Pepperdine and No. 22 UCLA meet Friday in San Diego following very different results in their season openers. The Bruins (0-1) -- tabbed for the Top 25 after winning seven of their last eight to close the 2019-20 season, and returning a veteran corps for 2020-21 -- suffered what coach Mick Cronin called a "total regression" in their 73-58 loss to San Diego State on Wednesday night. Pepperdine (1-0), meanwhile, went to work earlier on Wednesday in the same arena where UCLA lost.
UCLA holds more potential than it has in years, although the COVID-19 pandemic could derail the season. Coach Mick Cronin's mantra? Stay positive, test negative.
He makes an emphasis on blitzing the ball, which is like just getting it up the court really fast and trying to score within the first eight seconds of the shot clock,” freshman guard Jaylen Clark said Tuesday. So we’re playing extremely fast this year. Don’t expect Cronin to hand out T-shirts that say “Eight seconds or less.