Friday, November 07, 2008

UCLA's Defense Puts Away Biola in Exhibition Match-up

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

UCLA used a suffocating defense in the second half to put away a stubborn Biola team, 76-42, in the second and last exhibition game of the season.

The Bruins held the Eagles to just 15 points in the final half, keeping them to just 21.9% (7 of 32) shooting.

However the start of the game was quite a different story. Biola came out of the locker room confident and energized while UCLA seemed to be missing a few gears. The Eagles were within easy striking range for most of the first half.

Speedy point guard Marlon King gave Bruin defenders all they could handle to stay in front of him while Eagles big men Rocky Hampton and Josh Miller controlled the painted area.

Biola was deliberate on the offensive end and spread the court effectively to neutralize UCLA's help defense - a strategy used successfully by Bruin opponents in the past. With the court spread, King took his defender, either Darren Collison or Jrue Holiday, off the dribble for a score or an assist to a teammate.

It wasn't until UCLA went on a 10-2 run with under five minutes left in the first half to take a 38-27 lead did the Bruins finally create some distance from their NAIA division challengers.

Darren Collison scored a team-high 14 points and Jrue Holiday and Michael Roll chipped in 11 apiece to lead the UCLA attack. Holiday was 3 of 4 from behind the arc while Roll showed great confidence with his shot finishing 5 of 8 from the field.

UCLA opened the second half with a 12-4 run to go ahead 50-31 and then the Bruin defense took over. The Bruin freshmen were especially effective on the defensive end. Freshmen Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee helped to put the clamps on Marlon King while Drew Gordon and J'mison Morgan stablized the middle when they were both inserted into the lineup.

In the early going so far, albeit just two exhibition games, both Alfred Aboya and James Keefe have not been able to establish an effective presence inside on either offense or defense. On offense, both players are too easily being knocked off the blocks (by NAIA-level players) and on defense have not met the challenge of controlling the paint. Both veteran players will need to step it up as the season progresses, otherwise the Bruins will need one or both of their freshmen, Gordon and Morgan, to develop their own games quickly.

UCLA opens its regular season against Prairie View A&M on Wednesday, November 13 in a first-round game of the 2K Sports Classic. The game begins at 7:00PM in Pauley Pavilion.

BBR Notes: After the Biola game, UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland announced that junior forward Nikola Dragovic had been arrested earlier in the day on "suspicion" of misdeameanor battery against his ex-girlfrined. Howland said no action would be taken until more information on the matter was known.

(photo credit: AP)


At Nov 7, 2008, 5:10:00 PM, Anonymous gtd said...

Roll played well... hope he regains his shooting. How about our big guys?

At Nov 7, 2008, 7:53:00 PM, Anonymous BHT said...

Its unfortunate to see that Dragovic was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend.
After not being able to hit a basket for most of last year, I guess the only positive thing is that we now know he is able to hit something.....

At Nov 7, 2008, 10:01:00 PM, Anonymous eoj703 said...

any news on how the visit went with mike moser?

At Nov 8, 2008, 12:34:00 AM, Anonymous deja vu said...

@BHT: not funny. first off, it is alleged. secondly, if he hit her it would be battery, not assault.
grow up

At Nov 8, 2008, 12:42:00 AM, Anonymous JamesB said...

Agree with BBR aboya and keefe need to step it up or let the freshmen play.

At Nov 8, 2008, 3:10:00 AM, Anonymous Grrr... said...

Agree w/ last two comments. Good to see Jrue play as advertised. I'm excited about this year. Hopefully, the freshman bigs will get enough playing to have polished games by March.
Good to see Roll and his shooting back!

At Nov 8, 2008, 3:24:00 AM, Anonymous BHT said...

Hey deja vu,
I know it is just alleged. I was just trying to lighten up a serious situation. Don't take eveything so seriously. It was just a joke. It's OK to have a sense of humor.
And by the way according to BBR, it was battery not assault.

At Nov 8, 2008, 6:27:00 AM, Anonymous DW said...

BHT- According to the police report he pushed his freshly broken up with ex-girlfriend (who's on the UCLA women's rowing team) to the ground after she threw his belongings out into the front yard.
So he didn't hit anything. But he did prove he could "knock something down" in a "pressure situation".

At Nov 8, 2008, 7:57:00 AM, Anonymous JBruin said...

Hey BBR, are you going to have a "Bruins in the NBA" report like last year? The biggest surprise might be Mbah a Moute contributing off the bench for Milwaukee. Looks like Ucla will be well represented in the NBA for some time to come!

At Nov 8, 2008, 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Yes, its one of our favorite features and there is much to write about this year.

At Nov 8, 2008, 1:46:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

As a season ticket holder, I, BruinFan, is concerned with our inside game. Keefe and Aboya are just not doing it for me.
As for our defense against Biola, I was just not impressed. I know it is hard to "get up" for cupcake games, but I was embarassed.
I tell it how it is. Honestly fellas, I frickin know it is early in the season, but I would be hard pressed to see this team getting past the Sweet 16, based on their last two games (at this point only). I am a die hard and will keep the faith though. I will never count the Bruins out of a title run as long as we have BH in the drivers seat......
Before you jump on me with criticism:
1) Reread what I wrote
2) Go to church tomorrow ;-)
It's just one man's opinion after two crummy exhibitions.

At Nov 8, 2008, 3:04:00 PM, Anonymous ASK said...

Looking forward to the "Where are they now" article.
If anyone knows where Michael Fey, Jon Crispin, Josiah Johnson or Brian Morrison are playing or if not playing, what they are up too, please write in. I would love to know.

At Nov 9, 2008, 3:19:00 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

I looked through the entire 2008/2009 schedule and could not find a team that the bruins cannot beat. We should run the table this year.

At Nov 9, 2008, 11:48:00 AM, Anonymous David G. said...

BHT: I know you were trying to lighten up the situation. I more apt jab would've been: "seeing how soft Dragovic plays, he couldn't have done too much damage" or "if she wanted to protect herself, she should've dressed up as a hoop."

At Nov 10, 2008, 6:35:00 AM, Anonymous jW said...

Paul, what about Duke, or Texas on the road? how about Notre Dame, and you can never rpedict USC games. And when we play North Carolina in the tourney, thats going to be a tough game if our bigs are not ready (and Hansborough is healthy)! This year may not be so simple, (though the Pac 10 is not as tough as it was last year)


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