LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — UCLA defied expectations by making it to the Sweet Sixteen, but now they face powerhouse Alabama on Sunday, and Coach Mick Cronin minced no words about what his players are facing.
“They’re a high-octane team. They can really, really get it going, burning nets,” Cronin said in a conversation with CBS 2 and KCAL 9 Sports director Jim Hill. “They’re a team that’s had multiple games where they’ve made 14, 15 three-point shots in a game. And they can shoot at every position, and they can shoot your lights out.”
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Cronin says they have faced other fast, athletic teams before, namely Oregon in the Pac-12.
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“Alabama – they rebound the ball better than Oregon. So that’s a big concern for me,” Cronin said. “Not only their shooting, we’ll do a good job with that, I think, but their rebounding is probably going to be my biggest concern, limiting their shot attempts.”
UCLA entered the NCAA tournament on a four-game losing streak, but have survived three games in five days. Cronin said it will be a tough week of being stuck in a hotel, working to prepare for the face-off with Alabama.
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“I think after we had those losses, it’s just taken us some time to get the other guys up to speed and really get our formula for success, but we’ve really been winning as a team,” he said.