First look: Stanford at UCLA

January, 4, 2013
1/04/13
4:33
PM PT
What: Stanford Cardinal (9-5, 0-1) vs. UCLA Bruins (11-3, 1-0)

When: Saturday, noon PT

Where: Pauley Pavilion

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: AM 570

[+] EnlargeShabazz Muhammad, Jordan Adams
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY SportsCalled out previously for questionable defense, Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad are improving on that side of the court as the Bruins continue to develop their defensive identity.
Scouting the Bruins: UCLA won its sixth consecutive game Thursday night on the strength of arguably its best defensive game of the season. In beating the California Golden Bears 76-65, the Bruins held their foe to 39.5 percent shooting, including 0-for-13 on 3-point attempts. Norman Powell stepped into his role as defensive stopper and held Pac-12 leading scorer Allen Crabbe to five points in the first half. Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams -- maligned for their defensive energy much of the season -- played very good D in spurts as the team continues to develop its defensive identity. This is the final game of a six-game homestand, and the Bruins have found themselves offensively. They are averaging 90.2 points during this homestand and are No. 14 in the nation is scoring at 80.8 points per game for the season. During the past four games, Muhammad is averaging 22.8 points, Kyle Anderson is posting 13.3 points and 10 rebounds, and Larry Drew II is tallying 9.5 assists.

Scouting the Cardinal: Stanford visits UCLA coming off a disappointing 71-69 loss at USC on Thursday, when the Cardinal led most of the game before faltering down the stretch. Stanford shot 26.7 percent in the second half of that game. That type of poor shooting has plagued the Cardinal all season; Stanford is last in the Pac-12 with a 40.6 shooting percentage. The Cardinal are shooting 28.7 percent on 3-pointers, which also is last in the conference and is No. 270 (out of 345) in the nation. Junior forward Josh Huestis figures to give UCLA problems inside, as he is fifth in the conference in rebounding with 9.1 per game and second in offensive rebounding with 3.6. Dwight Powell, a 6-foot-10 forward, also is a matchup problem because of his ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor. He leads the Cardinal with 14.2 points per game. Sophomore Chasson Randle is the team’s best guard, averaging 12.8 points. The teams have a common opponent in Missouri. Stanford lost 78-70 to the Tigers, while UCLA defeated Missouri 97-94 in overtime.

The series: UCLA leads the all-time series 136-91. The teams split the season series last season, when Stanford edged UCLA 60-59 in Palo Alto and UCLA defeated the Cardinal 72-61 at the Sports Arena. UCLA has won 12 of the past 15 meetings against Stanford, although the teams have split the season series in two of the past three years.

Quick quote: "They had a very tough loss [against USC]," UCLA coach Ben Howland said of Stanford. "Their game went down to the wire. It was a tough loss, so we know that they will obviously be very prepared for this game.”

Peter Yoon

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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