UCLA focusing on itself heading into unlikely showdown for first place at Oregon StateLos Angeles Times #Oregon_StateJanuary 13, 2019
Bartow did not intend to denigrate the Beavers, off to their best start in the Pac-12 Conference in eight years, but to illustrate that his focus remained primarily on his own team and fixing its smorgasbord of issues.
“Right now, we’re trying to almost completely focus on us, because we’ve got so much to improve [on] and get better [at],” Bartow said.
“So I’ve told the team over and over, it’s 95% about us and then we’ll look at 5% of the other team.”
“We could potentially lose because Oregon State’s really, really good, but it won’t be because we’re down coming off this loss or anything like that.”
The Bruins were expected to contend for the conference title, but not the Beavers, who have won their first two Pac-12 games for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
By Saturday, Bartow had freshened up considerably on Oregon State.
Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, Tres’ father, told reporters after the game that he expected his son to play against UCLA, barring a setback.
UCLA did not get any road sweeps in four of the five seasons Alford took the Bruins through a Pac-12 schedule.
Update: Bartow said point guard Jaylen Hands’ famed lifting of center Moses Brown’s chin during overtime was just one of a handful of instances against Oregon when Hands showed great leadership.
Bartow said Hands also consoled Smith after Smith had missed a free throw with 0.7 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime.