Thursday, December 27, 2007

UCLA vs. UC Davis - Game Preview

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

The Bruins return to action with a non-conference contest against the UC Davis Aggies on Satuday at Pauley Pavilion. It will be UCLA's last non-conference tune-up game before they begin Pac-10 action next Thursday.

After defeating Michigan, 69-54, in Ann Arbor last Saturday, UCLA (11-1) moved up in the polls to No.5 in both the Coaches and AP rankings. Josh Shipp scored a game-high 19 points while freshman Kevin Love recorded a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds in the win against the Wolverines.

UCLA Coach Ben Howland gave his players three days off over the holidays. Unfortunately, the team suffered an injury in its first practice session back from the break on Wednesday when senior center Lorenzo Mata-Real strained a groin muscle. He is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game against the Aggies.

UC Davis (5-6) officially made their move up to Division I from Division II this season. The Aggies play in the Big West conference where they've been an unofficial member during the four year transition period to Division I. Over this time, they've beaten every Big West team at least once, except for Pacific.

In their last game on December 21st, UC Davis lost to Jackson State, 81-57. They lost to Texas, a common UCLA foe, earlier in November by the score of 73-42. Against Pac-10 Oregon State at home two weeks ago, the Aggies lost 73-59 to the Beavers.

UC Davis is a ball control team which will try to maintain a slower tempo and keep the Bruins out of transition. They average just 66.9 points a game while shooting 44.9% from the field including 37.3% from three-point distance. Opponents have outrebounded the Aggies this season by a 5.9 margin.

It is a young ball club which does not return any seniors this season.

UC Davis is led by returning starting guard and top scorer Vince Oliver (6'3, 195, Jr). He's averaging 13.6 points on 38.7% shooting. Oliver grew up in nearby Inglewood and played his prep ball at Loyola High. He has scored 19 points in three games this season.

Two other Aggies score in double figures; guard Shane Hanson (6/7, 230, So) averages 11.4 points, and forward Kyle Bruculleri (6'8, 230, Jr) is at an even 10.0 a game.

They also have imposing 7'2 285 lb junior center Michael Boone out of Loma Linda on the roster, but he has been limited to just 5.3 minutes a game.

UC Davis is not expected to give UCLA much trouble on Saturday, which is unfortunate since the Bruins could use some additional practice playing against stiffer competition prior to the start of Pac-10 play.

UCLA travels up to the Bay area next week to start their conference season. On Thursday they will play No.22 ranked Stanford at Maples Pavilion and then face a very tough California team on Saturday.

Game Information
UCLA vs UC Davis
Date: Dec. 29
Time: 4:30 PM PT
Place: Pauley Pavilion
TV: FSN Prime
Radio: AM 570

(photo credit: UCD Athletics)



At Dec 27, 2007, 7:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Davis by -29

At Dec 27, 2007, 11:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA by 25

At Dec 28, 2007, 2:06:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Can I go 3 for 3?? Exact point differential will be....UCLA by 27

At Dec 28, 2007, 7:09:00 AM, Anonymous J said...

Can we hear more about Matta? Will he be ready for Stanford? Is it serious?


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