The #8/7 UCLA Bruins basketball team is in Las Vegas this weekend for the Continental Tire Main Event.
The Continental Tire Main Event is bringing the Bruins, the Illini along with the #5 Baylor Bears and the #16 Virginia Cavaliers together. UCLA will play either Baylor or Virginia on Sunday, depending on the results of both of today’s games.
The Illini come into tonight’s game having won the first three games of the season just like the Bruins. So far, they’ve beaten Eastern Illinois, Kansas City and Monmouth and they’ve won each game by at least 30 points.
Illinois has developed a reputation for being a giant-killer under head coach Brad Underwood. They have won ten of their last fifteen games against Top Ten teams and they’ve won seven of their last nine.
Illinois will start three guards, a guard/forward and a forward. The Illini are led by junior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. He’s leading the team with an average of 22.7 points per game and 3.7 assists per game. He’s currently 18th in the nation in scoring and third in the country in free throws. This is the guy the Bruin defense really needs to stop tonight.
Junior forward Coleman Hawkins is the only other starter averaging in double figures with 11.7 ppg.
The remaining starters are guards Skyy Clark and RJ Melendez and guard/forward Matthew Mayer. None of these guys is averaging more than 6.7 ppg, though Melendez leads the team in steals with six.
Looking to the Illini bench, look out for redshirt sophomore Dain Dainja. The Baylor transfer from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota is currently second on the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game which makes me wonder why he hasn’t cracked the starting lineup. Additionally, he leads the team in rebounds with an average of 9.7 per game and is 10th in the country with an 82.9% field goal percentage.
Freshman Jayden Epps is the other guy to look for off the bench. He’s averaging 12.0 ppg for the season and is averaging 17.0 ppg over Illinois’ last two games.
This is your UCLA men’s basketball season opener game thread. Here’s how to watch tonight’s game.
Opponent: #19 Illinois Fighting Illini (3-0)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 6-3
When: 6:30 pm PT, Friday, November 18, 2022
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, CA
TV: ESPNU with John Schriffen and Fran Fraschilla
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app
Radio/Audio:AM 570 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray
Satellite Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 84 (UCLA Call)
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
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WTF is True South?? Where's the game, tWWL?
U clap, clap!
C clap clap! <br>
L clap clap! <br>
A clap clap, <br>
Fight fight fight!
Good evening Might Bruins, I'll see how long I can last this early game.
Okay, so tip-off is at 6:51 pm. That's why we're enduring a show on true southern cooking.
We're forcing it.
Damn, that was great D by Illinois on Jaime's layup
We need to play under more control; I agree that we seem to be pushing it, Jim.
There is a lot of orange in the crowd!
Singleton with the answer!
Good hands on defense so far. Need to finish more of these at the rim
Tyger 3 in the flow of the game; love how he didn't force it
Stupid Illinois foul smdh hope they keep it up!
Great help by Nwuba, sending that shot to next week!
We need Jaime to get going on offense.
We need to hit our outside shots if we're gonna establish our inside-out game.
We also need to try to pound it inside, but that's easier when we hit our 3s so defense has to come out and guard long.
OMG we had 5 chances to score on that one possession and got bupkus. We really need to settle down, play our game, and make some shots.
Geez...4 misses on one possession
Jaime's timing is off tonight.
At least Tyger can still draw fouls...
Jaylen's great D picked up a frustration foul :-)
Tyger with a pair of baskets. Single handedly keeping us in this right now.
Man we have missed a bunch of open 3s.
One good thing is that we have open looks; the bad thing is they've all been from outside cuz Illini D keeps collapsing and daring us to make it from long. If we start hitting our shots, watch out!
Jaquez off to a slow start this season
For those of you who like me really enjoy StatBroadcast, here's a working link (the above doesn't work):
wow, jaime is truly off tonight
Boma to Jaime for 2!
Our defense and Tyger's offense keeping us in this game.
Crap! 2 on Bona. that's something the freshman needs to work on, early.
Illinois has gone cold, as well
Jaquez athleticism being exposed
This is not a quality game on either side.
Welcome to the Big 10!
At last, Jaime!
Jaime's starting to hit :-)
Man, I love watching Jayen's defense!
I think that and one they gave to Singleton was a make up for the missed call on Clark's drive. Great hustle by both guys!
Great box out and board by Jaylen.
What a finish to the half!
What fun, Jaime!
Tyger really kept us in it early. Our defense cooled them off about halfway through, and then the offense figured some things out in those last 6-7 minutes. Really good complimentary basketball by the Bruins when they struggled early on.
At the half, we've hit 29% from 3 and only 38% overall, compared to Illinois' 42% and 48%. Unsurprisingly, it's our D that is dominant (11 points off turnovers).
Gotta keep that defensive intensity up. That really keyed our first half turnaround.