LOS ANGELES - The usual postgame pizzas sat in the Arizona locker room Thursday night, but Lute Olson had a different buffet in mind.
So, instead of giving them free time or free food after an 80-73 loss at USC, the Arizona basketball coach herded the Wildcats back to their Marina del Rey hotel and had his staff shuffle them in a conference room.
There, the Wildcats watched each of their 12 first-half turnovers unravel and saw USC capitalize on most of them. Again.
“Rather than eat, I thought, they deserved to watch 12 turnovers,” Olson said Friday morning.
“So they had their own bakery of turnovers.”
At this point of the season, with Arizona having lost three of four games heading into today’s game at UCLA, Olson said he figured there wasn’t much point in conventional instruction.
“It seems like we’ve told them some of these things for so long that maybe it’s better if they have to analyze it,” Olson said, adding that he told them, “You analyze it without us telling you, ‘See, this happened, that happened.’ ”
At one point, UA associate head coach Jim Rosborough opened the door to check on the film session and found the lights dim.
He turned them back up.
“It’s so you guys can see each other,” Rosborough said he told them.
“It’s not like we don’t our do best to prepare them, so maybe they need to look in each others’ eyes.”
Rosborough added that the Wildcats would receive similar treatment at dinner Friday, with players walking by themselves and sitting by themselves without coaches or managers near them.
“They’ll just sit there and look at each other,” he said.
Although UA players were not available for comment Friday, Rosborough said after the team’s midday practice at Pauley Pavilion that he saw positive signs already.
He said point guard Mustafa Shakur led a spirited practice Friday at Pauley Pavilion and that even Jawann McClellan, who had been all but sitting out Fridays to rest his knee, practiced intensely.
“We busted it,” Rosborough said.
“Jawann went full, the heck with everything. It was a very good practice, the kind we needed.
“It kind of got rid of a few of the demons last night. We exorcised the demons.”
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 11 Arizona
When: 2 p.m. today
Where: Pauley Pavillion, Los Angeles
TV: FSN Arizona