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December 13, 2008
UCLA to take on DePaul in Wooden Classic
The Bruins will (5-2) hook up with an old foe dating back to the days of John Wooden and Ray Meyer when will take DePaul (4-3) in their 12th appearance in the Wooden Classic. The Bruins are 8-3 in their Wooden Classic games. This will be the 18 game between the old rivals and the Bruins lead the series 11-6.
The Bruins are coming off an 85-67 win over Cal State Northridge while the Blue Demons dropped one to Morgan State 79-75.
DePaul is led by sophomore Dar Tucker (6-5, 215) who average 20.2 points per game (ppg). That is good enough to be fifth best scorer in the Big East. Tucker is also good on the glass as he averages 7.0 rebounds a game (rpg).
Bruin freshman guard Jrue Holiday will get the unenviable task of guarding Tucker today.
The Blue Demons also have a terrific center in Mac Koshwal (6-10, 255) rated by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 13 center and this far he is living up to that reputation as he averages a double per game. He is fifth in the Big East in averaging 10.8 rebounds a game and his 12.8 ppg is second best on the team for DePaul.
DePaul's other big man is senior Matija Poscic (6-10, 245) who chipping in 6.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg. He leads DePaul in free throw hitting 81.0 percent from the line.
Senior guard Jabari Currie has the penchant for hitting the open man. He is currently 21st in DePaul history for assists.
Junior guard Will Walker (6-0, 190) is averaging 10.3 ppg and is a sneaky defender as he is fifth in the Big East in steals. Definitely someone the Bruins will have to be aware of when they are on offense.
Another stellar defender the Bruins will have to be aware of is freshman forward Devin Hill (6-9, 210) who has 14 blocked shots over the last four games.
Hill isn't the only freshman on DePaul who is contributing. Frosh guard, Jeremiah Kelly is averaging 6.4 points per game. He scored 11 points and had a key steal late in a game against Indiana State to seal the victory.
Making his debut for the Blue Demons will be sophomore Mario Stula (6-7, 210). He had sit out the first seven games, but his presence could a wild card for DePaul because he has skills. Stula was a member of the Croatian national team before coming to the United States.
It will be interesting to see how the Bruins perform this afternoon as they are playing a good team after finals week.
DePaul will try to mix things up defensively changing for from a 2-3 zone, to man-to-man, so it will be important for the Bruins to identify the defense that the Blue Demons are in before they call their offensive sets.
The Blue Demons took a tough Cal deep into the second half before the Bears pulled away for a 77-67 victory in Berkeley on December 3rd.