Friday, November 30, 2012
First look: San Diego State vs. UCLA
By Peter Yoon
What: No. 23 San Diego State Aztecs (4-1) vs. UCLA Bruins (5-2)
When: Saturday, 7 p.m. PT
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
Radio: AM 570
Scouting the Bruins: The UCLA Bruins are looking to sustain the energy it had Wednesday night in an 82-56 victory over Cal State Northridge Matadors. It was a nice bounce-back for the Bruins after losing to Cal Poly Mustangs, especially considering Tyler Lamb and Joshua Smith had left the team earlier this week. The Bruins are looking to string together consecutive victories for the first time since Nov. 13-15. Shabazz Muhammad continues to be a scoring threat. He is averaging 16 points a game since being reinstated by the NCAA, but he is shooting only 43.5 percent. The Bruins used a zone for the entire game against Northridge and held the Matadors to 32.9 percent shooting. UCLA has used a zone defense twice this season and won both games. Bruins coach Ben Howland said the team will continue to use more zones but will not abandon the man-to-man.
Scouting the Aztecs: San Diego State has won four consecutive games since starting the season with a 62-49 loss to No. 6 Syracuse aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway. The Aztecs are No. 12 in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 53.2 points a game. They are not especially accurate on offense, however, as they are shooting 38.7 percent from the field and 26.7 percent on 3-pointers. Jamaal Franklin, a 6-foot-5 guard, leads the Aztecs with 18.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Starting guard Chase Tapley (knee) did not play in a victory Sunday against USC, and starting forward DeShawn Stephens (hip pointer) left that game after only five minutes. Both are questionable for Saturday.
The series: UCLA leads 16-5, but the teams have not met since an 86-64 UCLA victory at Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 14, 1991. UCLA has won eight consecutive games in the series and the last San Diego State victory over UCLA came on Dec. 7, 1940.
Fast facts: This game is part of the Wooden Classic, an event used to honor UCLA's legendary coach. The Bruins are 11-4 all-time in the Wooden Classic. … San Diego State has a 25-game winning streak against teams from California, a streak that dates back to 1996. The Aztecs also have a 10-game win streak against Pac-12 teams.