Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 12/28/12
UCLA point guard Larry Drew II prides himself on being able to set up his teammates for easy baskets. Being able to control the game without scoring points isnt an easy task, but it's one Drew II appears to be mastering in his lone season with Bruins. Missouri point guard Phil Pressey exhibited that same trait in the Tigers' last game. Its hard to have a worse shooting night than Pressey had last Saturday in Missouris rivalry game against Illinois. The Tigers junior point guard was 0 for his first 15 from the field. Yet, somehow, he still influenced the game enough to lead his team to a win. Pressey finished the game with season highs in assists (11) and rebounds (7). Despite the poor shooting performance, he still cracked double figures with 12 points on three-of-19 shooting while handing the Fighting Illini their first loss of the season. When Pressey leads No. 7 Missouri into the new Pauley Pavilion on Friday at 7 p.m., the Bruins will be facing the best point guard theyve seen all season. A finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the top point guard in the nation, Pressey leads the Tigers in assists and 3-pointers made. I think (Pressey) is one of the best point guards in the country, said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. Hes really smart. Hes such a good passer, and he sees the floor so well. The challenge of slowing down Pressey falls on Drew II. Defensive intensity has been something the Bruins coaching staff has asked from their senior point guard. Howland says it has improved. Evidence of that was two games ago when Drew II put together his best defensive performance of the season by shutting down Long Beach State point guard Mike Caffey. Howland called it his best game as a Bruin. Hell have to be even better than that on Friday. He obviously has a huge challenge, Howland said of Drew II. Its just ball screen after ball screen with (Missouris) offense. Their point guard is great at splitting the hedge or attacking the plug. Itll be a good matchup, theyre both good point guards. Similar to Pressey, Drew II didnt have to score much to influence the game in UCLAs previous outing against Fresno State. He took just five shots and finished with four points but reached double figures in assists (10) for the fourth time this season. The similarities continue. Both of the point guards have fathers who played in the NBA and are currently coaches in the league. Phils dad, Paul, is an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Drew IIs father, Larry Sr., is the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Whichever point guard influences the game the most will likely come away with a win on Friday.
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