UCLA vs. Pennsylvania
Tip off 7 PM EST
Spread: UCLA -8.5
M/L: UCLA -400, PENN +330
After such a great season last year, the Bruins are doing horrible this year and it’s hard to pinpoint ‘why’ — other than everything. The Bruins rank in the bottom 100 in all major statistical categories and are only scoring 65.1 a game. They posted a 13-5 Pac-10 record last season, and were 23-11 overall. They lost to Florida by 8 in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but will likely not get there this year unless things change dramatically.
In the Bruins’ defense, they have faced some pretty tough teams. They lost by 16 to both then #14 ranked Kansas and then-#15 Michigan. They predictably beat Chaminade and Pepperdine, but have not been within double digits in any of their five losses.
UCLA has a balanced scoring attack with no standout players. Lazeric Jones, Travis Wear, and Jerime Anderson combine for 32 points per game, which is roughly half of UCLA’s offensive output. Jones, a 6’0″ senior point guard from Chicago has been wildly inconsistent, but posted a nice game last time out with 21 pioints and 5 boards, while he also scored 19 while dishing out 7 assists and recording 6 rebounds in the blowout win over Chaminade. He struggled badly against better competition though, scoring only 16 in the games combined against Kansas and Michigan, while going an abysmal 1 of 11 from the floor in those two games.
UCLA has to improve everywhere, but they are facing a very weak Penn team tonight and ar3 8.5 piont favorites even though they have yet to beat or hang with any decent teams.
Last season the Quakers posted a 13-15 record while going 7-7 in Ivy League play. There is no Ivy League tournament, nor did the Quakers qualify for any post season tournaments. They were mediocre in all respects, giving up 1.00 points per possession, but only managing to score 1.03 per possession themselves.
They got off to a hot 3-0 start in conference play last season but then lost a double OT game to Harvard that was considered to be one of the most exciting and best games of the year in mid-major conferences. They next dropped a game to Princeton, again in OT. Then, they lost to Cornell in OT. The three straight OT losses set the tone for the middling success they would have the rest of the year.
So far this season, it has been much of the same. The Quakers have gone 5-5 through their first 10 games and were blown out by #16 Pittsburgh, the only ranked opponent they have faced so far. They hung with Villanova, though, only losing by 8.
Last game they won by 9 over Delaware, as Zach Rosen went off for 29 points on 8 of 19 shooting, though he did connect on only 1 of his 7 threes. The 6’1″ senior has been a three year starter now, and is having his best season so far, putting up 22.1 points per game and shooting 55% from the floor and 53.3% (32 of 60) from behind the arc. He has scored 20 or more in 7 of the 10 games so far.
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