The good news for UC Santa Barbara tonight at Pauley at 7:30 v. UCLA is they are not the worst team UCLA played this season. The bad news for UC Santa Barbara is they are a bad team that does not stand a chance. UC Santa Barbara is 1-6 ranked 245 by KenPom. There only win is over D-II Sonoma State. To make matters worse though, UCSB's defense is even worse than the worst team UCLA has played this year, UC Riverside, and is ranked 252 in adjusted defense.
This is not a trap game but a "fun game." The only question is will UCLA be able to add to their impressive offense numbers?
On those numbers:
- Scoring Offense: Second in NCAA rankings at 97.5 points per game (note the number one team, the Citadel, is ranked #314 by Kem Pom, really not a good team and was blown out by Arizona State)
- Three point percentage: First (47.1%, 2.3 % better than second place)
- Field Goal Percentage: First (56.2%, 1.8% better than second place)
- Assists Per Game: First (23.9, 2.7 better than second place)
- Scoring Margin: Ninth (21.6 points per game)
- Individual Assists Per Game: Lonzo Ball second 8.8
- Individual Field Goal Percentage: TJ Leaf ninth 67.9%
- Double Doubles: Thomas Welsh tied sixteenth 5
The only way all those numbers don't go up is if UCLA blows out Riverside so early the walk-ons log a number of minutes. Anyway you look at it, the team numbers are very impressive.
In the interest of fairness and being a bit of a party pooper, there is a number of concern. If you look at Kempom, UCLA is ranked third in adjusted offense but seventy-third in adjusted defense for their overall ranking of tenth. The next team ranked worse in adjusted defense is Notre Dame at 24 and there is only one other in the top 40 ranked worse (#38 Marquette is ranked lower.)
But tonight UCLA does not need defense. This is a not a trap game but a fun game to watch UCLA add to those impressive offensive numbers.