Brooklyn, NY – The 11th-ranked UCLA Bruins and the Georgia Bulldogs tangle on Tuesday night in the consolation game of the 2012 Legends Classic.
Despit its positive record, the start of the season has not gone as smoothly as UCLA would have liked. It won its first three games at home, although one of those was a narrow escape over UC Irvine in overtime, 80-79. The Bruins took on Georgetown on Monday night and were upset by the Hoyas in a 78-70 final.
Georgia's season has not gotten off to the start it had hoped for. After winning its opener at home over Jacksonville (68-62), the Bulldogs have dropped three straight against Youngstown State (68-56), Southern Miss (62-60), and No. 1 Indiana (66-53). They gave the nation's top-ranked team all they had however, even leading 38-34 in the second half before the Hoosiers pulled away with a 19-4 run.
UCLA has won both previous meetings with Georgia, although the squads haven't met since 1993.
The Bulldogs have had a real struggle putting up points in the early stages of this season, as they tally less than 60 ppg on just 36.3 percent shooting from the floor. They also get bullied on the boards, getting outrebounded by an average of 8.7 rpg. Georgia's latest matchup was the same old story, as it shot a lowly 34 percent from the field and lost the rebounding battle, 40-24. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 14 points, but he did so on just 4-of-15 from the field. He also logged six boards and two steals. Vincent Williams also netted 14 points while draining half his three-point attempts (3-of-6). Nemanja Djurisic had a solid game down low matching up with IU's Cody Zeller, notching eight points and seven rebounds. On the season, Caldwell-Pope is the team's leading scorer (18.8 ppg), but it is coming at a high cost as he's only making 33.3 percent of his field goal attempts. No other Bulldog averages double digits, with Djurisic (9.0 ppg) the next closest.
UCLA is averaging 84 ppg, and while it has shot a respectable 45.9 percent from the floor, it would certainly like to up its three-point efficiency (.317). The Bruins put forth their worst offensive effort of the young season against Georgetown in hitting just 40.9 percent of their field goal attempts as they spent the entire second half playing catch-up. There's plenty of reason for optimism however, as blue-chip freshman Shabazz Muhammad made his debut and was impression coming off the bench with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. Also having a big night was Jordan Adams, who scored a team-high 22 points, albeit on just 8-of-20 from the field. Although he has yet to start a game, Adams is the team's leading scorer with 23.5 ppg and he has converted an amazing 32-of-33 attempts from the free throw line (.970). Travis Wear (11.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and David Wear (10.5 ppg, 5.8 ppg) have been stellar in the frontcourt, while Norman Powell (11.3 ppg) adds depth to the guard position.