- Advertisement -spot_img
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

No. 5 UCLA Men’s Basketball Hosts Colorado in Pac-12 Opener

UCLA men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin has a formula for making the NCAA tournament every year.

“You don’t lose at home,” he said. “If you want to have a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, or you want to win your conference, you have to win your home games. Go undefeated at home and split on the road — you only play nine or 10, then you have to win your home games. Neutrals meet – you’re going to make tournaments every year.

The fifth-placed Bruins are 4-0 at home and 15-1 last season. The only loss occurred at USC 64-63 on March 6, 2021, just before the start of the Pac-12 tournament.

“In a program like UCLA, our goal is to stay undefeated at home every season,” Cronin said.

UCLA (6-1) will consider applying Cronin’s formula further when it hosts Colorado for its Pac-12 opener at Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network. The Bruins have won three of the last four matches.

It’s no surprise what Cronin’s recipe for an unbeaten home goal is: defense.

“You have to make the teams feel that they are playing on the road with your intensity, pressure and effort, which helps the fans with that,” he said.

In fact, that recipe wins out on the road most of the time, too. UCLA is 32–2 in Cronin’s three seasons when the opposition is placed on 65 points or less, although it will not be easy against Colorado (6–1, 1–0 Pac-12). The Buffaloes average 78.7 points per game this season, including an 80-76 win over Stanford on Sunday. It won’t be easy defeating them, period.

“Colorado is a highly-executive team that is bigger than us in almost every situation,” Cronin said. “They are third in the country in free-throw attempts. They attack the basket, put pressure on the rim and make offensive rebounds.”

One of the biggest changes in Colorado is the loss of guard McKinley Wright, the team leader last season, who now plays for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. Wright’s absence doesn’t mean preparing for the team is easy.

“It’s hard to adjust when you lose a player who dominates the ball like McKinley,” Cronin said.

The focus on Wednesday night will be Keshavan Barthelemy (14.6 points per game), Jabari Walker (13.9) and Ivan Batey (14.9). Freshman guard KJ Simpson out of Chaminade High in the West Hills, Colorado, provides a spark from the bench. He averages 7.3 points per game and has played in every game this season.

notable statistics

Johnny Juzang averages a team-best 17.4 points per game, a few points higher than Jaime Jacques Jr.’s 15.6 points and a team-leading 6.7 points per game.

UCLA has scored 46.5% off the field in seven matches.

The Bruins rank first in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting percentage (38.7%) and third in assist-turnover ratio (1.59).

still no relay

Senior forward Cody Riley will not play against Colorado, Cronin told the media on Monday. The 6-foot-9 post is still working to recover from a knee injury in the season opener. Jaime Jaquez Jr. Has filled in offensively and sometimes, 6-foot-4 Jaylen Clark defensively.

“Some games call for adjustments,” Cronin said. “I’m not a believer in ‘My Way,’ my way is to win. If I have to play small to win, I’ll play small to win. UNLV got smaller, so we got smaller. You have to be able to do that.” So you have to recruit a versatile player like Jaylen Clark, who is a versatile player who can play big in a very small lineup.”

Jacket Stitches

Jacques faced some friendly fire in Saturday’s win against UNLV when he scrambled for a defensive rebound and was elbowed above the left eyebrow by teammate Miles Johnson. Prahar cut him and he had to get five stitches.

“He told me to be careful,” Jaquez recalled with a laugh. “It’s too much, it was too hard.”

Despite the hit, Jaquez returned to the game in the second half on Saturday. Cronin appreciated his toughness.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here