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UCLA Basketball to Host Stanislaus in Exhibition Tonight

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Fans will finally get their first look at the UCLA men’s basketball team under new head coach Mick Cronin.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Four-St. Bonaventure vs. UCLA Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team finally takes to the court under new Bruins head coach Mick Cronin. There really is no doubt about what tonight’s outcome will be. After all, Stanislaus State is a Division II school.

No, tonight, will simply give us a glimpse of what to look forward to the rest of the season as this team continues to learn and grow under Cronin.

Normally, we would preview UCLA’s opponent in this article. Since tonight’s game is just an exhibition, I’m going to take a look at this week’s men’s basketball media sessions instead.

Cronin really seems to get the importance of fan interaction, and even says it helps bring people back when kids are able to get autographs from players and then want to return for another game. He says this game is important to “work out the nerves”, and “practice only takes you so far”. He wants to see everything they have worked hard on in practice materialize on the court tonight.

Here is Coach Cronin’s entire interview:

Tyger Campbell was the first student-athlete interviewed, and when asked about getting the season going with a new head coach, he said, “there’s a learning curve with anything”, and specifically said team communication is essential for understanding the new team defense and executing it properly. He feels “100%” after recovering from his injury and seems to have a positive mindset and anxious to get the season started.

Cody Riley was up next, and talked about the increase in intensity at practice and specifically on defense. Alex Olesinski also talked about the need for communication and said how important it is to talk to each other during the game. He stated right now they have improved quite a bit from where they started a month ago, but also said they have room for improvement.

Here is the full video of all three players:

Thanks to UCLA Athletics for both videos.

Tonight’s game should be a good look at what we can expect from this team, and how things have changed since the hiring of Coach Cronin.

Go Bruins!