#9 UCLA Women's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

UCLA Bruins
Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
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UCLA has reached at least the Sweet Sixteen in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments. Last season they could have had their best team during the Coach Cori Close era, finishing the season with a 26-5 overall record. The Bruins have nearly all of that talent returning and are poised to have another great campaign. However, the Pac-12 is going to be extremely tough at the top, so winning their first regular season title since 1999 will not be easy.
2019-20 Record: 26-5, 14-4
Coach: Cori Close
Coach Record: 195-103 at UCLA, 195-103 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Japreece Dean, Guard, 13.6 ppg
Jaden Owens, Guard, 2.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Michaela Onyenwere, Senior, Forward, 18.9 ppg
Charisma Osborne, Sophomore, Guard, 12.2 ppg
Natalie Chou, Senior, Guard, 7.4 ppg
Lauryn Miller, Senior, Forward, 6.6 ppg
Lindsey Corsaro, Junior, Guard, 5.2 ppg
Chantel Horvat, Junior, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Kiara Jefferson, Junior, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Kayla Owens, Junior, Guard, 1.7 ppg
Camryn Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Key New Players
Izzy Anstey, Freshman, Forward
Emily Bessoir, Freshman, Forward
Gemma Potter, Freshmajn, Guard
This team will again revolve around Michaela Onyenwere. The senior forward led the team with 18.9 points and 8.5 rebounds. Onyenwere does most of her damage in the paint, but her outside shooting game is getting better. Charisma Osborne is ready for a big sophomore season after averaging 12.2 points. She was the most prolific and consistent three-point shooter on the team last season and should only get better with experience. Lauryn Miller and Lindsey Corsaro were regular starters in 2019-2020. Miller is a tough rebounder and Corsaro will take over more of the ball handling duties now that Japreece Dean is gone. Natalie Chou’s versatility will again come in handy. As a part-time starter she averaged 7.4 points, but will also help out on the glass and play solid defense. Other experienced upperclassmen like Chantel Horvat, Kiara Jefferson and Kayla Owens should provide plenty of depth for the Bruins. Emily Bessoir, a 6-4 freshman from Munich, Germany will also get the opportunity to play major minutes. While UCLA may not have as many weapons as a couple other teams in the Pac-12, they do have a lot of experience. Returning six upperclassmen who averaged at least 14.6 minutes per game does not happen all the time and that experience should have UCLA winning big games right out of the gate.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.6 (37th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.9 (109, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.1 (207, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (133, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (164, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.4 (290, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.4 (74, 6)
Rebound Margin: 3.4 (94, 6)
Assists Per Game: 16.0 (28, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.1 (15, 2)
Madness 2021 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#4 Michaela Onyenwere