UCLA vs. Miami (Ohio) - Game Preview
By Bruin Basketball Report
No.4 ranked UCLA (1-0) faces Miami (Ohio) (1-0) in the second round of the 2K Sports Classic at Pauley Pavilion tonight.
Darren Collison posted 19 points to lead UCLA to a 82-58 win over Prairie View A&M on Wednesday. Miami (Ohio) advanced to the second round game by edging Weber State, 70-66, on a last second winner by guard Kenny Hayes.
The RedHawks return a deep and experienced roster from last year's team. Miami (Ohio) beat Xavier last season, a team that reached the Elite 8 against UCLA in the NCAA tournament.
Miami (Ohio) finished 17-16 overall and 9-7 in MAC East conference play last year.
The RedHawks are patient and willing to grind it out on both ends of the court, the game will be UCLA's first real test of the season.
"They're going to be happy to play it in the 40s," Bruin Head Coach Ben Howland said of Miami. "We're going to need our legs because there are going to be long periods of defense."
Top scorer, senior wingman Michael Bramos (6'5, 220) averaged 16.3 points and 3.9 rebounds last season. Bramos is a bomber from outside, although he hit on just 36.3% of his shots from beyond the arc last year. Nevertheless, he will provide a good defensive test for UCLA's freshman Jrue Holiday.
Perhaps the key offensive player for the RedHawks is point-guard Kenny Hayes (6'2, 175) Hayes averaged 12.1 last year and improved his game dramatically over the summer. He has an excellent three-point shot and good off dribble-penetration. Hayes scored a team-high 24 points in the win over Weber State on Wednesday including 7 of 7 from three-point distance. Collison has spent the last three games (two exhibitions) chasing around quick smaller guards but he will have his hands full with Hayes.
Forward Tyler Dierkers (Sr, 6'8, 235) had 13 points and 7 rebounds against Weber State. Last season the 4-year senior averaged 6.1 points and 6.6 rebounds. A rugged inside player, he shot 55.9% from the field. It will be interesting to watch UCLA's James Keefe to see how he responds after a subpar opening game against Prairie View A&M. Keefe has lacked confidence on both ends of the floor.
At the other forward position is Nick Winbush (So, 6'7, 200) a player who does a lot of the dirty work and will hit an occasional long distance shot.
Adam Fletcher (Jr, 6'8, 230) will start at center, although the RedHawks will likely play most of the game with a three-guard line-up which may include either Antonio Ballard (So, 6'4, 19) or Eric Pollitz (Sr, 6'6, 208)
Nikola Dragovic was officially suspended for Wednesday's game against Prairie View A&M due to his arrest for misdemeanor battery over the weekend, however, Dragovic is expected to return for tonight's game against the RedHawks.
This is the first meeting between the two schools. The winner of this second round game will advance to the semifinals in New York at Madison Square Gardens arena next week.
UCLA vs. Miami (Ohio)
Date: Thursday, Nov. 13
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Pauley Pavilion
Radio: AM 570