Monday, December 17, 2007

UCLA vs. Western Illinois - Game Preview

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

The No.8 ranked Bruins host the Leathernecks of Western Illinois in a Tuesday night match-up at Pauley Pavilion.

It will be the second meeting between the two teams.  In their last game in 2004 the Bruins won, 75-60.  Arron Afflalo and Brian Morrison led the Bruins with 13 points apiece.

UCLA (9-1) is coming off an 89-49 shellacking of Idaho State last Saturday. The victory was Ben Howland's 100th as Bruin head coach as Darren Collison tied a career-high scoring 20 points in the mismatch.

Western Illinois isn't expected to provide the Bruins much of a challenge in tonight's game either.

Last season the Leathernecks finished with an overall record of just 7-23 and 3-11 in Summit conference play. They have continued their struggles into this season, compiling a disappointing 3-6 record thus far in 2007-08.

In their last game the Leathernecks lost to conference foe IUPUI, 64-47.

Western Illinois is averaging 61.1 points a game on a meager 38.9% shooting while giving up 69.7 points to opponents. They are being out-rebounded 37.4 to 32.7 a game.

The Leathernecks have just one player averaging in double-figures, senior guard David Jackson (6'4, 190) is scoring 11.6 a game. The team does not start a player taller than 6'7 and their leading rebounder is 6'5 forward David Dubois who averages 7.1 boards a contest.

Western Illinois has been tinkering with a Princeton-type offensive scheme in practices lately and will likely try to slow the pace of the game down.

As for UCLA, Coach Ben Howland is looking for his team to improve in every facet of its game before the start of Pac-10 conference play in early January, including the substitution pattern he employs in games.

"A big thing for me is getting the rotation down so we're playing those eight guys," Howland said at his weekly pressor, "so that guys know when they're coming in and going out. But its been harder with the injuries to Collison and (Michael) Roll to have a consistent eight man rotation up to now."

Although the Bruins easily disposed of Idaho State on Saturday and held the Bengals to just 49 points, Howland still sees room for improvement on defense.

"We did not do a good job of extending screens on defense in that game." Howland said.  "and twice we didn't stop the ball in transition defense and gave up easy layups."

The Bruins, who had been struggling scoring against zone defenses, handled Idaho State's zone efficiently by shooting 50% from the field including a sizzling 42.3% on three-pointers. 

"I think we did well on offense," Howland said. "I was pleased that we had a lot of open shots from the perimeter.  The zone collapsed and we had some very good open looks."

Last Friday night, Howland went to Southgate High School to attend senior Lorenzo Mata's jersey retirement ceremony.  It took almost two hours for him to drive from Westwood to Southgate but the chance to honor his player made the trip worth it.

"Lorenzo is all about team first.  Lorenzo is all about UCLA," Howland said. "I love Lorenzo for a lot of reasons.  He had his two final four rings on that night and has so much pride in being a UCLA Bruin, and his community has so much pride in him. 

Time: 7:30PM PT
Place: Pauley Pavilion
TV: None
Radio: AM 1150

BBR Notes:   Alfred Aboya will graduate at the end of this summer and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will likely graduate after the first or second quarter of the following year. With the success of Aboya and Mbah a Moute as student athletes, Howland said he definitely wants to continue recruiting from the nation of Cameroon.  "We definitely want to recruit another kid from Cameroon," Howland said. "The people there know who Luc and Alfred are - they both played on the national team and they're both having a good experience here."

(photo credit: Western Illinois Athletics)



At Dec 17, 2007, 4:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA by 30.

At Dec 17, 2007, 4:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leathernecks by -25.

At Dec 17, 2007, 6:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These guys allow nearly 70ppg....
We're ripping them a new one, I would say UCLA by 40 again.

At Dec 17, 2007, 8:15:00 PM, Anonymous don renne said...

is there a reason why i can no longer print any stories from this site?

At Dec 17, 2007, 11:10:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

You need to hit the print button.

At Dec 18, 2007, 12:17:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Not sure why you're having a problem but perhaps its because the margins of the site were expanded recently. Depending on how your browser is set, the article may be printing on a separate (next) page than the sidebars.

At Dec 18, 2007, 12:43:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Bruins by 42. (Last time I was dead on - by 40)
I knew Howland is recruiting out of the country again...he probably has 1 or 2 sleepers up his sleeve...BBR, wish to comment???

At Dec 18, 2007, 12:43:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Bruins by 42. (Last time I was dead on - by 40)
I knew Howland is recruiting out of the country again...he probably has 1 or 2 sleepers up his sleeve...BBR, wish to comment???

At Dec 18, 2007, 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous Carlos said...

Are there any concrete names of possible recruits from Cameroon? Does Coach Howland have someone in mind when he speaks of Cameroon? Just wondering. Keep up the great work!

At Dec 18, 2007, 2:04:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

No specific recruit names, however, one would have to believe UCLA has the inside track on some recruits from the Cameroon as a result of the success of Alfred and Luc in Westwood. Both those great kids are ambassadors for UCLA basketball abroad.
A matter of fact Howland mentioned in an earlier press conference that assistant coach Scott Garson was recently scouting in Cameroon.
On a related note, the Bruins are interested in a 2008 recruit, a 6'10 225lb player who lives in Australia and was originally from Sudan. His name is Ater Majok. You'll be reading about him in upcoming news updates.

At Dec 18, 2007, 2:56:00 AM, Anonymous I_am_Bruin said...

I can't believe this another untelevised UCLA game (3rd of the year). A top ten team like the Bruins should have all their games televised.
I think I may make the drive up to Pauley for this one. Anyone have an idea what the spare ticket situation would be like? Think I could pick up some good seats in the 200's?

At Dec 18, 2007, 8:40:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

I didn't get to see the game, but anyone know why Mayo only got 12 points while still playing 29 minutes last night in the USC-Delaware game? I was sort of hoping he was coming down off his trojan high-horse...


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