The Bruins are taking on the improving Cardinals tomorrow night at Maples. Per the LAT report today, they are using the extra day off to get ready for one of the best teams in the Pac-10. Here is BBR's preview on tomorrow night's game:
Stanford is averaging 69.1 points a game (7th in the Pac-10) on 45.2% shooting Aside from Hill and Goods, they are not a great three-point shooting team averaging just 33.3% (9th in the Pac-10) from beyond the arc.
On the defensive end, not surprisingly, Stanford's man-to-man defense revolves around the shot-blocking of Brook and Robin Lopez. Although Stanford does not have good defensive players on the perimeter, they have been able to compensate by being more aggressive and taking more chances on defense, knowing there is help behind them. Stanford leads the Pac-10 in blocked shots averaging over six a game.
UCLA's quickness advantage on the perimeter will be troublesome for Stanford's defense to handle, especially for Brook Lopez who will have problems handling Luc Richard Mbah a Moute when he follows him outside. Although Mbah a Moute has not shot well from the perimeter, his ability to get into the paint and make good passes off the drive will make this a tough match-up.
The Cardinal are a good rebounding team with +4.9 margin over opponents, moreover, they average 13.6 offensive rebounds a game. If UCLA expects to leave Palo Alto with a victory, they will need big games on the boards from their front line. Against Cal, the trio of Mbah a Moute, Alfred Aboya, and Lorenzo Mata collected an impressive 27 rebounds.
It is a philosophy he has preached long before his arrival in Westwood, and one he will hammer into the third-ranked Bruins before Sunday's game at Stanford.
Stanford's ability to alter shots figures to be a key factor after it blocked a Pacific-10 Conference record 19 shots in beating USC on Thursday, led by 7-foot freshman center Brook Lopez's school- record 12 blocks.
"You can get them in foul trouble, so they're out of the game, or you can be under control and jump-stop," UCLA point guard Darren Collison said. "That's one thing that I noticed they've been doing, they've just been going for every blocked shot."
More important to Howland is that Collison, who made two of five shots against Cal, continues to penetrate and push the ball upcourt -- something that might be a part of the Bruins' game plan against Stanford on Sunday to try to counter a Cardinal defense that blocked 19 shots against USC on Thursday.
"He needs to keep pushing it harder," Howland said. "I told him that one time when he started to push it at the beginning of the second half, and he turned it over.
"I encouraged him, I said, 'I don't care if you turn it over.' We need him to be aggressive pushing the ball."