Today UCLA plays Washington State who has one win in the conference this season. That one win was over UCLA.
When these teams met for the first time earlier this month, UCLA appeared listless for much of its 85-78 loss. UCLA players have said it was their most disappointing loss of the season.
The Bruins could top that by losing at home to WSU. I don't think that happens. More likely we win and these guys add to their stats:
UCLA is the only Pac-12 team to have at least two scorers in the conference's top 10 (Bryce Alford at 17.2 ppg and Isaac Hamilton at 16.3 ppg) ... the Bruins are the only program with at least two players who rank in the Pac-12's top 10 rebounding leaders (Tony Parker is third with 9.9 rpg and Thomas Welsh ranks sixth with 8.6 rpg).
WSU is really bad. They are the ONLY team in the PAC 12 with a losing record. On the other hand, UCLA is not a lot better in the standings. UCLA is in tenth in the conference and tied for the eleventh best record. At least UCLA is 7 deep. Washington State is arguably a two men team:
- Hawkinson leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 16.4 and 10.9 boards a game, while Iroegbu has 14.8 ppg game and leads with 4.0 assists per game.
- Combined the forward and guard are shooting .546 (221-for-405) from the field and are accounting for 40 percent of the Cougar's points this season.
While UCLA's rotation is in chaos, WSU is even worse, with a starting lineup in disarray:
- Through 20 games this season, WSU has used eight different starting lineups.
- Nine different Cougars have gotten at least three starting nods this season, as junior Ike Iroegbu is the only Cougar to start all 19 games this season
Maybe this is one of the reason UCLA is tenth and WSU in last?
If UCLA wants to win this one easy they may want to work through their best player on offense right now and it is not who your think?
During the Bruins' eight conference games, junior guard Isaac Hamilton has averaged 18.0 points per game. In that eight-game span, he has connected on 48.6 percent of his shots (54 for 111) ... Hamilton has also shot 47.2 percent from 3-point range (17 for 36) while totaling 32 assists in those eight games.
A couple closing discussion points in the style of pregame guesses:
Who will be the leading scorer?
How many players will play in the first half for UCLA?
Will Alford play three bigs (any combo if these three Tony Parker, Thomas Welsh, Alex Olseinski, Gyrgory Goloman, and Jonah Bolden)?