A disappointing loss was followed by a happy escape, and now UCLA No. 22 will be trying to find its move when it hosts Moncton State on Monday night.
The Bruins (1-1) played their first two games in San Diego and were surpassed in the San Diego State opener on Wednesday with 73: 58 before they deposed Pepperdine (107: 98) on Friday in triple overtime.
Moncton State opens its season against UCLA. The Beach plays at 1:17 against UCLA. The only win comes on November 29, 2009 on a neutral floor in Anaheim, California.
The big job for Bruin’s sophomore coach Mick Cronin is freshening up his players before the beach game.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. played against Pepperdine every 55 minutes, Tyger Campbell was on the court for 52 minutes and Chris Smith was playing 51. Junior Guard David Singleton received 43 minutes of play from the bench.
“Three hours of overtime is definitely a tough job,” said Smith after posting 26 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth double double of his career. “The couple of times I went out was once because of bad problems and the other time the coach told me as soon as I came out to tell him when I was ready.
“It took fifty minutes to get a win, so if I have to play 50 minutes every night, I’ll do it as long as we can win.”
Smith averages the best 18 points per game. Jaquez averages 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the team leadership, while Campbell contributes 15.5 points and the team’s best 5.5 assists per game.
The Bruins are hoping for more workers against Moncton state. Jalen Hill (knee) is set to make his season debut while Johnny Juzang (foot), a Kentucky transfer, has his first outside chance to play.
Moncton State, which played between 11 and 21 last season, will have a shorthanded roster due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Colin Slater (10.2 points averaging 2019-20) and Drew Cobb (5.0) both dropped out of the season, while second security guard Max De Geest (3.4) stayed in his native New Zealand.
The two best returnees for the beach are Junior Guards Chance Hunter (13.9 points) and Michael Carter III (12.4).
Moncton State added two Division I transfers in Guard Isaiah Washington and forward Raymond Hawkins III. Washington played two seasons in Minnesota before joining Iona for the 2019-20 season, while Hawkins played one season in Alabama.
The expectation is that Washington, who averaged 11.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last season, will make a solid impression.
“We felt we needed an ‘X’ factor to come in, move the needle and help a team turn the tables and have a successful season,” said beach coach Dan Monson. “We think Isaiah Washington is that player. He has the ability to create his own shot, make the players around him better and get our pace where we like it.”
Moncton State scared the Bruins at the start of last season, leading by just over five minutes by six points. But UCLA broke out with a 19-9 kick to record a 69:65 triumph on Cronin’s debut and bring the beach at Pauley Pavilion down to 0-14.
– Field level media