Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Pregame: 2:00 p.m. on 1290 a.m. (Brad Allis, Pete Delgado, John Schuster, Ryan Radtke, Joe Nehls)
Postgame call-in show: 1290 a.m. approximately 30 minutes after the end of the game.
TV: ABC (Brent Musberger/Steve Lavin)
On-Line: Arizona All Access (subscription required)
UCLA at a glance: Location: Los Angeles, CA
Head Coach: Ben Howland
Leading Scorer: Dijon Thompson (17.7)
Leading Rebounder: Dijon Thompson (8.8)
Leading Assists: Jordan Farmar (5.2)
Last Meeting: Arizona defeated UCLA 107-83 in Tucson on Feb. 14, 2004
Last Time Out: Arizona defeated USC 77-68. UCLA defeated ASU 86-82.
OVERVIEW: Arizona is coming off a disappointing performance against USC. Lute Olson was also disappointed with the team’s performance, and voiced his disapproval.
“[If I were to grade the team's performance] the first half I would say would be a D,” explained Olson. “The second half I think we probably earned a C+.”
That quote says it all. The Cats struggled early on, but had a solid second half to defeat the Trojans. Now Arizona looks to play as they had early on this season, and defeat the Bruins in convincing fashion.
UCLA comes into this game off a strong win at ASU and a four game win streak. UCLA has been putting many strong games together over the past few weeks and are establishing themselves as a power team in the PAC-10.
UCLA however is a very young team. Their starting lineup includes only one senior in guard/forward Dijon Thompson, one junior in guard Arron Afflalo, and three freshmen. Despite being young, they are a solid basketball team, and freshman Jordon Farmar is a force to be reckoned with.
Farmar has been averaging 13.7 points/game in the guard position and is shooting 43.2% from the field. He is coming off of a 20 point performance against ASU and will look to continue his solid play. Arizona will look to throw a lot of different defensive looks at Farmar on the afternoon. Look for Chris Rodgers, and Salim Stoudamire to cover Farmar.
KEY MATCH-UP:Hassan Adams vs. Dijon Thompson. Dijon Thompson is UCLA’s best player on the floor, and Arizona will need to guard him well and keep him off the boards to get the win. Either Adams or Radenovic will cover Thompson depending on the lineup. Thompson is averaging 17.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and is shooting 47.1% from the field. Thompson can shoot the three as well where he connects 39.5% of the time.
Adams is coming off a strong performance against USC, but has been rather quiet the past few games. This is an opportunity for him to get back in the limelight, and hold UCLA’s strongest performer.
OUTLOOK: This game comes down to a number of factors. Lately the question is which Arizona team will come out to play. It can be the team that played a great game against Wake Forest, and crushed ASU and California. However, they lost to Stanford and struggled with USC. Arizona will need to have a strong performance to come away with the victory.
Winning the rebounding battle will be vital to Arizona’s success. UCLA is averaging 37.4 rebounds where Arizona is averaging 38.7. Arizona is a team that plays very well when rebounding the ball. This game is no different. Arizona will need to out rebound the Bruins if they are to win this game.
Arizona should win this game, and if they can hold Thompson and Farmar, they should win going away.