DePaul Blue Demons vs. UCLA Bruins - Saturday, December 13th, 6:00 p.m. Central – Wooden Classic, Anaheim, California
Television – Comcast SportsNet Chicago, HDNet, & KCAL (California)
Radio – WSCR AM 670
Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -
DePaul Broadcast on WSCR
WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link
UCLA Athletics Site
UCLA Message Board
After starting the season 4-0 with high hopes, the struggling DePaul Blue Demons now stand 4-3 after dropping their last three. The last two loses in particular; a road loss to Northwestern and a home loss to Morgan State, showed a young team that didn't seem focused or prepared to do battle.
In order to remain close against their next opponent UCLA (5-2) in the Wooden Challenge in Anaheim, the Demons will have to play their best game of the season. Ben Howland's bunch has made the last three final fours, and while they lost players like Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love to the NBA, this team is still as loaded as ever.
Leading the charge out of Westwood comes senior point guard Darren Collison. Collison, a senior who likely would have been a first round pick last season, has been a major part of Howland's success at UCLA as he is the catalyst for both the offense and defense. A "team-leader" in every sense of the word, Collison is averaging 15.7 points and five assists a game while playing the point guard position with poise and experience. While Collison can run a team with the best of them, he also shoots with ridiculous efficiency, as he is shooting 57% from the field, 94% from the free throw line and 63% from three-point territory. Collison is also disruptive in the passing lanes on the way to 1.9 steals a contest.
Another senior leading the charge for Ben Howland's club is fifth year senior Josh Shipp. While Shipp has struggled shooting the ball this season he is still capable of scoring using his slashing abilities while also being an excellent defender. Shipp also gets in passing lanes quite a bit by averaging 1.7 steals a game.
In the middle is another senior Alfred Aboya. While Aboya has deferred to more talented post players the previous three seasons he has still gained valuable experience practicing against the best. Aboya isn't putting up any numbers to write home about, but a respectable 8.4 points and six rebounds a game is good enough for any team in the middle.
While the three seniors are experienced big game players, it could be the play of super freshman Jrue Holiday that makes or breaks UCLA. Holiday is a polished player who is capable of being a one-and-done lottery pick if he plays to his potential. The freshman is putting up 10.7 points a game but his shooting ability and knack for scoring make him dangerous in any facet of the game.
Also contributing for UCLA is a pair of big men in Nikola Dragovic and James Keefe. Both big men can knock down shots from the outside and are solid system players in Ben Howland's attack. Also contributing perimeter shooting will be wingman Michael Roll.
UCLA also relies on a couple of freshman for minutes including guard Malcolm Lee and big man J'Mison Morgan. Lee has contributed some good minutes off the bench and is capable of giving players like Shipp or Holiday a rest while Morgan is a better-than-average freshman center who can use his talent to overcome his inexperience.
In order for DePaul to hang with the Bruins they need to take care of the ball, run solid offensive sets that lead to good shots and knock them down. UCLA has always played very good defense under Ben Howland and the Demons simply cannot afford to waste offensive possessions time and time again.
Defensively, DePaul will need to play more physical and better on-the-ball defense then the past three games. Stopping Collison will not be easy, but stopping his other options in the offense might be a key to staying close.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year Age Hometown (Last School)
0 Drew Gordon Forward 6-8 235 FR 18 San Jose, CA (Archbishop Mitty)
1 Malcolm Lee Guard 6-5 180 FR 18 Riverside, CA (John W. North)
2 Darren Collison Guard 6-0 160 SR 21 Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Etiwanda)
3 Josh Shipp Guard/Forward 6-5 220 SR 22 Los Angeles, CA (Fairfax)
4 Tyler Trapani Guard 6-0 185 FR 18 Simi Valley, CA (Simi Valley)
5 Jerime Anderson Guard 6-1 165 FR 19 Anaheim, CA (Canyon)
10 Mustafa Abdul-Hamid Guard 6-2 195 JR 20 St. Louis, MO (Country Day)
11 Spencer Soo Guard 5-8 160 SO 20 Fresno, CA (Central)
12 Alfred Aboya Forward/Center 6-9 245 SR 23 Yaounde, Cameroon (Tilton N.H. School)
13 James Keefe Forward 6-8 231 JR 21 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (Santa Margarita)
15 Blake Arnet Guard 6-0 185 FR 18 Laguna Niguel, CA (Mater Dei)
20 Michael Roll Guard/Forward 6-5 200 RS JR 21 Aliso Viejo, CA (Aliso Niguel)
21 Jrue Holiday Guard 6-3 180 FR 18 North Hollywood, CA (Campbell Hall)
22 J'mison Morgan Center 6-10 248 FR 19 Dallas, TX (South Oak Cliff)
24 Matt DeMarcus Guard 6-3 190 FR 18 Solvang, CA (Santa Ynez Valley Union)
30 Kevin Schmidt Forward 6-8 220 JR 20 San Jose, CA (Bellarmine Prep)
41 Nikola Dragovic Forward 6-9 216 JR 20 Belgrade, Serbia (Second Secondary School of Economics)
44 James Diefenbach Forward/Center 6-8 250 SR 22 Newport Beach, CA (Newport Harbor)
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