UC Davis is a bad team. They are 1-8 and lost to Wednesday's opponent Eastern Washington by 20 points (Stanford also beat them 70-49). The game tomorrow should be a lock and the only question should be how big will the final margin of UCLA's victory be?
Of course nothing is that easy this season and 10 games into the season UCLA still has a lot of other more important questions than the final margin of victory. Tomorrow should be a good night for Coach Ben Howland to experiment a bit and certainly not a night for the starters to play too many minutes. So here is a question for each player.
LJ has led UCLA in scoring the last three games and has shut down the other teams PG the last two games. He is even the team's leading defensive rebounder. Is Zeek truly UCLA's best defensive player and MVP? Who will help Zeek?
Travis Wear in 8 games and 6 starts has a pathetic 14 defensive rebounds (by contrast LJ has 29). Can Travis start rebounding on the defense side to help people forget about our Lithuanian export?
Unnoticed in the last four games has been Jerime Anderson's horrendous shooting slump, in which he has 6 for 30. Is Jermie's problem the fact he has been playing more PG for Jones which IMO he is not comfortable playing?
How much is Tyler Lamb’s hip affecting him? Can he become the good defender that everyone thought he would be before the season?
Despite it not being pretty Josh Smith has been effective at times this season. Against a bad UC Davis team will he be able to put together a complete dominate performance to help him regain his confidence?
David Wear needs to give up on the idea he is a small forward. He needs to stop taking the long two pointer (the worst shot in basketball). He is shooting 39% in part because of poor shot selection. Can David go a whole game without a bad shot?
Norman Powell makes freshman mistakes. He also showed last game in back to back plays why he needs to play more if this team is going to make any kind of run. Jerime Anderson drove the lane on a break threw up an awkward shot that was blocked which he caught and threw off an opponent’s groin. Next play Norman Powell gets a similar break and does a beautiful pull up jumper. Is this the night when the arguably most potentially talented player Norman Powell finally plays more minutes than Lamb or Anderson?
CBH promised to play all scholarship players. How many minutes does that mean for Lane and what should it mean?
Last but not least is Stover. In the Eastern Washington game for the first time in his career Stover had his number called for a play out of a timeout. Stover caught an nice lob pass from David Wear for the dunk. Against a bad UC Davis team, will Stover be able to show some offense?
Speaking of UC Davis: there is not much to say. Almost half their shots are from three. Their two leading scorers, guard Ryan Sypens and 6’9" swingman Josh Ritchart, both have more shots from three than from inside the arc. Their PG, Tyler Corbin, is their most "famous" player because he is the son of Tyrone Corbin, head coach of the Utah Jazz and 16 year NBA player. Tyler though is only 6’ tall and shooting 28%.
UC Davis has been out rebounded by 8 rebounds per game. Can UCLA finally dominate a team on the boards?
In any case, this game is not about UC Davis. It is about UCLA answering some questions about themselves.