So yeah there is a big game at Pauley tonight. Unlike his counterpart from the LA Times, DN’s Brian Dohn focuses his UCLA report on tonight’s opponent: Cal Bears. Dohn writes about the defensive matchup between Ubaka and AA, which played the key factor in Bruin’s win up in Berkeley. He is going to fired up to get his revenge on AA and our Bruins. Coach Howland and AA are make sure to let everyone know how much respect they have for Ubaka’s game, who also BTW dropped 18 points on the Bruins when the Bears won at Pauley last year. Here is Dohn.
Ubaka, who is averaging 14points per game, was 0 for 8 against the Bruins. […]
"I have great respect for Ubaka," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "He killed us here a year ago. He had 18 here a year ago. He was sick when we played them up there, and did not play well. I know he'll want to come back and really take it at us."
"His rebounds per minute, especially on the offensive end, are far better than anybody, including Luc (Richard Mbah a Moute), on the team," Howland said. "He doesn't get as many rebounds on the defensive end because he's our best guy blocking out. Sometimes when you're so good at laying your body on another guy, that even though he doesn't get the rebound, he's making it easier for others to rebound."
Aboya is tied with Mbah a Moute with 36 offensive rebounds in Pacific-10 Conference play, although Mbah a Moute played 146 more minutes.
AA2 (and Mata) will have their hands full with Ryan Anderson tonight. BBR has more on that match-up and a great primer for tonight’s game in its preview:
Defensively, Pac-10 teams have been shooting close to 50% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc against the Bears Cal plays primarily a man-to-man defense but will switch to zone at times during the game. Expect the Bears to play a lot of zone on Thursday to try to slow the tempo of the game as well as to help them mask some of their potential defensive mismatches against the Bruins.
California lost starting center DeVon Hardin to a foot injury at the start of the season. Hardin recently started walking without his protective boot but it is doubtful he will play anytime this season, although he does plan to accompany the team to the upcoming Pac-10 tournament at Staples.
Without Hardin in the middle, the Bears have gone with a smaller starting line-up of four guards and a freshman forward. As a result, they've been beaten badly on the boards, minus 5.1 (8th, Pac-10).