UCLA-KENT STATE MATCHUP
WHO: No. 3 UCLA (29-4) vs. No. 14 Kent State (22-13).
WHAT: NCAA South Regional first-round game, Friday, 6:57 p.m. PDT.
WHERE: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento. TV: truTV; Radio: 570.
UPDATE: UCLA is back in the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence, intent on making a deep run in what will almost surely be freshman point guard Lonzo Ball’s only college season. The Bruins will enjoy size and skill advantages at almost every position against the Golden Flashes, who won four games in the Mid-American Conference tournament with their guard-heavy lineup to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. Both teams are relatively hot; UCLA has won 10 of its last 11 games and Kent State nine of its last 10. UCLA has avoided letdown losses all season, its closest thing to a bad defeat coming against USC at the Galen Center in late January. Bruins reserve forward Ike Anigbogu’s status will be a game-time decision after he suffered a sprained left foot in practice Tuesday. If he is unable to play, the Bruins would likely use more four-guard lineups, Coach Steve Alford said. Kent State Coach Rob Senderoff readily acknowledges his team does not possess the offensive firepower to match the Bruins in a fast-paced game, meaning the Golden Flashes will try to ratchet up their defense and slow the game to a grind-it-out pace. If Kent State’s shots aren’t falling with regularity it might not prove fatal for a team that ranks second nationally with 14.97 offensive rebounds per game.
KENT STATE; Ht; Wt; PPG; P; UCLA; Ht; Wt; PPG
Deon Edwin; 6-3; 210; 13.0; G; Lonzo Ball; 6-6; 190; 14.6
Mitch Peterson; 6-5; 190; 5.3; G; Bryce Alford; 6-3; 185; 15.8
Jaylin Walker; 6-1; 180; 15.6; G; Isaac Hamilton; 6-5; 195; 14.1
Jimmy Hall; 6-8; 235; 18.9; F; TJ Leaf; 6-10; 225; 16.2
Jalen Avery; 6-0; 185; 5.1; G/C; Thomas Welsh; 7-0; 245; 10.7
Kevin Zabo; 6-2; 180; 5.4; G; Aaron Holiday; 6-1; 185; 12.6
Desmond Ridenour; 6-3; 185; 4.3; G/F; Ike Anigbogu; 6-10; 250; 4.9
Adonis De La Rosa; 7-0; 261; 3.8; C/F; Gyorgy Goloman; 6-11; 215; 3.6