Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Pregame: 3:00 p.m. MST 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: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
On-Line: Arizona All Access (subscription required)
UCLA at a glance: Location: Los Angeles, CA
Coach: Ben Howland (2nd Season)
Leading Scorer: Dijon Thompson (18.9)
Leading Rebounder: Dijon Thompson (8.2)
Leading Assists: Jordan Farmar (5.3)
Last Meeting: Arizona defeated UCLA 76-73 off a Salim Stoudamire last second three-pointer.
Last Time Out: Arizona handled USC 88-76. UCLA crushed ASU 95-76.
OVERVIEW: Arizona enters this game following three straight wins, playing more focused and intense basketball. The players have been coming out hard on every opponent following their loss to Washington State and hope to continue that play against UCLA.
Salim Stoudamire has been playing his best basketball in his four year tenure at the UA, averaging 17.7 point per game and is the best shooter in the country. Stoudamire had his best game of the season against UCLA scoring 32 points including the last second three to win it for the Cats.
UCLA comes enters this game having established themselves as the number three team in the Pac-10 behind Arizona and Washington. The Bruins come into the game playing well on the strength of Dijon Thompson. Thompson is UCLA’s biggest threat and has been leading the team in points and rebounds and threw down 27 points against the Cats and grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss.
The Bruins are young. They start three freshmen, including point guard Jordan Farmar. Farmar, who spurned the Cats, is already one of the top two or three playmakers in the Pac-10.
Whichever team gets better play from their point gaurd could have the advantage. Mustafa Shakur has not put up huge numbers, but has been running the offense effectively. He may not be filling it up, but the Wildcats have been great on the offensive end.
KEY MATCH-UP: Ivan Radenovic/Hassan Adams vs. Dijon Thompson. Thompson has the ability to be huge against the Cats and proved it in Tucson. Thompson is a versatile player who can switch from power forward to small forward and guard with ease. Therefore, depending on where he lines up, both Radenovic and Adams will have the task of shutting him down.
Thompson has the ability to beat teams. He can shoot from all over the field, he crashes the boards hard, and he can steal the basketball. Arizona will need to contain Thompson if they want to win this game.
Likewise, Thompson will have to match-up with the size of Radenovic and the athleticism of Adams.
OUTLOOK: If Arizona comes out with the same intensity they have lately, they will win going away. Lately Arizona is looking like one of the the best teams in the country, not just in the conference. The Cats have been playing hard and seem to finally have that killer instinct they have been looking for all season. If Arizona can play hard and rebound the ball, they should have no problem coming away with the W.
That is not to say it will be easy. UCLA is a young, talented team. Although they are a year away from being really, really good, they have enough talent to really challege the Wildcats.