Mar 5, 2016; Seattle , WA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Jordin Canada (3) is defended by California Golden Bears forward Kristine Anigwe (31) and guard Gabby Green (33) during a womens semifinal in the Pac-12 Conference tournament at KeyArena. UCLA defeated California 73-66 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Both Women’s and Men’s UCLA Basketball teams will kickoff the season with a double-header at Pauley Pavilion as both teams taken on the men and women of Pacific.
It is finally here Ladies and Gentlemen! It is time for UCLA Basketball and what a great way to start the season than with the men and women both staging opening night together!
These Pacific Tigers are off to a good start. They were 2-0 in their exhibitions with wins over Chico State in overtime (80-76) and then blasted San Francisco State (91-42).
The Tigers are expecting a lot from sophomore Chelsea Lidy who scored a team-high 15 points against San Francisco State. She will have support from a few veteran which includes preseason All-West Coast Conference nominee Desire Finnie and junior GeAnna Luaulu-Summers.
All three have the ability to score, but they are thin in regards to talent. They are definitely going to be tested when they take on the #9 team in the country in their own house.
As for the Bruins, they have talent upon talent. Starting at the top, UCLA will flex their muscles with Jordin Canada, one of the top women basketball players in the nation. Aside from leading this team in scoring (16.1) and assists (5.7) last season, she has the IQ and vision to get every one of her teammates into the game.
She is going to have help from senior Kari Korver who will be attacking the rim from the outside. Last season, Korver made at least one three-pointer in 30 of the Bruin’s 35 games. So with Canada distributing and Korver on the outside, an inside presence is necessary. That is where junior forward Monique Billings comes in.
Billings came into her own last year and was one of the better developed Bruins. She led UCLA in rebounding (8.1) and was the dominant force underneath.
This should be an easy game for the Bruins. Though the Tigers have weapons, Head Coach Cori Close has developed an elite team that will turn some heads this season.
Feb 25, 2016; Berkeley, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Isaac Hamilton (10) drives to the basket against California Golden Bears forward Jaylen Brown (0) during the second half at Haas Pavilion. The California Golden Bears defeated the UCLA Bruins 75-63. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Pacific men came out with fists flying in their exhibition game against Bristol University. The Tigers annihilated their opponents 106-39. They did so with a double-digit scoring effort from five different players.
Leading the charge was guard David Taylor who had 19 points in that game. They also had a double-double from big man Tonko Vuko who put in 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Behind NBA legend and now Tiger head coach Damon Stoudamire, Pacific looks to play a more determined and focused style of basketball. Last season they went 8-20, so improvements are a must for the Stoudamire.
Though they would like to start things off on the right foot, they are running into a UCLA Basketball team that also has a new direction.
With freshmen Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf bringing in some fresh talent to a core of veterans Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton and Thomas Welsh, UCLA is going to prove that they can be one of the best teams in the nation.
The Bruins are looking to push the tempo and shoot a lot form the outside. With Ball running the point, the rest of the players should fall into place and handle their roles. This Bruin team has a lot of talent, they just have not had a player to put it all together.
That begins today as the Bruins should handle Pacific with ease.