UCLA Women's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

UCLA Bruins
Pac-12 (25-7, 14-4)


For the most part UCLA has beaten the teams they should beat. Yet Coach Cori Close’s squad failed to get the big win, until the Pac-12 Tournament. They lost to Notre Dame early in the 2012-2013 campaign and fell to Stanford and California on both the home and the away legs. The Bruins have not had much success in the NCAA Tournament lately, but this could be the year they take the next step and reach the Sweet Sixteen.

Big Wins: 11/14 at Oklahoma (86-80), 12/16 at St. John’s (53-52), 2/1 Colorado (62-46)
Bad Losses: 12/20 Cal State Northridge (72-77), 2/15 California (51-79), 2/17 Stanford (57-68)
Coach: Cori Close

Why They Can Surprise:
The balanced UCLA offense can be very tough to defend. The scoring can come from just about anybody on the floor and there are plenty of offensive threats on the bench as well. Markel Walker does much more than score. In fact, she could stand to be more aggressive getting to the basket. But even if she does struggle to shoot, Walker will make a huge impact on the game. The 6-1 senior averages 7.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.6 steals. The frontcourt consists of Atonye Nyingifa, Alyssia Brewer and Jasmine Dixon. When the Bruins need to go big, those three will start together with Walker sliding down to the shooting guard position. The result is a UCLA squad that can dominate the glass. The frontcourt also accounts for a lot of scoring.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Despite all of the rebounding that the frontcourt brings, they are not particularly good at blocking shots, nor is their size imposing. The UCLA defense will generally take risks and go for steals and that often provides the opposition with a clean look at the basket. The defensive field goal percentage is not very good and the numbers from beyond the arc are even worse. The Bruins do not perform too well from beyond the arc on the offensive end of the floor either. Kari Kover and Thea Lemberger are the most prolific shooters on the team, but that is not saying too much. The backcourt is relatively inexperienced, which also leads to issues in the turnover department. The team as a whole is extremely quick and will nab plenty of steals, but they also commit way too many turnovers. At some point in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Bruins will have to make some shots and keep the turnovers to a minimum if they expect to pull off an upset.

Probable Starters:
Thea Lemberger, Junior, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 2.6 apg
Markel Walker, Senior, Guard, 10.8 ppg, 5.6 apg, 7.3 rpg, 2.6 spg
Atonye Nyingifa, Junior, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Jasmine Dixon, Senior, Forward, 8.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Alyssia Brewer, Senior, Forward, 11.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Nirra Fields, Freshman, Guard, 7.8 ppg, 1.1 apg
Kari Korver, Freshman, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg
Kacy Swain, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Mariah Williams, Senior, Guard, 3.8 ppg, 2.3 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.4 (57th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.9 (152, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.7 (42, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.9 (78, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.2 (307, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: n/a
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.8 (211, 9)
Rebound Margin: 7.3 (26, 4)
Assists Per Game: 16.8 (13, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 18.8 (265, 11)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Montana
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Gonzaga
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over North Carolina State
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Nebraska
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Bowling Green
2006    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Purdue
2004    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Minnesota
2000    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to George Washington

*all team stats through 3/7


See All Women’s Basketball Postseason Capsules