Bruins Take on Terrains
Although Darren Collison's recovery from a sprained left knee is going slower than expected, UCLA has gotten exactly what it hoped from freshman sensation Kevin Love.
Love and the second-ranked Bruins (3-0) take on Maryland in the semifinals of the CBE Classic in Kansas City on Monday.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Maryland -10 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 83% of bets for this game have been placed on Maryland -10 (View College Basketball bet percentages).
UCLA will be without Collison once again for this game and likely will be sidelined until the end of the month because of the injury suffered in a preseason game on Nov. 2.
Bruins coach Ben Howland said last week Collison - one of the best point guards in the nation - isn't as far along as he had hoped, but added the team will not rush him back.
"He's so winded right now. He didn't do anything for 10 days," said Howland, who hopes to have Collison back Nov. 28 against George Washington. "We're going to be very, very conservative and careful. I don't want anything to happen long-term with this."
Collison, a preseason All-America who averaged 12.7 points in 35 starts in helping UCLA to its second straight Final Four last season, understands his coach's reasoning.
"I want to go out there and play so bad, but we have a long season," he said.
As the Bruins wait out Collison's injury, as well as ones to Michael Roll (torn plantar fascia) and James Keefe (offseason foot surgery), they are considering themselves fortunate the injuries happened this early in the season.
"It's tough, but it's preseason," Love said. "Once we add Keefe, Roll and Darren, that will be huge."
Even without those players, the Bruins have won their first three games by an average of 29.0 points, and Love has been a big factor.
The 6-foot-10 freshman has scored in double figures in each of the first three games, barely missing double-doubles in the most recent two. He had 19 points and nine rebounds in UCLA's 76-41 rout of Division II Cal State-San Bernadino last Tuesday to advance to Kansas City.
Love was 7-of-10 from the field, and is averaging 20.7 points and 10.3 rebounds.
Love - last season's National High School player of the year - believes he's only going to get better, especially against more difficult competition.
"When the bright lights come on, I play better," said Love, who is shooting 65.6 percent. "I perform better and I'm more focused."
After three home games, Love and the Bruins will see how they fare outside Pauley Pavilion in Monday's contest against Maryland (3-0).
After an easy win in their season opener against North Florida, the Terrapins have struggled in their last two games - a 70-64 victory over Hampton last Monday and a 74-72 overtime victory over Northeastern on Thursday. Maryland shot 40.4 percent from the field in each victory.
James Gist led the Terrapins on Thursday with a 27 points, including two free throws in overtime that put them up for good, while Bambale Osby added 16 and 13 rebounds.
Maryland coach Gary Williams, though, was frustrated with his team's 23 turnovers and lack of effort at times.
"We have to figure out a way to bring energy to the game," Williams said. "I'm disappointed in the way we're handling the ball. It looks sloppy out there to me. ... We're playing offense too slow, not with a sense of urgency."
This is the eighth meeting between UCLA and Maryland. The Bruins lead the series 5-2, including a win in the second round of the 2000 NCAA tournament.
The winner of this game will play either No. 12 Michigan State or Missouri in the championship game Tuesday. The losers will play for third place.
by: Staff Writers - Email Us
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