#17 UCLA Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

UCLA Bruins
Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12


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UCLA took another step forward last season in its quest to become a consistently elite women's basketball program on a national level. The Bruins made it to the Sweet 16 before falling to Texas in the Bridgeport Regional. With the top ranked recruiting class in 2014 heading into their junior season, the time is now for UCLA to put it all together and win the Pac-12 Conference and get to the Elite Eight and beyond.
2015-16 Record: 26-9, 14-4
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Cori Close
Coach Record: 98-69 at UCLA, 98-69 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Nirra Fields, Guard, 15.3 ppg
Kacy Swain, Forward, 6.6 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Jordan Canada, Junior, Guard, 16.1 ppg
Monique Billings, Junior, Forward, 12.7 ppg
Kari Korver, Senior, Guard, 7.9 ppg
Lajahna Drummer, Junior, Forward, 6.2 ppg
Kennedy Burke, Sophomore, Guard, 5.8 ppg
Kelli Hayes, Junior, Guard, 4.0 ppg
Paulina Hersler, Junior, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Dominique Williams, Junior, Guard, injured last season
Key New Players
Lindsey Corsaro, Freshman, Guard
Ally Rosenblum, Freshman, Forward
Nicole Kornet, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Oklahoma
Jordin Canada returns to lead a very balanced and experienced starting lineup for the Bruins. Canada averaged 16.1 points per game and improved in most statistical categories during her sophomore season. With the departure of Nirra Fields, Canada should be able to approach 20 points per game and push her assist to turnover ratio to well over 2:1. Monique Billings provides a very dominant inside scoring and defensive threat for UCLA. Billings shot just under 50 percent from the floor and averaged 12.7 points per game to go along with 8.5 rebounds per game. Kari Korver’s leadership and ability to knock down shots from the perimeter is going to keep defenses on their toes and the Bruins should be very balanced offensively between inside and outside shooting. Road trips to Baylor and South Carolina will show UCLA right away where they stand nationally and if they can perform well in both games it should set them up nicely to deal with the gauntlet of the Pac-12 this season. If the Bruins continue to improve as expected then they should get a high seed in the NCAA Tournament with a chance to make another deep run.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.8 (32nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.0 (184, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.1 (103, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.9 (50, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.3 (271, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.7 (100, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (179, 8)
Rebound Margin: 3.2 (79, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.3 (141, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.6 (79, 4)
Madness 2016 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#22 Lindsey Corsaro
#106 Allyson Rosenblum