Thursday, November 22, 2007

UCLA vs. Yale - Game Preview

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report


No.1 UCLA (5-0) is back home after a 68-63 victory over No. 10 Michigan State in the championship game of the CBE Classic. Freshman Kevin Love was named the tournament MVP after scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the title game.


Head Coach Ben Howland said that Alfred Aboya's knees were sore after Michigan State as a result of a fall to the floor late in the game after bumping knees with a Spartan player.

"We did a precautionary MRI and it didn't show anything wrong. I spoke with him a few minutes ago and he said he felt fine," Howland said. "He had some soreness, but nothing serious."


Aboya's playing status is expected to be a game-time decision.

The Bruins welcome the Yale Bulldogs (1-2) of the Ivy League to Pauley Pavilion on Friday night.


Yale has played Division I opponents tough this season. Against UMass the Bulldogs dropped a close 89-80 decision, and then on Wednesday at Maples Arena they lost to Stanford 72-61 where they trailed by only three points midway through the second half.


The Bulldogs return four starters from last year's team that finished second in Ivy league play with a 10-4 record. Five of last year's top six scorers are back as well.


Senior guard Eric Flato (6'1, 185) is the Bulldog's leading scorer at 15.3 points a game. A long-range bomber, Flato is shooting 37.5% from beyond the arc. He was unanimously voted a first team All-Ivy League selection last season.

Yale starts a pair of 6'6 205lb twins, Nick and Caleb Holmes. The brothers play on the wing and take more than half their shots from beyond the three-point line. Caleb is averaging 14.7 points a game while Nick has been struggling from the field averaging 6.7 points but is the team's leading rebounder with 6.7 caroms a game.


At center, the Bulldogs have big senior Matt Kyle (6'10, 240) who is averaging 14.7 points a game while shooting 61% from the field. He scored over 20 points in his first two outings but struggled against Robin Lopez and Stanford getting into early foul trouble and only playing 17 minutes.


At the final starting spot is Ross Morin a 6'7 junior forward who is averaging 6.4 and 4.3 rebounds.


The Bulldogs mix up their defenses between a zone and man-to-man defense. Against Stanford they doubled down often on Robin Lopez while shadowing Lawrence Hill on the perimeter. Considering the Bruins size advantage inside and the presence of Kevin Love down low, it wouldn't be surprising if Yale to applied the same defensive strategy against UCLA.


No doubt some will look at the Yale contest in the schedule as a respite between the Michigan State and George Washington games. But not Coach Ben Howland who had his team practicing the day after returning from Kansas City on Thanksgiving.


“Now we’ve got to bounce back and play a good Yale team. I watched the Yale tape this morning and they have three guys that average 15 points," Howland said. "They have good players and we are going to have to play well tomorrow to have success.”


BBR Notes: The first and last time Yale and UCLA met in basketball was on Dec. 26, 1963, when Gail Goodrich scored 25 points to lead the Bruins to a 95-65 victory.


Where: Pauley Pavilion
Time: 7:30PM PT
TV: None
Internet: uclabruins.com
Radio: AM1150


(photo credit: Yale Athletics)

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9 Comments:

At Nov 22, 2007, 7:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA by 30.

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 1:32:00 AM, Anonymous Bob.C said...

Howland doesn't want to let the team get complacent against a team like Yale and lose the momentum they gained from their victory over MSU. Smart coach! Anal yes, but very smart!

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 2:22:00 AM, Anonymous bruintechie said...

This game does have trap written all over it. UCLA has still got to banged up from Monday and might be slowed against a quick Yale team. If this turns into a shootout UCLA might be in trouble. The team really needs DC, MR and JK back to distribute the bumps better.

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 3:42:00 AM, Anonymous Derek said...

I don't see this game turning into a massive rout. In fact, the Stanford precedent seems likely to repeat itself here: look for Yale to keep it fairly close for a half or so before the Brus pull away to win by 15-20 points.

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 6:27:00 AM, Anonymous Sunny said...

"The first and last time Yale and UCLA met in basketball was on Dec. 26, 1963, when Gail Goodrich scored 25 points to lead the Bruins to a 95-65 victory."
I don't see UCLA winning by 30 again.
Maybe by 15?
I hope they get an early lead so Westbrook can take a breather.

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 9:55:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

The point spread in Vegas is 24! That should tell you what to expect. Go Bruins!

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 12:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was right. UCLA up by 15 at halftime. Halfway there.

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 1:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA win 81-47, by 34 points. I was right. Eat crow nay sayers.
How dare you compare UCLA to Stanford's stinking crap team.

 
At Nov 23, 2007, 1:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA win 81-47, by 34 points. I was right. Eat crow nay sayers.
How are you compare UCLA to Stanford's stinking crap team.

 

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