UCLA vs. Prairie View A&M - Game Preview
By Bruin Basketball Report
UCLA opens the 2008-09 season on Wednesday night against the Prairie View A&M (PVAM) Panthers in a first round game of the 2K Sports Classic: Coaches Against Cancer.
The winner of this game faces the winner of Weber State/Miami Ohio in a second round match-up on Thursday night. The winner of the second round contest advances to Madison Square Garden for a chance to play for the championship. Teams in other parts of the tournament bracket include Michigan, Southern Illinois, and Duke. See complete tournament bracket: HERE
PVAM, located near Houston Texas, plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The team finished the conference in 8th place last season finishing a disappointing 6-12 in conference action and 8-22 overall.
This is also the Panther's first game of the regular season. The Panthers have never faced the Bruins in basketball.
PVAM averaged 65.9 points while allowing 76.2 points to opponents last season. Not a threat from outside, the Panthers shots just 30.9% from beyond the three-point arc.
The Panthers lost their top two scorers to graduation over the summer but they return three starters from last year's squad.
Senior guard Derek Johnson (6'1, 190) is the leader on the squad. He was the team's third leading scorer, averaging 11.0 points and led the team in assists with 3.8.
Forward Dorian McDaniel (6'6, 210, Jr) averaged 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds.
Seven-footer Blake Thompson (7'0, 240, Sr) takes up vertical space but does not contribute much more than that, finishing last season with just 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.3 minutes of action per game.
The Panthers will likely give the Bruins as much trouble as their two prior NAIA exhibition opponents, Cal Baptist and Biola, were able to muster.
This game will only be as challenging and close as UCLA allows it. It all depends on how much effort and intensity the Bruin players come out with to start the game.
Junior forward Nikola Dragovic was back at practice with the team this week. He posted bail after being arrested for misdemeanor battery against his ex-girl friend. UCLA Coach Ben Howland said at his weekly pressor that the situation with Dragovic would be handled internally. Its unknown at this time whether Dragovic will play against PVAM on Wednesday night.
UCLA vs. Prairie View A&M
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 12
Time: 7:05 PM
Place: Pauley Pavilion
Radio: AM 1150
Labels: Game Previews