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UCLA BASKETBALL FYI

Guards Anderson and Roll expected to play in exhibition game

It will be the first time this preseason that UCLA's backcourt will be well-stocked. The game against Humboldt State is the Bruins' last before season opener against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 16.

November 10, 2009|David Wharton

The UCLA basketball program scored a major recruiting victory on Monday night with a commitment from Josh Smith, one of the top-rated big men in the nation.

Though the 6-foot-9 center from Kent, Wash., was expected to choose Westwood, there had been some suspense as he made an official visit to the Washington campus.

"In the end, I just looked at where I would feel most comfortable," Smith said. "The history and tradition appealed to me a lot. They've won 11 championships and all the great players who have come through the school."

Known for having good hands and being quick around the basket and a capable rebounder, Smith also liked Coach Ben Howland's brand of basketball. "A team that plays half-court offense and defense, that fits my style," he said.

Anderson, Roll expected to play

For the first time this fall, UCLA's backcourt should be well-stocked tonight against Humboldt State.

Guards Jerime Anderson and Michael Roll are expected to play in a 7:30 p.m. exhibition at Pauley Pavilion, a final warmup before the season opener against Cal State Fullerton on Monday.

The news was not good for freshman Tyler Honeycutt, who has a precursor to a stress fracture in his right tibia. Honeycutt was scheduled to see a doctor on Monday night.

Another freshman, Brendan Lane, was recovering from a sprained ankle but fell ill Monday.

Improvement

After a surprisingly difficult win over Concordia last week, UCLA is looking to take baby steps.

"We want to show improvement," Howland said. "We were lucky to win last week."

With Honeycutt's injury, senior Nikola Dragovic will probably see more time at small forward.

Something familiar

In Division II Humboldt State, the Bruins will see an offense not unlike what they faced last week.

"They're a good shooting team," Howland said. "They'll run a flex-action like we saw in the last game; they'll run motion."

There is something else familiar about tonight's opponent: They are called the Lumberjacks, like the team Howland coached at Northern Arizona in the late 1990s.

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david.wharton.latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesWharton

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