So I think everyone is going to be a little more curious about our second exhibition game tonight after what transpired against Concordia last week. I already mentioned in my Spaulding roundup that it looks like Concordia's performance wasn't exactly an aberrration as they apparently beat UCI last night in their second exhibition game. UCI is a pretty decent mid-major program in Southern California.
Ben Ball warriors take on Humboldt State tonight. The official site has the notes on the Lumberjacks:
Located in Arcata, Calif., the Humboldt State University Lumberjacks are members of the NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). They are coached by Tom Wood, who is in his 29th season at the helm of HSU and sports an overall record of 441-343 (.563). Humboldt State is ranked No. 8 in the Sporting News' Division II Preseason Poll and is also in the top 25 in the coaches poll. Returning four starters from last year's team that went 20-12 and was 13-7 (4th place) in the CCAA, HSU earned a berth to the NCAA Division II Western Regionals. The Lumberjacks are led by senior point guard Zac Tiedeman, who was named an All-West Region and first team All-CCAA player last year after averaging 13.0 points, 4.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. Senior forward Kevin Atkins is the only other player returning that averaged in double figures in scoring a year ago (11.1 ppg). The Lumberjacks also return CCAA Freshman of the Year, Kyle Baxter, a forward that averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 2008-09.
Not the first time Bruins are playing these guys during Howland era. They took on the Lumberjacks in 2006. Almost exactly two years ago (on November 9) AA, JF et al. won that game by a score of 87-61. Apparently there are other connections between the Lumberjacks and UCLA program:
Two current Lumberjacks were high school teammates of former Bruin All-American Kevin Love at Lake Oswego, Ore. Junior guard Ernie Spada, who hit 70 three-pointers a year ago for HSU, was in the same graduating class as Love. Sophomore forward Elliot Babcock-Krenk (4.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg last year at HSU) was a year behind Love in class.
Freshman forward Matt Stover (Rocklin, Calif., Rocklin HS) was a high school teammate of UCLA's freshman forward Brendan Lane. Lane returned to practice this week after missing the last two weeks with a sprained ankle.
Ray Aspuria from the Times-Standard has more the Lumberjacks' perspective and prepration on tonight's game (emphasis added):
Humboldt State gets an opportunity to see exactly where the 12 returning players -- four of which were starters, Zac Tiedeman, Kevin Atkins, Kyle Baxter and Ernie Spada -- stand in terms of development. So far, Wood noted the team has matured both mentally and physically in the offseason and early season practices.
During Sunday's practice in Lumberjack Arena, Wood had his Jacks work with a game-like tempo, stressing speed and physicality in addition to making sure everyone was on the right page in terms of plays.
"They're going to be bigger, stronger, and faster, but you need to make them guard you," Wood stressed to his players during a drill.
Each followed orders and showed a strong competitive nature.
Tiedeman not lacking in the determination department when speaking of UCLA.
"Obviously they're bigger and better athletes, but it helps us in terms of learning to play from a physical stand point," he said. "We're going down there to win, not to keep it within 20. Anything less than a victory would be disappointing."
Those last quotes should get the attention of our guys. We all know by now that we are going to be without TH but we will have JA and MR back in the lineup. The return of those two guys should give our backcourt a boost.
Just like last week this game is also not on TV. UCLA All-Access, UCLA Athletics' online multimedia platform, will carry exclusive online video of the games against Concordia on November 4, Humboldt State on November 10 and Delaware State on December 27. You can get more details here. Hopefully someone will come through with a link to an online feed to follow the game as well. We will throw up an open thread around tip off so that folks who are following it online or via radio can post away.