LOS ANGELES -- UCLA center Joshua Smith was in a funk after the Bruins returned from Oregon last weekend.
While many griped about his conditioning, or lack thereof, his battle was much worse. Smith battled himself.
Similar to how he responded after UCLA was swept in the Bay Area to start the Pac-12 portion of their season, Smith went to work. He practiced and practiced hard.
When the Bruins returned home to the Sports Arena on Thursday night after a month-long hiatus, Smith showed Utah just how hard he practiced in a 76-49 win for UCLA (11-9, 4-4 Pac-12) over the Utes (5-15, 2-6).
"He had a little bit of fire under him. He was moving out there really well," said Jerime Anderson, who finished with 13 points.
Smith set the tone early. On the Bruins' first possession after he entered the game with 15:01 left in the first half, he was fouled and knocked down both shots from the line.
He made his first field goal attempt and was active on defense trying to take a charge against a U...