NCAA Basketball

65
Final 1 2 Tot
19 46 65
17
UCLA
41 39 80
80
8:00 PM PT9:00 PM MT10:00 PM CT11:00 PM ET4:00 PM GMT12:00 PM 北京时间9:00 PM MST11:00 PM EST, Nov 19, 2018
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 6,076

Presbyterian-UCLA Preview

No. 20 UCLA takes to Pauley Pavilion for one final home game before heading to Las Vegas for a couple of marquee matchups over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Bruins (3-0) host Presbyterian in the second leg of a tough, two-game road swing for the Blue Hose. Presbyterian (3-2) dropped the first on Saturday, 74-55 at Marquette.

While a trip to Los Angeles concludes a high-profile stretch for the Blue Hose, Monday's matchup serves as a primer for UCLA ahead of its most prominent test of the young season. The Bruins open the Las Vegas Invitational on Thursday against No. 11-ranked Michigan State, then draw either Texas or North Carolina on Friday.

The two-night tournament marks a shifting of gears for UCLA, which transitions into a challenging nonconference slate leading into Pac-12 competition. The Bruins' initial docket opened with four mid-to-low-major conference opponents, none of which finished 2017-18 ranked higher than No. 165 in KenPom.com overall metrics.

Presbyterian was the lowest ranked of the four at No. 334, finishing the campaign 11-21. The Blue Hose have seen progress early into 2018-19, however, combining the veteran presence of senior forward Francois Lewis with the contributions of a corps of freshmen -- among them guard Adam Flagler, who is shooting 47.4 percent from behind the 3-point line through Presbyterian's first five games.

"The way we play offensively allows us to play differently," said Blue Hose coach Dustin Kerns of the new-look rotation at Big South media day last month. "We can play some smaller lineups, we can play some bigger lineups. Offensively, we have more options this year."

Presbyterian's bigger lineups stand smaller than the longer lineups UCLA coach Steve Alford can put on the floor. The Bruins will have a size advantage much of the season with 7-foot freshman center Moses Brown in the middle, and 6-foot-8 guard Kris Wilkes on the perimeter, and it should be more pronounced Monday against Presbyterian.

The tallest regular Blue Hose contributors are 6-foot-9 Lewis and Armel TeTe.

Leveraging that size may still require adjustments, however, as the Bruins experienced Friday in the first half of its 95-58 win over a St. Francis (Pa.) team similar in height to Presbyterian. The Red Flash grabbed 13 offensive boards before intermission, and outrebounded UCLA 31-27 in the first 20 minutes.

"You miss 50 shots, that's a lot of chances to go get it," Alford said in the postgame press conference. "If you miss 50 and get 19 of those back, that means we got 31 of them."

Indeed, UCLA held St. Francis to 30.8 percent shooting from the floor in the first half, in part the result of the Bruins' length. UCLA blocked eight of the Red Flash's shot attempts before intermission.

Yet, despite the poor shooting overall, 11 second-chance points gave Saint Francis a lead for much of the half, and within seven points at halftime. It wasn't until a second half that Alford called "the best we've played to date" that UCLA asserted itself -- not just in the paint, but through its ball movement, as well.

"We weren't really moving the ball much. In the second half, I think we had 15, so we really started to move the ball," UCLA guard Prince Ali said in the postgame press conference. "That's when we're at our best when we're moving the ball, everybody getting clean looks."

With its third game scoring more than 90 points, UCLA rolls into Monday's contest ranked No. 27 nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Bruins will need to carry that production past its last home date before leaving for Las Vegas.

Updated November 18, 2018

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