Game Preview and How To Watch: #4 UCLA Bruins at Marquette Golden Eagles
Today's game time has been changed to 6:30 pm PT due to travel issues.
When you schedule a game—any game really—in Milwaukee in December, it should not be surprising when the visiting team runs into some travel issues. That’s what has happened to today’s UCLA men’s basketball game against the Marquette Golden Eagles.
According to Ben Bolch of the LA Times, the Bruins’ plane was forced to land in Denver yesterday due to a cracked windshield. While everyone on board the plane is ok, UCLA spent the night last night at a hotel near the airport in Denver and the Bruins were scheduled to leave for Milwaukee at 6 am MT (5 am PT) this morning on a different plane.
That flight was delayed by an hour and did not leave until 7:13 am MT, but that doesn’t mean the travel schedule was any easier for UCLA. The Bruins still needed to be up early enough to be prepared to leave at 6 am MT.
Hopefully, the ten day layoff since UCLA played Colorado on December 1st has the team well-rested enough to overcome the terrible travel experience. Maybe Mick Cronin gave the guys some nap time when their plane finally landed in Milwaukee just after 10 am CT (8 am PT), but I won’t be the least bit surprised to see the team looking listless in the first half.
After the Golden Eagles finished last season with a 13-14 record, Marquette decided to make a coaching change. Steve Wojciechowski was out and, a week later, Texas head coach Shaka Smart was hired to replace him.
So far, Smart has the Eagles playing well. They are 8-2 through their first ten games of the season including a win over then-#10 Illinois. The Eagles’ two losses came against St. Bonaventure and Wisconsin.
Let’s look at the Marquette starting five.
The Golden Eagles are led by redshirt freshman Justin Lewis. The forward from Baltimore is the team’s top scorer, averaging 15.7 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding with 7.7 rebounds per game.
Guard Darryl Morsell is a graduate student who transferred to Marquette this season after playing the past four years at Maryland. He is second on the team with an average of 14.1 points per game.
Freshman Kam Jones is another one of the guards for the Eagles. He’s third on the team in scoring with an average of 8.3 points per game.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Kolek leads the team in assists with an average of 5.5 per game. He also leads the team in steals with 14, but he’s averaging just 6.9 ppg.
Rounding out the starting five for the Eagles is graduate transfer Jur Kuath. Kuath spent the past three seasons at Oklahoma. The 6’ 10” tall forward, originally from South Sudan, is Marquette’s primary shot blocker. You might even argue that he’s their only shot blocker since his 27 blocks is more than the rest of the team put together.
Tonight’s game will likely go to whichever team plays defense more effectively. Shaka Smart’s team has held opponents to an average of 69.80 points per game while the Bruins have been averaging nearly 83 points per game. On the flip side, UCLA has been holding opponents to an average of 66.8 points per game while the Eagles have been scoring 74.7 points per game.
As a result, it would seem that tonight’s game will likely be another “first team to 70 wins” game for the Bruins.
While it’s still a little early for UCLA to be looking ahead to next Saturday’s matchup against North Carolina, given that they play Alabama State at home on Wednesday night, one cannot help but wonder if the Bruins’ travel issues are going to affect them when they finally take the court tonight.
Here’s how to watch, listen and stream tonight’s game.
UCLA Men’s Basketball (7-1)
Opponent: Marquette Golden Eagles (8-2)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 3-0
When: 6:30 pm PT, Saturday, December 11, 2021
Where: FiServ Forum, Milwaukee, WI
TV: Fox Sports 2 (first half) and Fox Sports 1 (second half) with Aaron Goldsmith and Jim Jackson
Live Stream: FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app
AM 570 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 136 & XM Ch. 197 (UCLA Call)
Live Stats: Marquette SideArm Stats