UCLA Faces DePaul in 15th Annual John R. Wooden Classic

Dec. 11, 2008


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DATE: Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008
SITE: Honda Center (17,608)
TIP-OFF: 4:00 p.m. PT
TALENT: Kenny Rice (play-by-play) and Tom Walsh (analyst)
SIRIUS XM RADIO: Channel 122
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
SERIES: UCLA leads the series 11-6

Junior guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid tore a ligament in his right wrist in practice earlier in the year and will follow-up with a hand and wrist specialist on Dec. 12, 2008. He will miss the Bruins' game against DePaul on Dec. 13. Drew Gordon suffered a sprained left wrist after taking a charge in the first half at Texas (Dec. 4), but played 16 minutes in the win over Cal State Northridge (Dec. 7).

This is the 18th meeting between UCLA and the DePaul Blue Demons with the Bruins leading the series 11-6. The Bruins have won the last five meetings, including the last matchup in Chicago, a 94-88 win on Feb. 10, 2001. UCLA is 7-2 against DePaul in Pauley Pavilion, 3-3 in Chicago and 1-1 in neutral settings. The last time these two teams met on a neutral court was in the second round of the 1980 NCAA Tournament. DePaul was a No. 1 seed and the No. 1 ranked team in the country and was upset by unranked and eighth-seeded UCLA, 77-71 on March 9, 1980 in Tempe, Ariz. In the last meeting in 2001, the Bruins were led by Jason Kapono's double-double and game-highs of 28 points and 11 rebounds. Earl Watson added 20 points and six assists while Billy Knight poured in 18 points. T.J. Cummings completed the Bruin quartet of double-figure scorers with 10 points. Imari Sawyer led a quartet of Blue Demons in double figures with 24 points.

UCLA sports a national ranking of No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 16 in the Associated Press poll, released on Dec. 1, 2008. UCLA has been ranked in the top 25 in the Associated Press poll for 61 straight weeks (since the 2005-06 preseason rankings).

This is UCLA's 12th appearance in the John R. Wooden Classic and its fifth time entering as the highest ranked team. The Bruins are 8-3 all-time in Wooden Classic matchups. UCLA is 7-0 in the Wooden Classic when they are ranked and 1-3 as an unranked team. The Bruins entered last year's Classic ranked No. 7 in the nation and handed unranked Davidson a 75-63 defeat (Dec. 8, 2007), to give UCLA its third-consecutive Wooden Classic victory. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute led five Bruins in double figures with 21 points in front of 17,440 fans in the Honda Center.

The 15th annual John R. Wooden Classic is a legendary experience for Bruin fans. The weekend begins with a golf tournament and coaches dinner on December 11th and 12th, then your UCLA Bruins men's basketball team takes on DePaul at Honda Center on December 13th. For more information and tickets CLICK HERE.

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