UCLA Basketball: Season Opener Preview and Prediction

St. Francis (Pa) Red Flash guard Wisler Sanon.Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
St. Francis (Pa) Red Flash guard Wisler Sanon.Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /
UCLA basketball
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

UCLA opens up the season at home looking to make a statement with an impressive season-opening win.

The Bruins are still a bit of a mystery heading into the season opener. They have a lot of talent, but they also have a lot of young and new players. It will be interesting to see how quickly the freshmen can adjust to the college game and how well the team can come together.

Before we look at the match-up for the Bruins in their season opener, let’s look at their potential strengths and weaknesses going into their first regular season game.


Size: The Bruins are one of the biggest teams in the Pac-12. They have four players who are 6’10” or taller, and they average 6’7″ as a team.
Athleticism: The Bruins will more than likely be a very athletic team. They have a lot of players who can run and jump, and they should be able to create mismatches all over the court.
Shooting: The Bruins should have a decent amount of good outside shooters on their roster. Will McClendon, Dylan Andrews, Lazar Stefanovic, Ilane Fibleuil, and Jan Vide to name a few should be able to consistently shoot the ball from the perimeter.


Experience: The Bruins are a very young team. They only have one full-time returning starter in Adem Bona, and they have a lot of freshmen who are still learning the college game.
Defense: The Bruins may struggle defensively this season. They will need to be able to learn to play together under head coach Mick Cronin and learn his defensive schemes if they want to be a contender this year.
Chemistry: It will be important for the Bruins to develop chemistry quickly this season. They have a lot of new players, and they will need to learn how to play together if they want to be successful.

Get to know UCLA’s regular season opponent.

Opponent: Saint Francis (Pennsylvania)

Coach: Rob Krimmel (Head Coach since 2012)

Returning Players: Wisler Sanon, Gestin Liberis, Cam Gregory, and Miles Webb

New Players: Eight incoming freshmen and Evansville transfer Chris Moncrief

Last Season: They won five of their last eight games and finished with an overall record of 13-18.

Conference: Member of the Northeast Conference.

Record in Conference Play 22-23: 9-7 and finished in fourth place last season.

Game Info

Date: Monday, November 6th, 2023

TIme: 8:30 PM PT

TV/Streaming: Pac-12 Network

History between the two teams: UCLA defeated the St. Francis Red Flash by a final score of 95-58 in Bruins’s opening game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational in 2018.

Prediction: UCLA 85 St. Francis (PA) 61

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