Before we get to the preview of tomorrow's game against UCR, let's start with a few stats. UCLA leads the nation in Field Goal percentage. The biggest reason? UCLA also leads the nation in assists per game, with Lonzo Ball leading the nation with 9.1. UCLA's and Lonzo's lead is significant. UCLA's 24.1 assists is a full 2 assists ahead of second place and Ball is the only player averaging over 9 assists per game.
Which means tomorrow's opponent UC Riverside does not stand a chance. Riverside is 0-3 in games against Division 1 opponents. Riverside ranks #260 in scoring defense and #275 in Field Goal Percentage. This game has blowout written all over it. In all honesty the only question is when UCLA will get to 100.
UCR just lost to Utah 85-67. Utah is the opposite of UCLA in that they are a defense first team. It is worth noting that UCR scored the most points of any team against Utah this season but 67 points was UCR's season high against a D-1 opponent.
UCFR is even a good matchup for UCLA. They are led by their guards. 6'1" Dikymbe Martin has been hot the last couple games and leads UCR in all relevant guard categories but comes off the bench. Next on the scoring list is Senior 6'2" Malik Thames who only shoots 38% from the field. Former ASU backup 6'3" Junior Chance Murray is the other starting guard who shot 27% from three 2 years ago in the PAC 12 and is up to 30% now.
A guard heavy mid-major is probably the best generic matchup for a UCLA team. As far as their front court, 6'10 Swede Alec Larsson is the UCR's center and leading rebounder. He is strictly a post but not exactly an athlete, he has 0 blocks this season. The next best rebounder is back up 6'4" swing Gentry Thomas who only shoots 32% from 2 and 13% from three. This is a bit of trend as leading returning scorer is 6'5" Secean Johnson who is shooting under 30% from 2 and under 20% from three.
Of course, everyone is likely looking past this game to Kentucky on Saturday. But this is not a trap game in that UCR is a bad team that UCLA will be every night.
This should be a fun romp over a bad team that will give UCLA a chance to get Ike Anigbogu some minutes and the team some time to pad their stats.