December 22, 2009

Bruins Battle CSU in Pauley

The UCLA Bruins (3-7) will face the Colorado State Rams (8-3) at 7:30 Tuesday night in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins are coming off Saturday's loss to Notre Dame while the Rams have won four in a row, including a home victory Saturday over Northern Arizona.

Colorado State is coached by the well respected Tim Miles who is in the third year of his turnaround program in Fort Collins. The Ram's best player is a freshman point guard Dorien Green who leads the team in scoring and assists. Green has started every game and has proven to be a streaky, inconsistent shooter.

The other starting guards in the Ram's three guard alignment have recently been 6-3 junior Adam Nigon and 6-5 freshman Pierce Hornug. Nigon is averaging about nine points per game (ppg) while Hornug has only started two games is averaging about 2 ppg. Miles, however, is very high on Hornug and describes him as a Paul Pressy type player.

The Rams have two solid and experienced starters up front in 6-9 junior Andy Ogide and 6-7 junior Travis Franklin. Ogide is averaging about 12 ppg and 6 rebounds per game (rpg). Ogide weighs about 245 pounds and at times has played very well down low. Franklin is averaging about 11 ppg and leads the team in rebounding. The presence of these two experienced players in the paint gives the Rams a solid inside presence. It will be up to Reeves Nelson to dominate these guys and he has the capability of doing so.

Colorado State has a deep bench and will typically use ten players in a game. They are very well coached and could provide a challenge to the Bruins. UCLA will need to counter with a solid defensive performance, particularly in shutting down Green on the perimeter. It will also be important for the Bruins to control the boards and they should have an opportunity to do so.

We are not anticipating any changes in the Bruin's starting line-up for this game. If UCLA can execute well offensively they should be able to defeat Colorado State, who will be a stronger opponent than New Mexico State. If there is a breakdown offensively with poor shooting, the Rams have the capability to make this a very close game.

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