#11 UCLA Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

UCLA Bruins

Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
#11 UCLA Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

UCLA Team Page


The Bruins struggled last year, dropping from an NCAA Tournament participant to a 13-18 record and missing the tournament. The squad looks to be bolstered by the nation's top recruiting class, which features three McDonald's All-Americans and two others that were ranked in the top 30 of the freshmen class.

2013-14 Record: 13-18, 7-11
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Cori Close
Coach Record: 53-42 at UCLA, 53-42 overall

The Bruins bring in their first-ever top-ranked recruiting class to add to junior Nirra Fields, who was second on the squad with 17.6 points and third in rebounds with 6.3 per contest. The only player to start all 31 games last season, Luiana Livulo also returns after averaging a modest 4.3 points and 4.8 rebounds. Corrine Costa, in 12 starts, averaged 6.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Dominique Williams started 15 games for the Bruins as well. UCLA also brings in three freshmen, Reece Caldwell, Jordin Canada and Lejhana Drummer, who were all top 20 recruits in the country. Caldwell and Canada will bring reinforcements to the backcourt, while Drummer looks to improve the frontcourt.

Eight of the 15 players on the roster are either true or redshirt freshmen. The team lost two of its top three scorers from last season, Atonye Nyingifa, who averaged 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds, both team highs, and Thea Lemberger, who averaged 15 points and four assists per gmae. Will the freshmen be able to step in and replace these scorers? Canada averaged 18 points her senior year, while Caldwell averaged 20 points and Drummer 11.2 points and over seven rebounds per game.

Final Projection:
The season will depend on the development of the freshmen. If the three All-Americans, as well as top 40 recruits Kelly Hayes and Monique Billings, live up to the hype, the year could be very good.  An intriguing prospect to watch is 6-9 Savannah Trapp, who is a redshirt freshman. The schedule doesn't give the Bruins any breaks, as it starts off with four NCAA Tournament participants (James Madison, North Carolina, Texas and Nebraska). The Bruins lost to both James Madison and UNC last season. Other big matchups include Miami, UConn and Notre Dame.                   

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Nirra Fields, Junior, G, 17.6 points per game
Recee Caldwell, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Jordin Canada, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Luiana Livulo, Senior, Forward, 4.3 points per game
Corrine Costa, Senior, Forward/Center, 6.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.3 (253rd in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.5 (209, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 38.5 (264, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (224, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.9 (287, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: N/A
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.1 (241, 7)
Rebound Margin: -4.2 (280, 10)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (201, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (53, 5)

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#5 Jordin Canada
#8 Lajahna Drummer
#18 Recee' Caldwell
#24 Kelli Hayes
#33 Monique Billings


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