Wednesday, February 6, 2013
First look: Washington at UCLA
By Peter Yoon
What: Washington Huskies (13-9, 5-4) at UCLA Bruins (16-6, 6-3)
When: Thursday, 6 p.m. PT
Where: Pauley Pavilion
Radio: AM 570
Scouting the Bruins: UCLA will have had eight days to reflect on what has been going wrong after losing to USC in its last game on Jan. 30. That was the third loss in four games for the Bruins and the second in a row after a promising win at Arizona on Jan. 24. The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in scoring with 76.8 points per game and are second with a 46.5 shooting percentage, but those numbers are down to 70.5 points and 41.5 percent over the last four games. Jordan Adams, a 45 percent shooter for the season, is shooting only 38.8 percent over the last four, and Kyle Anderson is shooting only 32.4 percent during the recent slide. The Bruins are also struggling defensively, having allowed opponents to shoot 44.3 percent from the field over the last four games and have held only one of its last four opponents under 45 percent. Freshman Shabazz Muhammad leads the Bruins in scoring at 18.4 points per game and is coming off of a 22-point effort against USC despite battling flu symptoms. Travis Wear returned from a concussion and scored 16 points against USC. He’s averaged 18.25 points on 61.2 percent shooting in the last four full games he has played.
Scouting the Huskies: Washington has been among the streakiest teams in the Pac-12 since conference play began. The Huskies started league play with four consecutive wins -- three of them on the road -- and then proceeded to lose four in a row before ending that streak with a win over Arizona State on Saturday. The Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the team reared its head over the weekend when Washington scored a season-low 53 points in a loss to Arizona and then scored a season-high 96 in defeating the Sun Devils. The Huskies average 69.9 points per game, but defense has been the biggest issue for them. They are giving up 67.3 points per game, which is 10th in the Pac-12, and they are allowing opponents to shoot a conference-worst 43.5 percent from the field. Aziz N’Diaye, a 7-foot center, is among the conference’s top rebounders with 9.3 per game and sharpshooting guard C.J. Wilcox is fifth in the conference with 18.2 points per game. He leads the conference with 55 3-pointers made. Four Washington players average in double figures scoring with guards Scott Suggs (12.2) and Abdul Gaddy (11.1) joining Wilcox and N’Diaye (10.7).
The series: UCLA leads the all-time series, 92-40. The teams split the season series last year with Washington winning, 71-69, in Seattle and UCLA winning, 75-69, in the regular-season finale at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Fast Fact: UCLA will retire the No. 11 jersey of Don Barksdale at halftime of the game. Barksdale, a 6-6 forward/center, was a pioneer for his race in basketball. He became the first African-American to be named a collegiate All-American when he earned the honor in 1947. He broke the color barrier for the U.S. Olympic basketball team in 1948 and in 1953 became the first black player to play in an NBA All Star game. Barksdale, who died in 1993, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and joins Reggie Miller and Jamaal Wilkes as players to have their numbers retired by UCLA this year.