Cal Poly Pomona comes into Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night, acting as the first tune-up of the 2006-2007 season for Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins. This is the first of two exhibition games the Bruins will have before opening up the regular season against BYU on November 15th.
The Broncos are led by head coach Greg Kamansky and 1st team all-league (California Collegiate Athletic Association) guard Dion Cook, the son of former New Jersey Net Darwin Cook, and a past backcourt-mate of Bruins wide receiver Marcus Everett at Chaminade College Prep in West Hills. Cook is a 6-foot-4 senior who averaged 15 points per game last season while shooting nearly 39% from 3-point range.
The Broncos return two other starters from a 17-10 team including CCAA Freshman of the Year, Larry Gordon, who shot 50% from deep, over 60% from the field and averaged nearly six rebounds per game a season ago.
Pomona has won two of the last four Division II West Regional championships and are in the midst of a streak of 12 consecutive winning seasons.
The Broncos will continue with their tour of Division I schools over the next ten days as they visit Loyola Marymount and USC before beginning their own regular season.
Look for the Bruins to play a ten man rotation, with Russell Westbrook, who has been cleared following a concussion he suffered in practice, assuming the role of back-up point guard.