he’s screaming and screaming at us to play. He’s gone through it all with us. I couldn’t ask for a better coach in college basketball.”
Hardness has become a component of UCLA culture. Cronin had no bargain, and that game could not have been won without him. Especially Chris Smith, who injured his knee in December without a wing, and striker Jalen Hill, who has left for personal reasons, is not a dynamic bunch. The Bruins stressed that Alabama, regardless of its electrical agility, could not get comfort in the attack, especially on the 3-point line. The tide gets a higher percentage of 3-point points except for the other 15 Division I teams. Tonight, it was 7 out of 28.
“You can play 3 defending games,” Cronin said, “but when that ball comes out of the edge and is in the air and on the ground, you can’t let the other team want to win more than you. Our boys did.”
Talented Alabama goalkeeper Jahvon Quinerly scored 20 points but needed 22 shots to get there. Especially at the end of the game, UCLA center-back Cody Riley was great at handling Quinerly switches and blocking his shot while trying to scan the left-hand hands. Jacquez was solid against All-America striker Herbert Jones, who scored just half a dozen shots for eight points and 7 to 2 on free throws.
“Tonight we weren’t good enough to defeat them. They were better,” Oats said. “They hit hard shots … They went in line and took free kicks and they got stops when they needed to. They could definitely have – we had all the momentum in overtime. They could bend. They didn’t do it. He punched us in the mouth to start overtime.” .
That was Singleton’s right hand that tasted the Tide. He made a great effort to win the match against the Bruins in regulation, but that didn’t stop him, he moved on and started in OT. He stretched the 3-point lead to just under 18 seconds of extra time and almost two minutes later his basic jersey scored a seven-point lead. Singleton is a 17-minute player, but he shoots 47 percent with threes. Johnny Juzang, who was disqualified for a foul on the high-scoring winger, played 20 minutes for Singleton and tied his career with 15 points.
“Dave works so hard in practice every day,” Jacquez told Sporting News. “We know what he’s capable of, and when they called his name today, he showed everyone what he’s talking about, and that’s a great player.”
This was UCLA’s third overtime game in the last six hours, but it wasn’t like the others. Cronin told the SN that after reversing the decision not to tarnish the tide, there was a difference in what Jules Bernard saw after losing a free kick that could seal the team’s Pac-12 Tournament debut against Oregon State.
“This was tough. When you’re in this situation, man, and that’s what happens to you in the buzzer, you have every reason to fold. All the reasons to fold,” Cronin said. “These guys wanted to give up.
“You know me. You know how much I’ve tried to let that will into you, where you refuse to give up. Someone can beat you, but you’ve never left and you’ve never given up. So I give children all the credit, man.”
He wouldn’t expect March Madness to be discussed on Twitter, but he certainly won’t check it out. he has a lot to prepare for the Elite Eight.