Wednesday, January 16, 2013
First look: Oregon State at UCLA
By Peter Yoon
What: Oregon State Beavers (10-7, 0-3) at No. 24 UCLA Bruins (14-3, 4-0)
When: Thursday, 6 p.m. PT
Where: Pauley Pavilion
Radio: AM 570
Scouting the Bruins: UCLA, winner of nine consecutive games, is looking for its first 10-game win streak since 2008-09. The Bruins are coming off a successful trip to the mountains, where they swept Utah and Colorado in the first true road games of the season. They return this week to Pauley Pavilion, where they are 10-1 this season, ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since dropping out Nov. 26. The Bruins are 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 2008-09 and for the fourth time in coach Ben Howland's 10 years with the Bruins. The Bruins currently lead all Pac-12 teams in scoring (78.5 points per game) and field goal percentage (47.8 percent). They also have held three of their past four opponents to less than 40 percent shooting. Forward Travis Wear has had the hot hand of late and is averaging a team-best 15.3 points per game over the past four games, including a career-best 23 on Saturday at Colorado. He has shot 58.1 percent since conference play began. Guard/forward Kyle Anderson is averaging a double-double (11.8 points, 10.5 rebounds) in conference play and has made 18 of 19 free throws in four conference games.
Scouting the Beavers: Oregon State has lost four of its past five games, including three in a row to begin Pac-12 play 0-3 for the first time since going 0-18 in 2007-08. The Beavers have been close late in each of their first three conference games but lost by 13 to Oregon and 10 each to Arizona and Arizona State. This is the first true road game of the season for the Beavers, who have played neutral-site games in New York and Kansas City. Oregon State has five players averaging double figures in scoring, but Eric Moreland, a 6-foot-10 sophomore averaging 10.8 points and a team-best 11.1 rebounds, is suspended for a violation of team rules. Backcourt players Ahmad Starks and Roberto Nelson are legitimate scoring threats and are averaging a combined 28.5 points, while Devon Collier (6-8) and Joe Burton (6-7) provide the inside punch with a combined 25.3 points and 12.9 rebounds. The Beavers run an up-tempo attack and average 75.7 points per game but have given up a conference-high 69.4 points per game and have allowed opponents to shoot 41.9 percent from the field -- also worst in the conference.
The series: UCLA leads the all-time series 89-34, although Oregon State won their only meeting last season 87-84 in Corvallis. That victory snapped UCLA's 13-game win streak over the Beavers. UCLA has won 22 of the past 23 games against Oregon State at Pauley Pavilion. The last Oregon State win at Pauley was Feb. 1, 2003.
Fast fact: UCLA will honor one of its all-time greats by retiring the No. 52 jersey of Jamaal Wilkes at halftime. Wilkes was a two-time first-team All-American for the Bruins, and helped lead UCLA to NCAA titles in 1972 and '73. Wilkes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.