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UCLA Basketball v. Cal State Fullerton Preview

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The CSF starters have some alarming trends to them as well. All of them have more turnovers than assists.

Norman Powell and Bryce Alord will likely put up big numbers against CSF, will those numbers include assists?
Norman Powell and Bryce Alord will likely put up big numbers against CSF, will those numbers include assists?
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Cal State Fullerton is another cupcake whose three wins have come by a total of 12 points.  Overall they are 3-4 and have only scored more than 70 points in a game once and that was in a 17 point loss.  Maybe a good example is against Southern Cal they lost 54-49.  Their opponents' lead them in every category accept for free throw percentage.  This is just not a good team.

That said JC transfer 6'1" Lanerryl Johnson has been on a roll.  He has scored over 20 in three of the last four games including 21 of Cal State Fullerton's 49 points against Southern Cal.  He is shooting half his shots from three but is shooting well from all over the floor and draws fouls.  He is definitely a threat that UCLA will have to cover and be aware of in the zone.  He could light up UCLA's lax guard defense.

The only thing Lanerryl does not do well is passing.  There are two reasons for this.  One is he does not do it well, he actually has more turnovers than assists.  The other reson is maybe he should not do it.  The rest of his teammates can't shoot.  Starting with his backcourt mate and nominal point guard 6'1" Alex Harris.  Harris shots only 36% overall, 23% from 3  and 62% from the free throw line.  Harris also has more turnovers than assists.

The good news is Harris is third on the team in shot attempts, the bad news is he is a much better shooter than the player who is second.  6'6" forward Moses Morgan shoots 30.9% from the field and takes over 11 shots a game.   Fortunately for CSF he takes a lot of threes where he is an acceptable 35%.  Oh guess what.  He also has most turnovers than assists.

Those three lead CSF by far in minutes and shot attempts.  6'9" starting four Joe Boyd does his damage inside when he can stay on the court.  (He has been in foul trouble for half the games this year.) He leads CSF in rebounds and is the only player on the team shooting over 50%.

The Center position varies between 6'7" Steve McClellan and 6'10"Kennedy Esume.  McClellan most significant stat is fouls. He has not had less than three fouls in any game with four fouls twice and five once all in less than 20 minutes a game.  Kennedy Esume has the dubious distinction of being the worst shooter on a bad shooting team.  Kennedy hits only 27% of his shots and is not ready for this level.

Six foot four Josh Gentry plays the most minutes off the bench, maybe because he is one of the few players who actually has more assists than turnovers on the team.  Josh shoots better than most of the starters maybe because he does not like to shoot much.

In fairness Harris has had a few good games in his career but really this is poor shooting, poor ball handling team.  Should be an easy win with Looney getting a lot of free throw practice.

Of course the number one thing to watch for UCLA fans will be the battle for sixth man.  Is GG the new answer?

Some other keys.

Can UCLA shut down a good shooting guard in Johnson?

Can UCLA's bigs hit their free throws?  They are likely to go to the line a lot tomorrow night.

Will CSF be able to slow the game down a bit and keep the score lower or will UCLA be able to run wild off CSF turnovers?

Go Bruins.  It is a 9 p.m. start.