Monday, November 19, 2012
W2W4: UCLA vs. Georgetown
By Kieran Darcy
Here are three things to watch for when No. 13 UCLA (3-0) faces Georgetown (2-0) on Monday at the Barclays Center, in the semifinals of the Legends Classic.
Tip-off is at 8 p.m., and you can watch the game on ESPN2.
BIG DEBUT: UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad will play his first college game Monday night, after being cleared by the NCAA on Friday. For more on the Muhammad saga, click here.
The 6-foot-6 swingman was rated the second-best high school senior in the country by ESPN, behind only Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel. How will coach Ben Howland incorporate Muhammad into the mix?
THE BRUINS: UCLA opened the season with two lopsided home wins against Indiana State (86-59) and James Madison (100-70), sandwiched around a close call against UC Irvine (80-79 in OT). They’ll step up in class facing Georgetown.
Another freshman – 6-foot-5 guard Jordan Adams – has been the Bruins’ star thus far, averaging 24 points per game. (He’s the first UCLA freshman ever to score 20 or more points in each of his first three games.) And it’ll be a homecoming of sorts for Kyle Anderson, who starred for Bob Hurley at St. Anthony in Jersey City. Anderson, yet another freshman, has started the team’s first three games and is averaging 7.3 points and 9.7 rebounds.
THE HOYAS: Georgetown, picked to finish fifth in the Big East in the conference’s preseason coaches poll, owns tight home wins over Duquesne (61-55) and Liberty (68-59). The Hoyas actually opened the season against No. 10 Florida aboard the USS Bataan, an aircraft carrier in Jacksonville, Fla. The Gators led 27-23 at halftime, but then the game was canceled due to condensation on the deck of the ship.
The Hoyas have been led by 6-foot-3 freshman guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (15 ppg) and 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Mikael Hopkins (13 ppg). Greg Whittington, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, is averaging 13 points and 12 rebounds per game. Another soph forward, Otto Porter, arguably the team’s best player, missed the game against Liberty because of concussion-like symptoms but could play against UCLA.