Tonight, the UCLA men’s basketball team hosts the Washington Huskies at Pauley Pavilion at 7 pm PT.
Tonight’s game against Washington is a tale of two opposites. In the preseason poll, the UCLA Bruins were picked to finish eighth while the Washington Huskies were picked third and even had six first place votes. UCLA is currently tied for fifth and has won six of their last eight games. Meanwhile, Washington is in sole possession of last place and the Huskies have lost seven in a row.
That said, Washington have just one of those losses in that stretch was by double digits. They have often been winning games that they eventually lost. Against Southern Cal on Thursday, they were leading at halftime. They are ranked 56th in Kenpom which is the highest of any team with a losing record and it’s 47 places above UCLA. While their offense has struggled since losing Quade Green, their defense is still good and ranked 29th by Kenpom. Washington has the conference’s best field goal percentage defense. The “Syracuse zone” that Washington plays can be hard to score on.
The last time these teams played, Chris Smith was able to take advantage of the hole in the zone. Look for him to have a big game today. The only team to blow Washington out during the losing streak was Colorado. Part of the reason for that blow out was due to the fact that the Buffaloes were able to control the boards. Washington is the 10th in the conference in rebounds and Colorado is second. Who is first? UCLA. The Bruins should have a big advantage on the boards tonight because the Huskies’ opponents are averaging more rebounds than the Huskies are averaging. Smith had seven offensive rebounds against WSU, can he follow up with another big night?
It is ridiculous to say this is a must-win game, but I will say this is the last relatively easy game. After tonight’s game, UCLA plays the mountain schools on the road which is always a tough trip. Then, the Bruins face the Arizona schools at home before closing the season with a game against Southern Cal on the road. This is definitely UCLA’s last relatively easy game.
Listen to the Game Here on BN!
This season, we are proud to, again, have today’s audio feed for everyone who opts to use the TuneIn Player link below. For optimum results, start the audio feed then pause your DVR and sync them up together. Tonight’s game is on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton calling the game. If you would prefer to listen to Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray call today’s game instead you can listen to today’s game online.
Just be sure to right-click on the link above so that you can open up another tab and have it going while you chat in the comments below.
Join your fellow Bruin fans discussing today’s game.
This is your Washington Huskies at UCLA Bruins game thread.