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Wooden Classic: Ben Ball Gameday Roundup

Ben Ball warriors are in the OC today taking on Davidson Wildcats. Coach Howland has been preparing for Stephen Curry and the Wildcats this week. Carr from the OC Register reports o Coach Howland's comments:

UCLA coach Ben Howland has seen enough film on Davidson to know his team is in for the same kind of potential trouble the other top-ranked teams encountered. Howland said the Wildcats (3-4) run a similar kind of offense to Texas, and the Longhorns handed the Bruins (7-1) their first loss last Sunday.

"We have to be much better than Sunday at taking shots," Howland said. "They are an unselfish team, with team players who share the ball."

Howland also said that the Wildcats are so quick that "before you get to the screen, they slash and go to the basket. They have all sorts of wrinkles they put in.

Davidson has something Texas didn't though, and that's a prolific shooter in 6-foot-1 guard Stephen Curry. Curry, who is on nearly every preseason watch list, ranks fifth nationally in scoring (26 points a game). He also is averaging 4.5 3-pointers and 4.4 rebounds.

"He reminds me of (former Arizona point guard) Salim Stoudamire," Howland said. "What makes him tough is that he doesn't always follow through on his shot. He has such a quick release it's incredible. His release is as quick as anything you'll see throughout the country.

"He's also a good ball handler who can put the ball on the floor. He can penetrate and make plays for himself and makes plays for others. He's their back-up guard when (Jason) Richards isn't in there. He creates a lot of problems."
Well I am not sure Texas not having "prolific shooter" like Curry because we certainly witnessed some deadly shooting last Sunday at Pauley and those guys came in shooting 50% as a team. But let's get back to today's game. The focus this afternoon will be how UCLA handles the zone in first half and whether they are going to wait till the second half (like they did against Texas) to adjust and aggressively attack the zone D. We hear Roll will get few more mins today which could translate into some clean entry passes to number 42.

Meanwhile, Westbrook and co. will have their hands full with Curry. Robyn Norwood from the LA Times has a profile on the Davidson guard:
Deep in the heart of Atlantic Coast Conference country, the son of former NBA player Dell Curry who was slighted by 12 ACC schools -- including Virginia Tech, his father's alma mater -- has found a home at tiny 1,700-student Davidson, a Presbyterian college founded in 1837.

Curry scored more points last season than any freshman in the country but Kevin Durant, set an NCAA record for freshmen by making 122 three-pointers, and finished his season with 30 points in an NCAA tournament loss to Maryland.

This season, with Davidson's record at 3-4 as the Wildcats try to steel themselves for March with games against some of the nation's top programs, the 6-foot-3 guard scored 24 in a four-point loss to top-ranked North Carolina, and 20 in a six-point loss to Duke.

Today, Curry -- the nation's second-leading scorer at 26 points a game -- brings Davidson to Anaheim to take on seventh-ranked UCLA in the Wooden Classic at the Honda Center.

"We missed out," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who remembers Curry as a skinny youngster who used to attend Blue Devils basketball camp. "I'd like to have him."
Should be interesting to see how our defense handles him today. Moving on Coach likes what he has seen in Love:
From what I've heard and seen, both by tape and in person," Wooden said about Love, "nothing surprises me about him. He needs maturity and he needs to get stronger physically, but I've been most impressed with his passing ability.

"He does see the floor and he hustles on the offensive and defensive ends. I haven't seen since Bill Walton a player who can turn and throw a pass with the defense around him like Kevin. He's a real team player. For a youngster who's had so much publicity in high school, to come out as the No. 1 player in the country and the way he's accepted it, taken to it and not let it go to his head as a player and a person, that's great."
For more on the Coach and how Davidson Wildcats are soaking in their encounter with our national treasure read the report from the Daily News.

The game tips off at 2:30 pm PST. We will of course have an open thread.