Nov. 2, 2006
LOS ANGELES -
Thursday, Nov. 2
Pacific-10 Conference Media Day/10:00 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 2
UCLA vs. Cal Poly Pomona (Exhibition)/Pauley Pavilion/7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 9 UCLA vs. Humboldt State (Exhibition)/Pauley Pavilion/7:30 p.m.
CAL POLY POMONA AT UCLA
UCLA opens its exhibition season on Nov. 2 in Pauley Pavilion, when it hosts Cal Poly Pomona. CPP is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and an NCAA Div. II institution. The Broncos were 17-10 last year and finished third in the CCAA in 2006. Cal Poly Pomona was NCAA Div. II West Region champions in 2003 and 2005, advancing to the "Elite Eight". The Broncos had a string of three straight NCAA playoff appearances (2003, 04, 05) snapped last season, but have recorded 12 winning seasons in a row, the most in program history. The Broncos have a lot of talent returning, including first-team All-CCAA guard Dion Cook (15.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and the 2006 CCAA Freshman of the Year, Larry Gordon (6.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg). The Broncos also return five other players who started at least eight games last season. Cook, Billy Hofman (4.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg) and Melvyn Nicholson (7.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) are the returning seniors on the team. The Broncos also return the services of junior center Kaelen Daniels (7.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg).
UCLA will have two in Pauley Pavilion (also on Nov. 9 vs. Humboldt State at 7:30 p.m. Both Bruin men's exhibition games will be broadcast live with streaming video (broadcast begins at 7:25 p.m. with "Bruin Countdown") over the UCLA website (www.uclabruins.com), with Dave Marcus and Michael Sondheimer (to listen on the website, purchase the UCLA All-Access pass for $5.95 to watch the Cal Poly Pomona/UCLA game). The two exhibition games will not be radio broadcast (XTRA 570) or televised.
UCLA PROBABLE STARTERS
F Josh Shipp, 6-5, 220, So., 11.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 apg
F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, 6-8, 230, So., 9.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.3 apg
C Alfred Aboya, 6-8, 235, So., 3.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.4 apg
G Arron Afflalo, 6-5, 215, Jr., 15.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 apg
G Darren Collison, 6-1, 165, So., 5.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.3 apg
NATIONAL PRESEASON POLLS
UCLA is preseason rated No. 5 (tied with Pittsburgh) in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It is the second straight season that the Bruins are ranked in the preseason coaches poll. The first AP poll is released on Monday, Nov. 6.
Ben Howland knows how to rebuild a collegiate basketball program. He did it at Pittsburgh and again at Northern Arizona. And Howland's doing it at UCLA. Now entering his fourth year as the Bruins' head coach, Howland led UCLA back to the NCAA Final Four and Championship Game (for the first time since the Bruins' 1995 national title run) and to the 2006 Pac-10 Regular Season (first since 1997) and Tournament Championship (first since 1987) last season. He garnered two National Coach of the Year honors - the Jim Phelan Award (CollegeInsider.com) and from Collegehoops.net. Howland is the 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and earned numerous other Conference Coach of the Year honors from CBS Sportsline.com, SI.com and CollegeInsider.com, as well as USBWA Dist. IX and Basketball Times All-West Coast Coach of the Year. In 2006, he directed UCLA to the NCAA Championship game and to an NCAA Regional Championship, 32 victories (tying the school record 32 wins set in 1995) and a 12-game winning streak (longest since 1997) entering the NCAA title contest. Finishing his 12th year as a collegiate head coach (he's been a Conference Coach of the Year selection in three different leagues - 2006, Pac-10 Coach of the Year at UCLA/2002, Big East Coach of the Year at Pittsburgh/1997, Big Sky Coach of the Year at Northern Arizona) and in his 25th season of collegiate basketball (as an assistant and head coach), he's 61-35 (.635, 96 games) at UCLA, including 50-18 (.735, 68 games) in his last two seasons as the Bruins' head coach. He has led a team to the "Sweet Sixteen" for the third time in five years - Pittsburgh in 2002 and 2003 and UCLA in 2006. Howland recorded his 50th Bruin win vs. Oregon State (Feb. 23), his 200th career win on Nov. 19 vs. Delaware State and the USC game on Feb. 19 was his 350th game as a collegiate head coach. Howland's career mark is 229-134 (.631, 363 games).
Preseason magazines have hit the newsstands and here's what the magazines are saying about the Bruins:
Athlon Sports - Team - Postseason Prediction: NCAA "Elite Eight"/1st in Pac-10; No. 5 recruiting class in the Pac-10, 21st in the U.S. Individual - Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - Emerging Star, 9th Ranked Inside-Out, Honorable Mention All-American, First Team All-Pac-10, Pac-10's Best Defensive Player; Arron Afflalo - 3rd Ranked Slasher, Third Team All-American, First Team All-Pac-10, Pac-10 Player of the Year; Alfred Aboya - Third Team All-Pac-10, Pac-10's Most Underrated Player; James Keefe - No. 8 Top Power Forward Recruit; Russell Westbrook - No. 16 Top Shooting Guard Recruit.
CollegeInsdier.com - Individual - Arron Afflalo - Preseason All-American.
Lindy's - Team - Postseason Prediction: NCAA "Sweet Sixteen"/No. 8 in the U.S./2nd in Pac-10; No. 7 backcourt in the nation; No. 18 recruiting class in the nation. Individual - Arron Afflalo - All-Defense Team, No. 4 Shooting Guard in the U.S., First Team All-Pac-10, Pac-10 Player of the Year, Pac-10 Top Defender; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - No. 10 Power Forward in the U.S., First Team All-Pac-10, Pac-10 Top Rebounder, Pac-10 Most Entertaining; Josh Shipp - No. 23 Small Forward in the U.S., Third Team All-Pac-10; Darren Collison - No. 25 Point Guard in the U.S.; James Keefe - No. 49 Top Incoming Freshman.
Street & Smith's - Team - No. 10 in the U.S./1st in Pac-10; No. 4 recruiting class in Pac-10. Individual - Arron Afflalo - Second Team All-American, All-Pac-10, Pac-10's Best Under Pressure, Pac-10's Best Leader; Josh Shipp - Rehab All-American; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - All-Pac-10, Pac-10's Best Rebounder; James Keefe - Top 100 College Freshmen All-West selection; Ben Howland - Pac-10's Best Coach.
The Sporting News - Team - No. 7 in U.S./1st in Pac-10; No. 4 Frontcourt in the U.S., No. 7 Backcourt in the U.S. Individual - Arron Afflalo - Second Team All- American, No. 1 Shooting Guard in the U.S., First Team All-Pac-10, Pac-10's Best Defender; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - No. 6 Power Forward in the U.S., First Team All-Pac-10; Josh Shipp - No. 12 Small Forward in the U.S., Second Team All-Pac-10; James Keefe - No. 5 Top 10 Impact Newcomer in Pac-10, No. 23 Recruit in the U.S.; Darren Collison - No. 1 Pac-10 Player on the Rise.
CBSSportsLine.com - Team - Postseason Prediction: NCAA "Elite Eight"/No. 4 in the U.S. Individual - Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - Second Team All- American, First Team All-Pac-10, Pac-10 Player of the Year; Arron Afflalo - Third Team All-American, First Team All-Pac-10.
Rivals.com - Team - No. 11 in the U.S. Individual - Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - No. 4 Power Forward in the U.S., Third Team All-American; Arron Afflalo - No. 1 Shooting Guard in the U.S., Second Team All-American.