Thursday, November 02, 2006

UCLA Opens Exhibition Play Tonight

By Bruin Basketball Report

The UCLA Bruins kick off their two-game exhibition season tonight at Pauley Pavilion with a game versus Division II opponent, the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.

Division I schools now regularly schedule Division II opponents for their exhibition games due to NCAA rule change prior to last season that prohibits teams from playing exhibitions against teams made up of former college players.

After playing Cal Poly Pomona tonight the Bruins will face Humboldt State next Thursday in Westwood.

“We could have played two scrimmages instead of the exhibition games but decided it would be better to play under the lights and in front of a crowd.” UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland said.

For those who have witnessed UCLA practices, scrimmage games under Ben Howland are just as competitive, and action as rough, as any regular season game.

Cal Poly Pomona has captured two NCAA Division II West Region championships in the past four years. The team returns three starters and nine players overall from a team that went 17-10 last season and finished third in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).

The Broncos are led by first-team All-CCAA guard Dion Cook (Sr, 6’4, 205) who averaged 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds last season and 2006 CCAA Freshman of the Year, Larry Gordon (So, 6’5, 200) who averaged 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds.

The team also return five other players who started at least eight games last season. Billy Hofman (6’1, 170) and Melvyn Nicholson (6’7, 200)are two other seniors. The Broncos also return junior center Kaelen Daniels (6'6, 260) who played at Artesia High School, he averaged 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds last season.

The Broncos will play two other exhibition games against NCAA Division I competition including Loyola Marymount on Nov. 6 and at USC on Nov. 11 at the Galen Center.



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