Bruins Begin Season Of High Expectations In Hawaii

Nov. 19, 2001

UCLA already had a proven scorer in Jason Kapono, and a quality center in Dan Gadzuric.

However, the addition of freshman point guard Cedric Bozeman now has fans thinking of a trip to the Final Four as Steve Lavin's team begins what should be a promising season against Houston in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

Kapono averaged 17.6 points, and the 6-11 Gadzuric added 11.7 points and 8.6 rebounds last season. Both players considered leaving for the NBA, but decided to return and be the core of a fifth-ranked Bruins team that returns four starters from a squad that went 23-9 and lost to eventual NCAA tournament champion Duke in the East Regional semifinals.

"I didn't want to be known as the guy who came here and played two years and never won a Pac-10 title," said the junior Kapono, who shot 46 percent from 3-point range last season. "I feel so good about this team."

Gadzuric, a senior who has yet to live up to the hype that preceded his arrival from the Netherlands three years ago, also had the same feelings of emptiness when it came to team achievement.

"The last three years I learned a lot, but we weren't Pac-10 champs and we didn't go all the way in the (NCAA) tournament," Gadzuric said. "This is my last year and I want to prove something."

Bozeman, however, may be the determining factor whether UCLA is a very good team or a great team. A true point guard at 6-foot-6, Bozeman is expected to log major minutes replacing the one lost starter to graduation - Earl Watson.

"That's why you go to UCLA, to play against the big-time teams," said Bozeman, the freshman from nearby Santa Ana High School. "I just want to take it one step at a time. I'm going to try to get better and learn from the seniors."

The Cougars are continuing to rebuild under second-year coach Ray McCallum. They lost their best player - center Alton Ford - after his freshman season when he decided to enter the NBA draft. The top player for Houston this year, forward Kevin Gaines, will not be available until December after his transfer from Michigan last year.

But Houston does return four starters, including senior forward George Williams (13.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and senior guard Dominic Smith (12.5 ppg, 3.8 apg). The Cougars went 9-20 and finished 6-10 in the National Division of Conference USA.

UCLA leads the all-time series 6-2, with Houston's last win a 71-69 victory in the Astrodome on Jan. 20, 1968. The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between seventh-ranked Kansas and Ball State in the semifinals Tuesday.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Oct 30
vs. Cal State Los ...
Los Angeles, CA
W, 95 - 57
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Dec 03 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 12 - 7:00 PM PST
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
Tuesday, Dec 15 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 19 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, Dec 22 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 01 - 8:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 03 - 6:30 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Thursday, Jan 07 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 09 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 13 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 20 - 8:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Saturday, Jan 23 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Thursday, Jan 28 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 30 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 04 - 7:30 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA