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UCLA Men's Basketball Preview

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UCLA completed their last exhibition game last Thursday night coming out on top of Humboldt State. Incoming freshmen Russell Westbrook and Michael Roll had great performances alongside veterans Josh Shipp and Arron Afflalo.

Although the team is amidst a major transition this year, Coach Ben Howland has expressed much confidence towards this week’s opener against BYU. Major stumbling blocks to consider include an injury impeding Lorenzo Mata’s playability, as well as recent questions regarding Nikola Dragovic’s eligibility on the team. Howland must find a way to reassign Dragovic’s minutes on the court amongst the team’s other talent.

A lot of focus has been put on the recent acquisitions, including center Kevin Love and guard/forward Chace Stanback. Love has been heralded by most scouting outlets as the best collegiate center in the nation while Stanback has also been recognized as one of Fairfax High’s MVP’s – he comes from the same basketball program that produced Josh Shipp.

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The Bruins will hopefully continue to dominate the PAC-10 this year (a very nascent trend). In addition to the returning Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Arron Afflalo, the latest center and guard acquisitions will help to solidify a tough Bruin offense. With all things considered, Bruin fans should look forward to a strong opening this Wednesday against BYU, as well as a great season to follow.

The UCLA Bruins will host BYU at the Pauley Pavilion (UCLA) on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30pm PST.

AP Photo by Mark J. Terrill