The UCLA Bruins kick-off their 2011-2012 college basketball season Friday night against the Loyola Marymount Lions at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The Bruins open their season ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Junior forward Reeves Nelson, who led the Bruins in both scoring and rebounding last season, is listed as probable with a left ankle injury. Nelson missed practice on Wednesday but x-rays on his ankle were negative.
Sophomore center Anthony Stover is battling a left shoulder injury that has kept him out of practice for two weeks, and he will not play Friday night. Fellow sophomore center Joshua Smith was a focal point of the offense in Sunday's exhibition win for UCLA over Cal-State San Bernardino, with 26 points including making 14 of 18 shots from the free throw line.
UCLA is 15-2 all-time against Loyola Marymount, and has won each of their last 12 meetings. The last loss for UCLA against LMU was in the 1941-1942 season. The Bruins are 72-20 all-time in season openers, including 58-8 at home. Ben Howland is 7-1 in season openers at UCLA.
Friday's 7:36 p.m. PDT tip-off and game will be televised by Fox Sports West. For more UCLA basketball news, be sure to read Bruins Nation.