One of the premiere basketball programs of all-time visits Tuscaloosa in the return trip from last year's disappointing close loss in Pauley Pavilion. This isn't the same UCLA squad from last year... as they lost 3 to early defections to the NBA draft (all 1st round draft picks). UCLA has a pattern so far this year.. win 4, lose 2, win 4, lose 2... the pattern says they win. We shall see. Note that is is UCLA's first and ONLY true OOC road game this season.
4 losses have been to ranked teams... Kentucky, North Carolina, Gonzaga, and Oklahoma.
UCLA is essentially a 5 man team. Four average over 30 minutes a game with the 5th logging 24. Their starting 5 scores 69 of the 77.8 points a game they average led by the coach's son Bryce Alford at 17.6 PPG (also dropping 6 assists per contest). Norman Powell is their best 3pt shooter while Kevon Looney leads the team in rebounds at over 10 a game. Tony Parker (not that one) is 2nd in boards and the only player shooting better than 50% from the field.
- +5.9 rebound margin
- 66% FT
- 44% FG
- 7.3 steals
If we are to entertain ANY thoughts of a NCAAT resume we MUST win tomorrow. Granted, UCLA is down, but this is a name team that will probably finish in the top half of the PAC-12 and probably makes the NCAAT. Lose this one... go ahead with writing this season off minus an improbable SECT title.
Game is on ESPNU.