Monday, July 16, 2007

UCLA To Face Davidson in Wooden Classic

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA will face Davidson College in the 14th annual John R. Wooden Classic on December 8, 2007 at Honda Center.

Davidson, ranked No.23 in preseason polls, is making its first appearance
in the Wooden Classic. The Wildcats are returning all five starters, three of them seniors, and eleven lettermen from last year’s 29-5 club that won its second straight
Southern Conference Tournament.

The Wildcats have appeared in the last two NCAA Tournaments.

The team is lead by high-scoring sophomore guard Stephen Curry (21.5ppg, 40.8% 3PT) who is playing this summer for USA Basketball's U19 team, and senior playmaker Jason Richards (13.5ppg, 7.3apg).

It will be UCLA’s fifth consecutive appearance in the Wooden Classic
(11th overall), the team holds a record of 7-3 in prior contests. Last year the Bruins defeated Texas A&M, 65-62 in the tournament.

The last time these two teams took to the court was in 1975 when UCLA
beat Davidson 91-64 at Pauley Pavilion, the same season Coach Wooden

(photo credit: USA Basketball)



At Jul 16, 2007, 5:38:00 PM, Anonymous Bob said...


At Jul 17, 2007, 4:58:00 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Hmmm... dangerous game. Will prove difficult. Surprised Ben signed up to this one. UCLA has nothing to gain as they will be "expected" to win. But if they lose to a quality, but non-big name team, it will look bad nationally. From my standpoint, would have rather seen a Kansas or North Carolina matchup here.

At Jul 17, 2007, 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Agree with you Steve, Davidson will prove to be a much more difficult match-up than some give it credit.
In the tourney Maryland beat Davidson by only eight points and the Wildcats return a veteran team. Stephen Curry is for real.
On the flip side, a victory over a tough Davidson squad, which will almost assuredly win their conference title and a berth to the tourney again, will help UCLA's overall RPI rating.

At Jul 17, 2007, 5:52:00 PM, Anonymous BigTimeBruin2002 said...

UCLA has not to gain in this. Really don't understand the scheduling. BH usually avoids these kinds of contests. If you're gonna play a really tough team - why not make it a Duke or Kentucky? At least a team most know what state it is located in. Hope the Bruins can pull this one off. This is precisely the kind of game I can see the players overlooking and close to the end of the season which could effect tourney seeding.

At Jul 18, 2007, 4:28:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

It is called the Wooden Classic for a reason...our classy Mr. Wooden would like to recognize a good, underappreciated team. That is all this is. Giving more spotlight to a program which does not get too much pub, if any.

At Jul 18, 2007, 9:59:00 AM, Anonymous AE said...

Look at Davidsons record last year...lost to Michigan and got shelled by Duke...not a single good win. They were another hyped mid major. Its a one man show with Curry and we play our best against teams like this. This is an easy win against a "ranked" team...ESPN is the only poll I have seen having them on it.

At Jul 18, 2007, 4:32:00 PM, Anonymous bruinforever said...

Uh, Dec. 8 is hardly the end of the season. It is actually closer to the beginning, before the Pac-10 season even begins.
Whatever the situation, I trust Coach Howland. He schedules teams with varying play styles (run and gun, slow it down, etc.) to help prepare the players to face any type of opponent. Even if we lose, it will be good experience for the players... and we should still finish in the upper-echelon of a strong Pac-10 conference (probabably #1). The Pac-10 Champion will definitely get a 1 Seed in the West this year, no matter who they lost to early in the season.

At Jul 18, 2007, 5:43:00 PM, Anonymous BigTimeBruin2002 said...

Bruinforever - my mistake... you're correct. I was thinking the game was later in the year. Glad to see it is not. Nevertheless, I still would have liked to see a "bigger name" team which plays a similar challenging style of play. On the national scene - a loss here looks bad, while a win... nobody cares as it is expected. I believe we have enough of these types of games on the schedule already, but what could be added are more high pressure/high profile games. Not only do the fans and players get up for these types of games, if the Bruins are to advance deep into the tourney (as most are predicting), then it would also be good to get some experience playing against a traditional Power House - the likes of which would most likely be a possible opponent in another Final Four. Yes, the Pac-10 is stacked this year - but there is a difference in attitudes, styles, etc. when you play outside of conference - i.e. look at the West Virginia loss last year - cost us a potential #1 seed (which admittedly, in the end didn't matter :o)… so forget everything I just said…hehehehe). Go Bruins!

At Jul 25, 2007, 1:59:00 PM, Anonymous bruinforever said...

BigTimeBruin2002, I totally agree with you. It would be better if we could play a higher profile opponent. I am not sure who to blame for this though. It seems that the Wooden Classic has had difficulty signing the traditional powers to this event in recent years. Early on, they were able to headline some great matchups with Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and UCLA in the inaugural year of 1994, Villanova, Maryland, Purdue, and UCLA in 1995, etc., but over the years the big names seem to have disappeared. It is really disappointing that the event organizers cannot attract bigger name participants, but I personally think UCLA should appear in this event EVERY YEAR, regardless of who we get matched up with, it is afterall an event named after the most revered coach in UCLA history.

At Sep 22, 2007, 12:42:00 AM, Anonymous WB said...

You are all right in some respects.
Davidson did not have a "signature" win last year. However, all the games against big-name opponents (Michigan, Duke), which we lost, were early in the season when Stephen Curry (he was a freshman) and the other new starters were just getting their feet wet.
Nonetheless, this team returns every scholarship player from last year. We lost nobody from last year's team. Davidson will be tougher than you might expect.
Will Davidson be overmatched? Yes. Does Davidson have the athletes in the paint that UCLA has? No. What Davidson does have is smart and skilled basketball players, one hell of a coach (Bob McKillop), and one player that could play just about anywhere in the country (Stephen Curry).
Do I expect the Wildcats to win this game? Probably not. Do I expect to have a chance to pull a huge upset? Possibly. Do I expect this game to pay dividends when the NCAA Touranment comes around? Absolutely.
We look forward to coming out to the west coast to play UCLA. It's going to be an interesting game, for sure. I wish I could make the trip!

At Sep 22, 2007, 12:44:00 AM, Anonymous WB said...

Feel free to check out my Davidson Basketball blog:


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