First look: Arizona State at UCLA

February, 26, 2013
2/26/13
6:01
PM PT
What: Arizona State Sun Devils (20-8, 9-6) at UCLA Bruins (20-7, 10-4)

When: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. PT

Where: Pauley Pavilion

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: AM 570

Scouting the Bruins: UCLA has won four of its last five games and is looking to keep pace with Oregon and Arizona in the Pac-12 conference title race. The Bruins are a half game behind the Ducks and Wildcats, with a game against the Wildcats coming up on Saturday. UCLA has won back-to-back games and is looking for its first three-game win streak since Jan. 10, 12 and 17. The Bruins are coming off of a dominant 75-59 victory over USC on Sunday, which marked UCLA's largest margin of victory in a conference game this season. They may have to play without third-leading scorer Travis Wear, who is doubtful because of a sprained foot. Shabazz Muhammad (17.6), Jordan Adams (14.6), Larry Drew II (11.0) and Kyle Anderson (10.6) are all averaging in double figures over the last five games and the Bruins, who lead the conference in scoring and field goal percentage, are averaging 75.5 points and shooting 49.7 percent over the last four games. Drew has been especially efficient, shooting 57.6 percent over the last five games, including 69.2 percent (9-of-13) on 3-pointers. Adams is shooting 50.9 percent over the last five games. The Bruins have held their last two opponents under 40 percent shooting, the first time since Jan. 5 and 10 that they have done that.

Scouting the Sun Devils: Arizona State is on the dreaded NCAA tournament bubble as the Sun Devils continue to mix impressive victories with head-scratching losses. They have won two of their last three games, including an overtime victory at Colorado, but lost to Utah and Stanford before that. They are also the last team to have defeated California, the hottest team in the Pac-12 right now, but are coming off a loss to struggling Washington. Point guard Jahii Carson leads the Sun Devils and is fourth in the conference with 17.5 points per game, but it was Arizona State's big men that dominated in a 78-60 victory over UCLA on Jan. 26. Center Jordan Bachynski and forward Carrick Felix combined for 45 points, 26 rebounds and eight blocked shots in that game as the Sun Devils outrebounded UCLA, 53-33. Bachynski, who had a career-high 22 in that game, has scored only 53 points in the eight games since, though he is fourth in the nation in blocked shots with four per game. Felix is averaging 14.3 points and eight rebounds, who are 3-3 on the road in conference games this season and have split all three of their conference road trips.

The series: UCLA leads the all-time series, 61-18, though Arizona State won in a rout, 78-60, when the teams met Jan. 26 in Tempe, ending a five-game UCLA win streak in the series. Arizona State has swept the season series from the Bruins only three times, the last coming in 2009.

Quick quote: "I looked at the Bracketology and they know that [Joe] Lunardi has them as the last team out," coach Ben Howland said of Arizona State. "What's going to help them get in? Beat us tomorrow. We understand that. That's the kind of mindset and emphasis they're going to have on this game and we have to be up to that challenge."

Peter Yoon

ESPNLosAngeles.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

2013 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
B. Hundley369248307124
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
B. Hundley1607484.711
P. Perkins1345734.36
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
S. Evans4770915.19
D. Fuller4347111.04
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense196.6251.6448.2
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring36.524.112.4