Tuesday, November 27, 2007

UCLA vs. George Washington - Game Preview

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA takes on the George Washington Colonials tonight at Pauley Pavilion in a non-conference contest.

The Bruins received some good news over the past couple of days when they learned forward Alfred Aboya was cleared to play tonight. The forward/center injured his eye when he was inadvertently elbowed in the Yale contest. Aboya will be fashioned with eye goggles in the game to protect his injury.

Freshman center Kevin Love, who sprained his ankle in the same Yale game, has practiced the past few days and will be in the line-up as well.

Point-guard Darren Collison, out since November 2nd due to a sprained knee ligament, started light workouts with the team and is a game-time decision tonight.

Last Friday night, the Bruins (6-0) easily disposed of Yale, 81-47. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead the team to victory.

The Colonials (2-1) hail out of the Atlantic-10 conference, and are lead by Head Coach Karl Hobbs who has taken the team to three consecutive NCAA tournaments. Last season the Colonials finished 23-9 and third-place in the A-10.

Coach Hobbs has a very athletic team this season and will try to leverage it by pressing and trapping on defense for the entire 40 minutes of action. They have held opponents to 69 points a game on just 39% shooting

On offense, they are averaging 75 points a contest while shooting 45.6% from the field and 37.3% from three-point distance. The Colonials have struggled with turnovers in early games perhaps a result of losing their only pure point-guard Travis King to season-ending knee surgery.

George Washington returns two starters from last season but will be a decidedly different team after losing three senior starters who accounted for over 40% of the team's production last season.

Senior guard Maureece Rice (6'1, 224) was voted the Most Outstanding Player in last year's A-10 tournament. He has had a rocky start this season averaging 9.0 points on less than 39% shooting. Rice did not play in GW's last game due to a suspension after violating an unspecified team rule. However, he is the team's top returning scorer from last season at 15.9 points on 45% shooting from the field including 43% from beyond the arc.

Rice will be matched-up against Russell Westbrook. Westbrook will be sporting a new, actually an old, look tonight since he shaved off his "flaming mohawk" over the weekend. The sophomore Bruin guard has played splendidly, especially on defense, in the place of injured starting point-guard Darren Collison. Westbrook will need to to handle the full-court pressure applied by GW, as he did against Maryland a few games earlier. This season he is averaging 6.0 assists while turning the ball over 2.8 times a game.

Junior Rob Diggs (6'8, 187) is a very long and athletic forward who is a big time leaper and shot-blocker. He is leading the team in scoring with 20.0 point on 61.5% shooting. He has a good midrange jumper and finishes very strong around the basket.

This will be a good test for freshman center Kevin Love who will be challenged with Digg's over-the-top athleticism. However, Love is expected to give Diggs a tough time on the other end of the court as well. Love is the Bruin's leading scorer and rebonder at 19.3 points and 10.5 rebounds a game.

Wynton Witherspoon (6'7, 197), a sophomore transfer from Virgina Tech, will play the forward spot and handle some of the point-guard responsibilities. He is averaging 15.0 points and 5.3 rebounds a game. He shoots well from outside to the three-point arc and can drive to the basket. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute should match-up well with Witherspoon.

Damian Hollis (6'8, 198), an All A-10 freshman team selection last season, will be another very athletic forward to contend with. He is averaging 9.3 points and leads the team in rebounding with 8.7. Hollis is another player who can take responsibility for handling the ball on offense.

How much Alfred Aboya plays tonight will depend on how well he adjusts to playing with the goggles. Aboya has excellent footspeed and should match-up with Hollis, although it wouldn't be surprising if freshman Chace Stanback gets a lot of action tonight due to the GW match-ups and Aboya's injury.

Forward Cheyenne Moore (6'5,210, Jr.), a transfer from Clemson, is averaging 4.3 points and 4.0 rebounds and gives the Colonials a tough defender. Junior leader Josh Shipp should match-up initially with Moore.

Noel Wilmore is a three-point specialist off the GW bench and a player the Colonials depend on to inject instant offense when he gets onto the floor. Wilmore is shooting 50% from three-point distance.

While George Washington lacks height and width inside, they make it up somewhat with their speed and athleticism. The Colonials pressing style of play fits their personnel very well.

However, the Bruins have taken good care of the ball in the early part of the season, even with the absence of Collison, and their brand of physical play has a tendency to wear teams, such as the Colonials, down by game's end.

Place: Pauley Pavilion
Time: 7:30PM PT
TV: FSN Prime Ticket
Radio: AM 570

(photo credit: GW Athletics)



At Nov 27, 2007, 4:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA by 25

At Nov 27, 2007, 5:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GW by -17

At Nov 27, 2007, 11:32:00 PM, Anonymous Andrew from Colonial Hoops said...

Hey guys, looking forward to the game. The PG who is out for the year is Travis King, not Travis Knight - that's the old UConn center.

At Nov 27, 2007, 11:42:00 PM, Anonymous Dre said...

GW is amazing we will march in to Pauley and whip yalls asses. Yall can't handle our speed and quickness. Kevin Love is a baby back bitch. Lose some weight beach whale. You can't handle our 185 lbs Rob Diggs (thug). Do me a favor and get me some Mo' Rice. Maureece will light up the scoreboard tonight so watch out. G Dub by 55.

At Nov 28, 2007, 12:23:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Easy Dr. Dre! Pretty strong words about a team that lost Saturday by ten points to not Maryland but some powerhouse school called Maryland-Baltimore County! LOL! Nice try Dr. Dre! Be prepared for a Bruin Beatdown tonight!!!

At Nov 28, 2007, 4:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Dre's comments, I've decided to make the beatdown by 30pts, not 25, just for Dre.

At Nov 28, 2007, 5:20:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

UCLA by 42...with 3rd string in with 5 minutes

At Nov 28, 2007, 9:12:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

I see a similiar game as the Maryland game. A lot of high flying adrenalin at first, then the Bruins get physical and wear them down. The "Thug" Diggs will drop down to 175lbs after having to endure Love and Aboya for the first 20 minutes. NO contest GW!!!

At Nov 28, 2007, 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous Don said...

What is the deal with Prime Ticket? Is this game blacked out or is Charter Cable just bad as usual? Does anyone know?

At Nov 28, 2007, 2:30:00 PM, Anonymous Sunny said...

I have Charter. I saw the first and last 10 mins of the game (was away from the TV in between).
ha-ha, Diggs went 2-7, 4 points, 4 rebounds.

At Nov 29, 2007, 8:38:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

I was rather surprised to see some pro GW comments on here. Of course everybody knew the Colonials had about as much a chance to win this game as commentator Keith Jackson calling a Pac 10 football game without showing favortism for USC...or should I say "Southernnn Califffornia" with marbles in my mouth just like he used to. I'm sure glad he's not doing the college games anymore. GO BRUINS, let's make it two years in a row against Pete "Hollywood" Carroll.


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