Friday, December 21, 2012
First look: Fresno State at UCLA
By Peter Yoon
What: Fresno State Bulldogs (5-6) vs. UCLA Bruins (8-3)
When: Saturday, 8 p.m. PT
Where: Pauley Pavilion
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: AM 570
Scouting the Bruins: UCLA is on a three-game win streak and has won four of its last five games. The Bruins are 2-0 on their current six-game homestand and are looking to win a fourth consecutive game for the first time this season. Freshmen Shabazz Muhammad (17.8 ppg) and Jordan Adams (17.5) continue to lead the Bruins in scoring and on Tuesday against Long Beach State they each scored more than 20 points, marking the first time in school history two freshmen scored 20 or more in the same game. Offensively, the Bruins have been clicking the last two games with an average of 92 points against Prairie View A&M and Long Beach State. They have shot 57.4% in those two games and have 46 assists on 66 made baskets in those games. Larry Drew II continues to lead all Pac-12 players with 8.4 assists per game and a 5.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Scouting the Bulldogs: Fresno State has lost three consecutive games, including two to Pac-12 foes, and five of their last seven. They have several common opponents with UCLA in Texas, Long Beach State, Cal Poly and UC Irvine. Fresno State is 2-3 in those games while UCLA went 3-1 against those teams. Fresno State plays a slow-down, defensive style and is averaging only 58.3 points a game while holding opponents to only 55.8 with a solid man-to-man defense. The Bulldogs, picked to finish seventh in their first year in the Mountain West Conference, have held six consecutive opponents under 60 points. Junior Allen Huddleston, a 6-2 guard, is averaging 11.7 points per game and is the only Bulldogs player averaging in double figures scoring. Robert Upshaw, a 7-foot freshman, provides an inside presence and is averaging nearly two blocked shots per game.
The series: UCLA leads the all-time series, 6-0, but they haven't faced each other in nearly 22 years. UCLA won the last meeting, 110-89, on Dec. 27, 1990. Tracy Murray had 26 points and 14 rebounds and Don MacLean had 22 points and eight rebounds.
Quick quote: "They are primarily a man-to-man team that really gets out and pressures you," UCLA coach Ben Howland said of the Bulldogs. "I’ve been impressed with some of their players. They’ve got some good pieces. It’s going to be a tough game."