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Praire View A & M at UCLA Basketball Preview

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The last exhibition game comes late.

Would like to see Travis return to form tomorrow night.
Would like to see Travis return to form tomorrow night.
Jeff Gross

Tomorrow night UCLA plays the worst team they have played all season.  Jack Wang put it this way:

Ranked No. 324 in the country on kenpom.com, the Panthers are almost certainly the weakest team on UCLA's schedule. They lost 95-53 in last year's visit to Pauley Pavilion.

A few Bullets on how bad Prairie View A & M really are.

  • PVAM has a record of 2-7 but don't let that fool you. The wins came over the Division III Schreiner Mountaineers and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats.
  • A Ben Howland team almost put up a 100 on these guys.
  • To make this game even more of a joke, PVAM is not even the right kind of bad team to take advantage of UCLA even a little. There is no Chad Posthumas here and the biggest weakness of PVAM is their rebounding. There leading rebounder is 6'3" guard Montrael Scott at just 4.4 rebounds a game. By comparison UCLA has 5 players who average more rebounds per game (okay really four as Noah Allen's numbers are based on one game), including Jordan Adams.
  • They lost their last game to BYU 100-52.

This game is over before it starts.  Brief player notes

  • Leading scorer and rebounder Montrael Scott is statistically impressive hitting over 50% shots and 48.5% from three. By far a career best from a kid who barely broke 40% and never shot better than 27% from three in previous seasons.
  • Second leading scorer and rebounder Demondre Chapman is a 6‘7" player shooting 58% from the field and 53% from the line.
  • Assist and minutes leader Junior Tre Hagood, can't shoot 41% and 29% from three but the good news is he does not like to do so. He also has 8 assists to his 9 turnovers in PVAM last two games.

Do I need to go on?  This is a bad team.  I guess the UCLA players are in the middle of finals and may be guilty of looking past this game to Duke.  It should not matter.

Head coach Steve Alford said UCLA has yet to really scout Prairie View A&M leading up to Saturday's 5 p.m. tipoff. The Bruins have been solely focused on finals week.

So what to watch?  How about some player bullets.

  • #1 Wannah Bail.  Bail is working hard and after practice.  Wannah is the one player who could use a cupcake.  In very limited minutes Wannah is averaging only 1 rebound per 6.5 minutes.  This is less than Jordan Adams.  Will Wannah be able to dominate the boards against this lesser competition?
  • #4 Norman Powell.  Can Norman force turnovers or disrupt an offense in man to man against a mediocre point guard?
  • #12 David Wear is second on the team in turnovers (only Kyle has more) and next to last in assists, only Travis has less.  Can David pass and not make any turnovers?
  • #14 Zach Lavine.  It would be fun to have Zach cover Montrael Scott.  Probably won't happen but it would be nice to see him try to play defense on another team's number one option.  Can Zach play good defense against a bad team?
  • #23 Tony Parker.  How many defensive rebounds does Tony get tomorrow night?  Can Tony continue to outplay David Wear?  Logically one of these two should probably drop from the starting lineup.  (Maybe both if Travis returns to his form of last year.)
  • #24 Travis Wear.  Where is the Travis of last year?  Travis is 0-6 in his last two games and has looked bad.

This game it is going to be hard for anyone to look bad.  Go Bruins!