Bruin Report Online has a free preview of the UCI game available. Besides BRO continuing fascination with Anderson (they say he may start for Honeycutt), the preview has some good tidbits in it. All quotes below are from it.
Here are what I take to be the main points.
1. Irvine is short and we should dominate the Boards on them.
The Bruins should be able to exploit their advantage inside as all of the post players on Howland’s roster would be starters right now if they played for Irvine. Josh Smith especially should be a handful for the Anteaters regardless of whether Turner plays zone or man defense.
I think this is UCLA's advantage all year. Obviously we are not quite as strong tonight without Honeycutt but let's hope all the bigs (Smith, Nelson, Lane and Stover) have big games.
More after the jump.
2. UCI is a good zone defensive team. A potential big problem for the Bruins.
Because of that lack of height [UCI Coach] Turner employs a variety of zone defenses and this is where the danger lies for the Bruins. Because Irvine plays so much zone defense, the Anteaters have become pretty adept at it. Although they don’t have the same athletes, Irvine has been able to embrace the idea that virtually all halfcourt zone defenses fall into 2-3 zone principles after the first pass is made. The difference between zones really is whether or not there is a trap out of the zone (an active zone) or whether the zone simply plays to space (a passive zone designed to take away passing lanes rather than force turnovers and quick shots). A good zone defensive team knows how to mask what they are running until after the first pass is made and Irvine is pretty good at being able to mask their defensive intensions possession to possession.
One of the reasons UCLA started quick against Montana State is MSU inexplicably started the game M2M. UCLA is too tough for most mid-majors to play M2M. Plus UCLA has had trouble with zones at times as detailed above.
3. This may be a great game for Tyler Lamb to start and breakout. Lamb had a highlight reel play against MSU after a steal. He has shown he has quickness and the ability to finish in the open court. UCI is a TO machine so look for Lamb to get some breakaway dunks.
They are a collective turnover machine, having far more turnovers than assists on the year. In fact, they are averaging over 15 turnovers per game on the season, and outside of Illinois and USC, that’s against middling competition.
Thanks to Bruin Report Online for making the free preview available.