UCLA 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule
UCLA Bruins - Pac-10 (26-5, 13-3)
Seed: #2 - West Region
Big Wins: 11/21 vs Kentucky (73-68), 12/9 Texas A&M (65-62), at Arizona (81-66)
Bad Losses: 1/28 at Stanford (68-75), 3/3 at Washington (51-61), vs California (69-76)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2006, National Runners-up
Coach: Ben Howland (9-5 in 5 NCAA appearances)
Probable UCLA Starters:
Darren Collinson, Sophomore, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 6.0 apg, 2.3 spg
Arron Afflalo, Junior, Guard, 16.7 ppg, 1.9 apg
Josh Shipp, Sophomore, Guard, 13.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 3.7 rpg
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Sophomore, Forward, 8.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg
Lorenzo Mata, Junior, Center, 6.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Key Roleplayers for UCLA:
Russell Westbrook, Freshman, Guard, 3.5 ppg, 0.7 apg
Michael Roll, Sophomore, Guard, 5.0 ppg, 1.1 apg
Alfred Aboya, Sophomore, Forward, 4.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Few teams can compete with the dynamic backcourt of UCLA. Arron Afflalo, Josh Shipp and Darren Collison combine to average nearly 43 points per game. Afflalo is the go-to-guy and is the player UCLA fans want to take the big shot. Shipp is a superb athlete on the wing that will slash to the basket.
Collison took over for Jordan Farmar this season and has done a quality job. The shifty 6-1 point guard averages 6.0 assistsper game. He is no slouch in the scoring department either. Collison will use his speed to get to the basket and has a nice stop and start move that leaves defenders guessing. He does not take a lot of three’s, but he knocks down nearly half of whathe does take.
Why UCLA Can Disappoint:
With the perimeter orientated team, UCLA tends to settle for jump shots instead of using their speed to get to the basket. Young players like Collison and Shipp need to remember where their strengths are, although Coach Ben Howland will be quick to remind them. By the numbers, free-throw shooting is the sore spot of the UCLA offense. If you want to see how not to shoot a free-throw, watch Lorenzo Mata and his 37.9% shooting from the charity stripe. In case you are wondering, release the ball with one finger instead of three and watch the basket, not the ball, after the release and the free-throw shooting will improve. As bad as Mata is, and it will affect UCLA’s line-up down the stretch, the three guards get to the line more often than anybody else on the team and each shoots just under 80%.
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Who To Watch:
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has developed into more than just a contributor on both ends of the floor. The 6-8 forward can explode and put up major points under the basket. His best attribute may be his ability to hit the mid-range jumper. When the opposition is running a zone, Mbah a Moute will find the soft spot around the free-throw line and knock down that shot all day. On the defensive end his long arms account for a couple steals a game and he is a monster on the glass.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.5 (106th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.6 (24, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.4 (22, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.4 (134, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.7 (285, 9)
Rebound Margin: 2.9 (82, 5)
Assists Per Game: 14.7 (85, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.2 (30, 3)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Sweet Sixteen loss to Pitt
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