UCLA beat Texas A&M 74-67 in Sunday’s Wooden Legacy title game.
The Bruins are now 7-0.
Here are three things to know:
1. Lonzo Ball is terrific
I wrote about Lonzo Ball and his family two summers ago and always figured he’d be terrific in college. But, truth is, the 6-foot-6 point guard has been better than even I anticipated. He finished with 16 points, 10 assists and five rebounds against Texas A&M while earning tournament MVP honors. He’s now averaging 16.0 points, 9.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 48.6 percent from 3-point range. Ball is leading the nation in assists and completely changing how UCLA plays and carries itself. He looks like somebody who could be a top-five pick in June’s NBA Draft.
2. UCLA is shooting well from beyond the arc
Ball wasn’t, and isn’t, the only Bruin doing damage from 3-point range. Bryce Alford hit a massive 3-pointer with 71 seconds remaining against Texas A&M to make it a two-possession game; he finished 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Aaron Holiday was 2-of-3. And UCLA, as a team, was 12-of-26. Add it up, and the Bruins are making 45.2 percent of their 3-point attempts this season. That ranks fifth nationally — behind only Creighton (48.2 percent), Charlotte (47.1 percent), Houston (45.7 percent) and Ohio (45.3 percent).
3. Saturday is going to be huge
UCLA has UC Riverside scheduled for Wednesday. That should be a win. So the Bruins will likely be 8-0 when they play top-ranked Kentucky on Saturday at Rupp Arena, where four projected lottery picks — Ball plus Kentucky’s Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox — are expected to start.
Tip-off is at 12:30 p.m. ET.
You can watch on CBS.