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UCLA Basketball: Friday Night Season Opener, PAC-12 Scores, NBA Bruins & More

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The Bruins play two games this weekend -- one might not be so easy. Plus notes from Alford's presser, PAC-12 exhibition games, Bruins in the NBA, points guards we wish we had and other CBB news.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bruin Basketball will be in full swing -- two games per week - starting Friday when Montana State visits Pauley for the season opener (uclabruins.com) followed by Coastal Carolina, a tournament team, on Sunday. The schedule's already more challenging than last season. BN's barrage of basketball posts begins tomorrow with DCBruins preview of Montana St.

Meanwhile, Steve Alford held a press conference Tuesday afternoon:

  • Thought there was growth from the exhibition to the scrimmage (report here). Thought they had "great" tempo, the defense kicked up a notch and the board play turned around from the exhibition game.

  • Not sure the freshman "get it" yet, and we may have some "uh-oh" moments.

  • Will get Noah, Wannah, GG and Thomas early season minutes.

  • Kevon still "getting healthier." So he's not 100%.

  • Will run Bryce off-screen and pick and roll compared to iso's with Kyle.

Mission #1 for Friday night is to get over the nerves -- Sunday is a potential trap disaster.

Here (and here) are the other PAC-12 exhibition scores thus far:

  • Utah 98, Pacific 38
  • California 74, Cal State San Marcos 52
  • Stanford 79, Cal Poly Pomona 76
  • Arizona 67, Cal Poly Pomona 51
  • USC 87, Cal State LA 68
  • Washington 88, St. Martin's 65

My main takeaways:

  • Utah is the most ready today. I'm particularly surprised by their 7'0" freshman center from Austria.

  • Arizona didn't start Stanley Johnson, and their bench may be shorter than originally thought (but 7'0" freshman center Dusan Rustic from Serbia is a surprise we hadn't counted on).

  • Stanford had a messier game than we did for the same reasons -- the new faces. That said, CPP had two good outings.

  • Jordan McLaughlin scored 18 points for USC.

Speaking of point guards we wish we had:

We should have been all-in on McLaughlin. I don't know if that would have done it, but he's the one we wanted. For one year, Octeus was big and fast with nice handle - I'd take it.

NBA recap:

In other news:

  • Here's a nice overview of the "Early Signing Period" from Scout. UCLA's hot prospects will be dragging this out until the spring.

  • Sean Miller has been lamenting his team's slow start and questionable chemistry.

  • UNC's Athletic Director "thanks God" that he has a chance to work with Roy Williams. I thank Roy Williams and UNC for giving UCLA a shot with Brandon Ingram, Ivan Rabb and Stephen Zimmerman. (No one would really go there now -- would they?)