LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- No. 14 UCLA opens a season in which it is largely an unknown commodity when it hosts San Diego on Tuesday night at Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA (0-0) went 21-12 last season and finished sixth in the Pac-10 Conference before going to the "Sweet 16" for the fifth time in six years, where it lost to Missouri. The Bruins lost three key seniors from that team in Dan Gadzuric, Billy Knight and Matt Barnes.
Jason Kapono is back for his senior season and is UCLA's leading returning scorer at 16.0 points per game. Ray Young, who redshirted last year, is also a senior and has been impressive in the preseason.
The Bruins dropped both preseason games this season and looked bad in the process. Junior forward T.J. Cummings has replaced Gadzuric at center, but UCLA is a bit undersized in its frontcourt as a result. Kapono did not play in the last preseason game due to a sprained thumb and is expected to start on Tuesday.
Coach Steve Lavin is 3-3 in season openers.
San Diego (1-0) opened its season with a 77-75 victory over Nevada on Saturday. Jason Keep scored 19 points and Jason Blair added 17 for the Toreros, who are coached by former UCLA player Brad Holland.
UCLA has met San Diego twice and owns a pair of wins at Pauley. The teams have not met since the 1992-43 season.