Thursday, December 27, 2012
First look: UCLA vs. Missouri basketball
By Peter Yoon
What: No. 7 Missouri Tigers (10-1) vs UCLA Bruins (9-3)
When: Friday, 7 p.m. PT
Where: Pauley Pavilion
TV: ESPN 2
Radio: AM 570
Scouting the Bruins: UCLA is on a season-best four-game win streak, but is looking for its first victory over a ranked opponent this season. Offensively, the Bruins have been on a tear the past three games as they are averaging 91.6 points per game and shooting 57.6 percent over that stretch. Freshmen Shabazz Muhammad (18.8 points per game) and Jordan Adams (18.2) continue to battle for the team’s scoring lead and both have scored 20 or more in consecutive games. Kyle Anderson joined the 20-point club last time out and is also the team’s top rebounder at 8.7 per game.
Scouting the Tigers: Missouri enters on a six-game win streak and is coming off of an impressive 82-73 victory over then-No. 10 Illinois. The Tigers have a lot of size and strength inside and are leading the nation in rebounding with 47.2 per game. Alex Oriakhi, a 6-9 forward, is averaging 9.1 rebounds per game while 6-7 forward Laurence Bowers is averaging 6.7. They have out-rebounded opponents by more than 14 per game. Bowers also leads the team in scoring with 16.9 points per game and has made 13 of 23 3-point attempts (56.5 percent). The Tigers average 78.2 points per game with quick point guard Phil Pressey running the offense. This will be Missouri’s first road game of the season, though the Tigers are 3-1 in neutral-site games. Their lone loss came against No. 4 Louisville.
The series: UCLA leads the series 5-1, though Missouri won the last time out with an 82-73 victory in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. UCLA’s best memory in the series came during the 1995 run to the NCAA championship when Tyus Edney dribbled the length of the court in 4.8 seconds and scored the game-winning basket in a 75-74 victory in the second round of the NCAA tournament. This will be the first time since 1975 that the teams have met in Pauley Pavilion.
Quick quote: "We need a win over anybody we play, ranked or unranked,” UCLA coach Ben Howland on the importance of getting a win over a ranked opponent.