Thursday, November 01, 2007

UCLA vs. Azusa Pacific - Game Preview

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

The UCLA Bruins play the first of two preseason games tonight when they face the Azusa Pacific Cougars at Pauley Pavilion. It will be the first meeting ever between the two schools.

The Cougars are one of the winningest basketball programs in NAIA play, compiling a 437-98 (.816) since 1993. They have advanced to the NAIA Elite Eight each of the past 3 seasons and played for the NAIA championship in 2005.

Over the past fifteen seasons, they have garnered 14 NAIA tournament berths and 13 Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) championships.

Bill Odell, the team's head coach the past 16 years, stepped down this summer to become the school's full-time athletic director. Twenty-nine year-old protege Justin Leslie, an assistant under Odell, was named to replace him.

"Obviously this is a great opportunity for our program," said Azusa Pacific coach Justin Leslie. "We're honored that UCLA would consider us an appropriate opponent to prepare them for the season ahead. We’re excited about going to Pauley and playing one of the best, if not the best college basketball team in the nation this year."

In preparation for the game against UCLA, the Cougars played a scrimmage game against another Division I team, UC Riverside, on Tuesday.

Azusa Pacific returns six reserve players from a 29-7 squad that averaged 87.6 points a game on 50.1% field-goal shooting. Joining the team this season are two key Division I transfers; David Burgess (Gonzaga) and Davon Roberts (Sacramento State).

Some people in Southern California may remember Burgess from his playing days at Woodbridge High School in Irvine. The 6'10 260lb center has been plagued by injury for most of his collegiate career. He signed to play at BYU in 2005 but missed his entire freshman season due to surgery on both ankles.

After playing limited minutes as a red-shirt freshman, Burgess transferred to Gonzaga, where after sitting out a year he injured his knee and missed half the season last year. Playing limited minutes while averaging 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in six games, he decided to transfer to Azusa Pacific this year, since it was an NAIA school and did not require him to sit out another season.

The Cougars top returning scorer from last season's team is sophomore Mike Danielian (6'2, 180), a solid marksman from outside. He averaged 9.2 points in 17.2 minutes of play as a freshman.

There is an obvious difference in the level of play between top NAIA and NCAA Division I schools, however, Azusa Pacific is a well-coached team and will give the Bruins a chance to fine-tune their game tonight.

(photo credit: BYU Athletics)



At Nov 1, 2007, 11:16:00 PM, Anonymous erniecobb said...

Your "report" doesn't say where or when the game will be played, no time is given, and no media mention. Not very complete reporting.

At Nov 2, 2007, 12:06:00 AM, Anonymous devins said...

Perhaps you should read the paper eriecobb.... Keep up the good work BBR, this is just the info we need to see.

At Nov 2, 2007, 1:46:00 AM, Anonymous JonW said...

Sounds like someone got of bed on the wrong side this morning Ernie.
The paper? You're not going to find this level of coverage in the local rags. Thanks for the great work BBR!

At Nov 2, 2007, 1:52:00 AM, Anonymous Jack B. said...

Thanks for the game preview - always gets me ready for the game. This is the best site on UCLA basketball. Keep up the excellent work BBR!

At Nov 2, 2007, 1:58:00 AM, Anonymous Damon said...

BBR is great.
Is the game on TV tonight? It's not listed in the LA Times, but doesn't FSN sometimes televise games last minute.
I would love to get an early glimpse of the team.
Keep up the good work.

At Nov 2, 2007, 2:08:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Neither preseason game will be televised on Fox but UCLA is making the game available live online at their CSTV website.

At Nov 2, 2007, 2:13:00 AM, Anonymous Neagle said...

Interesting tidbit about Burgess. Wow, what a fall from BYY to Gonzaga to Azusa Pacific? I hear his brother is playing pro overseas.

At Nov 2, 2007, 5:02:00 AM, Anonymous Derek said...

Has anyone heard any J'Mison Morgan news? When is/was the news conference? Earlier this week, Bob Gibbons reported that Alabama, LSU and UCLA are the finalists.

At Nov 2, 2007, 5:04:00 AM, Anonymous Derek said...

Never mind. He chose LSU.

At Nov 2, 2007, 5:56:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

I love my career, but I have never been more anxious to watch our Bruins play than tonight....It's on!!

At Nov 2, 2007, 5:59:00 AM, Anonymous Brad said...

please tell me the gold C jerseys will not be worn tonight. please please please.

At Nov 2, 2007, 6:01:00 AM, Anonymous baregunner said...

You have to figure the majority of these kids stay close to home, so I figure UCLA was a distant 3rd to LSU and Alabama. But Coach Howland is sure making a longer slepp more appealing to these Eastern and Southern athletes! UCLA is the BEST chance for an athlete to take it to the next level...DEFENSE is probably every susperstars weakness...except when they are tutored by Coach H!!!

At Nov 2, 2007, 6:15:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

BBR - Where do they go from here without Morgan? Do they sign a lesser 08' center, or roll the dice and make a hard push for Sidney or does his baggage make that an issue?

At Nov 2, 2007, 7:42:00 AM, Anonymous John H said...

I think said missing info (time, broadcast outlets) *is* important and should be part of the "report". Please include this in future game previews.

At Nov 2, 2007, 9:37:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

BBR cannot do everything guys. He does a phenomenal job with this site. It's hands down, the best Bruin Basketball site out there...just give the guy props for doing this...he won't tell us, but he has to be a graduate assistant, sitting on the bench...the guy is omnipotent...Well, let's jump ball at OHaras for drinks b4 the game...

At Nov 2, 2007, 10:20:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

For those who are interested in game times, etc, there is a link on the left sidebar of this site to the official Schedule/Results.
We don't put down game times, because sometimes they change. We don't put local media/channels because a large percentage of readers on this site live OUTSIDE of the Los Angeles area and that information would not be applicable to them. If you want local TV times, etc, then go to the sidebar also under game Schedule/Results.
Go Bruins!

At Nov 2, 2007, 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

The Bruins are done with 2008 and will move onto 2009. There are a number of post players they are interested besides Sidney in 2009, including Van Treese, Jennings, Orton, and others.

At Nov 2, 2007, 3:15:00 PM, Anonymous KS Wong said...

Date, time location? Great idea.


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