UCLA: Richard Solomon

First look: UCLA vs. Cal basketball

January, 2, 2013
1/02/13
8:37
PM PT
What: California Golden Bears (8-4) at UCLA Bruins (9-3)

When: Thursday, 8 p.m. PT

Where: Pauley Pavilion

TV: Fox Sports Net

Radio: AM 570

Scouting the Bruins: UCLA is on a season-long five-game winning streak and is coming off its most impressive performance of the season in a 97-94 overtime victory over then-No. 7 Missouri. The Bruins are getting it done on the offensive end, averaging 93 points per game over the past four. The Bruins enter Pac-12 play leading the conference in scoring at 80.9 points per game and in field goal percentage at 48.6 percent. Defensively, they are at the other end of the spectrum, however, as they are last in the conference in scoring defense (69.5 points per game) and 11th in field goal percentage defense (41.9). Shabazz Muhammad will take the court for his first conference game fresh off a buzz-worthy 27-point performance against Missouri that earned him conference and national player of the week honors. He is averaging a team-best 19.6 points per game and has 21 or more in the past four games as he begins to show why he was touted as the top offensive player out of high school last year. Travis and David Wear also had good games against Missouri, combining for 38 points on 18-of-27 shooting and 15 rebounds. It was the highest combined point total of their careers.

Scouting the Golden Bears: California begins conference play having lost four of its past six games, including a 67-62 setback to Harvard in its previous game. The Golden Bears began the season with six consecutive victories in November, but a difficult December schedule that included losses to No. 18 UNLV and No. 13 Creighton slowed the momentum. Guards Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs are among the top backcourt players in the conference and are averaging a combined 37.3 points per game -- more than half of the 71.5 Cal is averaging as a team. Crabbe leads all Pac-12 players with 20.9 points per game. Forwards David Kravish (6-foot-9) and Richard Solomon (6-10) provide plenty of inside size and have helped Cal average 40.2 rebounds per game -- third in the conference. The Golden Bears, under coach Mike Montgomery, are giving up 65.2 points per game. They are 1-1 in road games.

The series: UCLA leads the series 133-99, although Cal swept UCLA last season with an 85-69 victory at home and a 73-63 victory at the Sports Arena. UCLA is 68-48 all-time against California at Pauley.

Quick quote: "It's a whole new season," UCLA coach Ben Howland said about starting Pac-12 Conference play. "Whatever has happened up 'til now is all for experience."

Pac-12's most important players

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
5:08
PM PT
Editor's note: ESPN.com’s Summer Shootaround series catches up on the offseason storylines for each conference. For more on the Pac-12, click here.

Arizona: Nick Johnson
The shooting guard tapered off at the end of his freshman season, when he averaged just 6.1 points in his last seven games. It will be interesting to see if the presence of highly touted freshman Gabe York and Xavier transfer Mark Lyons will cause Johnson to step up his game.

[+] EnlargeJared Cunningham, Devon Collier
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireJunior forward Devon Collier, right, will be heavily leaned on by the Beavers this upcoming season.
Arizona State: Jordan Bachynski
The 7-foot-2 center was a bright spot for the Sun Devils during an otherwise frustrating season in 2011-12. Don't be fooled by his ho-hum statistics (6.0 points; 4.0 rebounds). In Arizona State's last 13 games, Bachynski averaged 10.1 points, 6 boards and 2 blocks. He'll be one of the top post players in the league this season.

California: Richard Solomon
The 6-foot-10, 220-pound forward was averaging 6.8 points and 6.2 rebounds when he was declared academically ineligible after 13 games last season. It was a huge loss for the Golden Bears, who are a much better team when Solomon is anchoring the defense down low.

Colorado: Andre Roberson
The forward ranked third in the nation in rebounding last season with 11.1 boards per game. Most NBA mock drafts predict that Roberson will be a first-round pick next summer. For now, the biggest question is whether Roberson can lead the Buffaloes to the NCAA tournament for the second straight season.

Oregon: Tony Woods
The 6-foot-11, 250-pound Woods put up modest numbers (6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds) after transferring to Eugene last season. Still, the former Wake Forest post player has yet to live up to the lofty expectations that have hovered over him since high school. Oregon will be a different caliber team if Woods takes that "next step" in his final season.

Oregon State: Devon Collier
With Jared Cunningham now in the NBA, the spotlight will shine on Collier. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 13.2 points and 5.3 rebounds as a sophomore last season, when he shot 61.5 percent from the field. He also blocked an average of 1.3 shots per contest.

Stanford: Aaron Bright
The point guard should be full of confidence after averaging 16.8 points and 4.2 assists during Stanford's march to the NIT title. Bright's performance earned him tournament MVP honors. If he plays that way in 2012-13, the Cardinal will be back in the NCAA tournament.

UCLA: Larry Drew
The Bruins' recruiting class has generated a ton of offseason buzz, and rightfully so. But a strong performance by Drew at point guard will be vital if the Bruins hope to be a mainstay in the top 10. Drew was North Carolina's starter before walking out on his team midway through the 2010-11 season.

USC: J.T. Terrell
The shooting guard averaged 11.1 points as a freshman at Wake Forest in 2009-10. He withdrew from school last fall after he was arrested for driving while impaired. Terrell played last season at Peninsula Junior College. Trojans coach Kevin O'Neill said Terrell is one of the most talented players he's ever signed.

Utah: David Foster
The 2009-10 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year missed all of last season with a broken foot. Foster, a 7-foot-3, 243-pound center, will return this season and try to help the Utes bounce back from the worst season in school history. Foster holds Utah's all-time record for blocked shots with 219.

Washington: Scott Suggs
C.J. Wilcox and Abdul Gaddy are the most recognizable names on the roster. But don't forget about Suggs, a sharpshooter who averaged 7.4 points and shot 45 percent from 3-point range as a junior two years ago. The 6-foot-6 Suggs, who redshirted last season because of a foot injury, could be one of the X factors for the Huskies.

Washington State: Reggie Moore
The Cougars might be decent if Moore can keep his head on straight. The point guard was suspended in January 2011 following his arrest on marijuana-related charges. Last season, he played in all 37 games and averaged 10.2 points and 5.2 assists. Moore is one of the most underrated players in the country at his position. His leadership this season will be key.

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2013 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
B. Hundley369248307124
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
B. Hundley1607484.711
P. Perkins1345734.36
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
S. Evans4770915.19
D. Fuller4347111.04
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense196.6251.6448.2
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring36.524.112.4