“This game’s in the refrigerator: the door is closed, the lights are out, the butter’s getting hard, the eggs are cooling, and the Jell-O’s jigglin’!”
Chick Hearn’s famous quote for when the game is over for all but the final score has rarely been more true than tonight’s UCLA Bruins exhibition game against the New York Institute of Technology.
They are led by 5’,10” guard Kieran Hamilton who shot 256 three-pointers last season at 25% clip and 6’,4” forward Jeffery Hayden who shot threes at a 26% clip. Those two were the only players who averaged in double figures on a team that averaged losing each game by 12 points and gave up 88 points per game. Their worst game was when they lost 113-67 to the powerhouse of Saint Anslem.
I am not trying to knock the Bears but the Washington Generals would be a tougher game.
So what do you look for in this game?
1. I want to see UCLA’s new defense under assistant coach Bartow hold them to under 25 points in the first half. I realize, at some point, this is going to be a garbage game, possibly as soon as the tip-off, but it would be nice to see some defensive intensity early.
2. Chris Smith at the point. If Smith does well in this game, it really does not mean much. However, if he struggles to run the point in this sort of game, then it is time to get out the panic button.
3. Cody Riley. Cody has been suspended, struggled academically and been hurt. It will be nice to see Cody on the court and watch how he moves. He won’t have any trouble inside against the Bears but can he be the stretch forward that Alford loves? Tonight will be the first look.
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