Bruins start a huge pressure-packed road trip tonight. Dohn sets the stage leading off with AA. The on court leader of Ben Ball warriors is not looking past tonight:
Afflalo came up with another rationale for not peeking ahead to Saturday's game at Arizona.
"It would make absolutely no sense for us to go in there (to Arizona State) and think we have a victory," Afflalo said. "We're already coming off a loss. We haven't been that great on the road ourselves, only 50 percent. For a team with our capability and our talent, we should be much better. So we need this one bad."
UCLA is 14-0 at home and 4-0 on neutral courts, but the road is another issue. The Bruins traveled three time zones and 3,000 miles to lose at West Virginia on Saturday. They also split road trips to Oregon State and Oregon, and California and Stanford, winning easily against a much inferior team in the first game before falling on the back end of the trip.
Coach Howland is worried about this game. He is specifically worried about facing the Sun Devil’s zone defense:
Its really on the offensive end where they've struggled the most. The Sun Devils average a conference-low 54.2 points a game on 39.4% field goal shooting. They are also hitting on just 29.5% from three-point distance.
New Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek has spent most of the season transforming the Sun Devils into his vision of a collegiate team. He prefers to play primarily an aggressive match-up zone defense and a passing motion offense modeled after the Princeton offense. Unfortunately for Sendek, he does not have the personnel to play his style for an entire 40 minutes and has tried different combinations all season.
Over the past four games, Sendek has gone with younger players in the starting line-up, and they have begun to click together. Last year's standout player sophomore Jeff Pendergraph is joined in the line-up by three freshmen, Christian Polk, Derek Glasser, and Jerren Shipp. Allen Morrill is the lone upperclassman starting.
Remember the tip off is set for an unusual 5:30 pm PST start tonight. We will have our usual game thread up later tonight.