On Wednesday night, the Colorado Buffaloes will visit the UCLA Bruins at 6 pm at Pauley Pavilion. Since Pac-12 play began at the beginning of January, the Buffaloes have had a bit of a rough go of it. The Buffs have lost six of their nine conference games.
They are having the most trouble on the road. They’ve lost four of five games away from Boulder and their only road win came against the lowly UC Berkeley Golden Bears.
The Buffaloes are led offensively by sophomore guard McKinley Wright IV who is averaging 12.8 points per game. He also leads the team in assists with an average of 4.9 assists per game. Sophomore guard/forward Tyler Bey is second on the team in scoring with an average of 12.3 ppg. Bey is also the Buffs’ leading rebounder. He’s averaging 9.0 rebounds per game. Colorado has one other guy who is averaging in double figures. That’s 6’10” junior forward Lucas Siewert.
In Saturday’s game against Oregon, head coach Tad Boyle also started sophomore guard/forward D’Shawn Schwartz and junior guard Shane Gatling. But don’t be surprised if Boyle opts to start freshman forward Evan Battey. For starters, Battey went to Villa Park HS in Orange County, but, more importantly, Battey is 6’8” tall. So, Battey may get the start to give the Buffs some more height to reduce the Bruins’ height advantage.
But, even if he does, UCLA will still have a length advantage.
Like the Bruins, the Buffaloes are bad at ball control. With an average of 13.5 turnovers per game, Colorado isn’t quite as bad as UCLA, which is averaging 15.2 turnovers per game, but it also isn’t an area where the Buffs have much of an advantage.
As a result look for another sloppy game by both teams tomorrow night, but UCLA’s height and athleticism should allow the Bruins to prevail.