2006 UCLA Bruins Basketball Preview
2006 UCLA Bruins Basketball Predictions
The UCLA Bruins (32- 7 overall and 14- 4 PAC-10) proved that they were for real by finishing first in the PAC-10 and making it to the NCAA Finals, where they lost to Florida by 16 points. The leading question is can the Bruins get back to the last dance in the tourney?
Sophomore Darren Collison (5.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 40.2 FG%, 78.4 FT%) will have the opportunity to run the offense. That is, if he can read opponent defenses. Collison is a fine defender and good ball handler, but needs more consistency from the perimeter. Junior guard Arron Affalo (15.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 46.2 FG%, 80.6 FT%), who led the team in scoring in 2005- 06, is a fine defender. He’s skilled and always ready to play.
Sophomore Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (9.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 53.8 FG%, 72.3 FT%) returns to play power forward after winning the PAC-10 Freshman of the Year Award. He’s developed some outside scoring chops to go with his inside game. Lorenzo Mata (3.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 56.4 FT%) suffered a broken leg last season. He’s back, providing tough defense and shot blocking skills. Center Alfred Aboya (3.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.4 APG, 64.0 FG%, 46.9 FT%) will be a force on the boards and a scoring threat if his knees cooperate.
Coach Ben Howland (61- 35 in 3 years) knows how to get his players to execute defensively. However, with the loss of the club’s two best D-men, Howland acknowledges that the Bruins need more points. The other problem the coach faces is that there’s no senior to lead this team. In fact, there are only two juniors on board; every other player is either a sophomore or a freshman.
UCLA is a fine team-- probably in the top-ten nationally. This season, they will try to make it an even dozen NCAA Championship banners in the Pauley Pavilion. It won’t be easy with so many untested players needing development. Still, the Final Four is a possibility for this team.
If you want more info on the 2006 UCLA Bruins College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check out some rival previews from Maddux Sports of schools like the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon State Beavers.