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GameThread for Pepperdine Waves at UCLA

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Can UCLA take advantage of its size inside?

Forget Walton, UCLA misses NP4 tonight's honorary captain.
Forget Walton, UCLA misses NP4 tonight's honorary captain.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Older UCLA fans are often accused of being too nostalgic for the past. For tonight's game at Pauley Pavilion at 7:36 against the Pepperdine Waves on the PAC 12 Network, UCLA fans may be feeling a bit of nostalgia for the honorary captain:

A senior who graduated last June, Powell (16.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg) was a second-round selection by the Milwaukee Bucks (was immediately traded to the Toronto Raptors). Powell is serving as Thursday night's "honorary captain" for the Bruins.

Yep. UCLA is really missing last year's leader Norman Powell (NP4). After the first two games UCLA fans are not looking for Bill Walton and KAJ but a NP4. NP4 was not only the MVP and leading scorer but the best defensive guard. While under Steve Alford, NP4 blossomed and played on two sweet 16 teams. More relevant right now, they did not lose to any second tier teams.

So will UCLA beat a solid but not spectacular second tier team at home? Will they remember NP4's speech of last year about playing defense? Or will UCLA fans want to "honor" the PAC 12 network's color commentator, legendary drunk and former just SC and Arizona coach Kevin O'Neill by drinking throughout the game to get through it.

Go Bruins!