#10 UCLA Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

UCLA Bruins
Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12
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UCLA has continuously gotten better ever since Coach Cori Close arrived in Westwood. After getting to the Sweet 16 in a little bit of a reloading year in 2018-19, the expectations are high this season. The Bruins have now locked themselves in as a program that you should be able to count on getting to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament on an annual basis.
2018-19 Record: 22-13, 12-6
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Cori Close
Coach Record: 172-99 at UCLA, 172-99 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kennedy Burke, Guard, 15.4 ppg
Lajahna Drummer, Forward, 9.0 ppg
Ahlana Smith, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Japreece Dean, Senior, Guard, 14.1 ppg
Michaela Onyenwere, Junior, Forward, 18.3 ppg
Lindsey Corsaro, Redshirt Sophomore, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Chantel Horvat, Junior, Guard, 4.9 ppg
Kiara Jefferson, Sophomore, Guard, 2.5 ppg
Lauryn Miller, Junior, Forward, 3.7 ppg
Natalie Chou, Redshirt Junior, Guard, DNP last season Transfer from Baylor
Key New Players
Brynn Masikewich Freshman, Forward
Camryn Brown, Freshman, Guard
Charisma Osborne, Freshman, Guard
Jaden Owens, Freshman, Guard
Michaela Onyenwere is a matchup problem for just about everyone that has to face UCLA every night. Onyenwere had 17 games where she scored at least 20 points enroute to an 18.3 point per game scoring average along with 8.5 rebounds per game. Japreece Dean should be the primary scoring threat in the backcourt as Dean scored 14.1 points per game last season and is also an excellent free throw shooter at 92.2 percent. Natalie Chou is a redshirt junior guard who transferred Baylor that will give a nice boost to the Bruins with her perimeter shooting. Chou knocked down 42.3 percent of her three-point shots back in 2017-18 when she was at Baylor which was good for 6th overall in the Big 12 that season. Sharpening up the defensive end of the court will be the next step in UCLA’s growth as a program as they were -.5 percent difference between their field goal shooting percentage and field goal percentage defense. The schedule is pretty good for the Bruins as they have a couple of tricky non-conference road games at Georgia and Indiana. They also avoid having to go to Corvallis and Eugene this year and get to host Oregon State and Oregon. UCLA should be back in the Sweet 16 again this season and, with the right draw, could get to the Elite Eight and beyond this season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.7 (44th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.8 (267, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.4 (121, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.9 (267, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.0 (255, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.6 (199, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.5 (63, 3)
Rebound Margin: 5.9 (37, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (116, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (11, 6)
Madness 2020 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#18 Japreece Dean
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#17 Charisma Osborne
#18 Jaden Owens
#107 Camryn Brown