While we are all fired up about start of football camp next week we have some basketball related news to pass on. There has been some slight revisions in the 2009 Ben Ball schedule. Particularly the field for the ESPN 76 Classic, an 8 team tourney in Anaheim before the huge game against Kansas and Wooden Classic is all set. From the official site:
UCLA's 2009-10 men's basketball schedule is highlighted by non-conference contests in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, during Thanksgiving weekend; a home date with Kansas (preseason No. 1 by Andy Katz of ESPN) in the Pac-10/Big 12 Series (Dec. 6) and a trip to Notre Dame, Ind., to face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (Dec. 19).
In all, the schedule features 12 games against teams that were in the field of 65 in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and another possible three games against NCAA Tournament teams in the 76 Classic.
The field for the ESPN 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center is very impressive. Joining UCLA will be Butler, Clemson, Long Beach State, Minnesota, Portland, Texas A&M and West Virginia. Six of the eight teams in the 76 Classic made the 2009 NCAA Tournament field (excluding Portland and Long Beach State). UCLA will open against Portland and then play either Butler or Minnesota the following day.
The Bruins will also play in the 16th annual Wooden Classic on Saturday, Dec. 12 at Honda Center in Anaheim against Mississippi State. This will be UCLA's seventh consecutive Wooden Classic appearance and 13th overall (9-3 in prior contests). Last year, the Bruins defeated DePaul 72-54 in the Wooden Classic.
You can see the full tentative schedule as of now over here. Guess no one is going to whine about the Ben Ball schedule this season (which is an annual occurrence from certain parts of the internets during Fall of every year).
It is going to be a lot of fun to see how the kids perform early in the pre-season. They will have their opportunities against the usual pre-season caliber opponents that Howland schedules so that they can get accustomed to particular offensive schemes for conference season. But they are also going to get an opportunity to play the underdog role against a team like Kansas. Should be fun.
Oh and BTW ... we have a second countdown clock up ... looking forward to November 4 ... when ML, DG, JA, JK, JMM and a new core of Ben Ball warriors lace them up for the first game of the pre-season. Barely 3 months to go.