February 7, 2009

Howland talks Notre Dame

UCLA coach Ben Howland held a teleconference with the media on Friday afternoon to talk about today's game against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish come to Pauley Pavilion a very hungry team that has lost a bunch of close game now, and need a good victory over a ranked opponent that would help bolster their postseason ambitions.

Can you give us a scouting report on Notre Dame?

Howland: "Number one they have been going through a schedule that is like murderer's row, when you look at who they have had to play in their last games. I mean, at Louisville in a game they lost in overtime. At Syracuse, who is No. 8, Connecticut at home was No. 1 in the country, Marquette at home, at Pitt, etc., etc.

"It has been an unbelievable road here and you know this is a huge game for both teams. Number one, Notre Dame is an unbelievable shooting team. To give you an example, Syracuse played them all man the whole game. Syracuse never does that.

"When you look at their personnel, Luke Harangody is an unbelievable player. He is averaging 25 points and 13.4 rebounds. He's getting four offensive rebounds a game. In the conference, he is averaging 27 and 14.3 rebounds in their 10 Big East games. He can score in so many ways. He scores on the block. He has a really quick release jump hook. He can get the ball dribble away from the basket and fall away, so a corkscrew in the air and makes shots from 17 to 19 feet. He's just a difficult guy to guard. He is the reigning Big East Player of the Year from last year.

"Their shooter Kyle McAlarney had 10 threes in one game against North Carolina. He's a 45 percent career three point shooter.

"Their point guard, Tory Jackson is also a very good shooter and Randy Ayers' son, Ryan Ayersis also an outstanding shooter. They really shoot the ball and they can really score in a lot of ways, in transition, they can score against a zones or man. That's why most teams have to play man against them.

"Defensively they will play, both man to man and zone. They will play a 3-2 zone, a 2-3 zone, and as well as man-to-man. They are kind of reminiscent of what Washington State does. They don't really pressure they stay between you and the basket and get hands up on your shots and they will switch up as well."

For the rest of the interview please go to BruinBlitz.com...

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