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Washington vs. UCLA Game Preview and How to Watch

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Can Washington avenge their earlier home loss to UCLA and snap their epic skid?

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 2/15/19

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: Espn.com/watch

Location: Los Angeles, California

Betting line: Washington +3

UCLA 2019-20 Statistics:

Record: 14-11 (7-5)

Points For per Game: 69.3 ppg (160th)

Points Against per Game: 69.9 ppg (183rd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 108.2 (64th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 101.8 (167th)

Strength of Schedule: 63rd overall

UCLA Key Players:

C- Jalen Hill, So. 6’10, 245: 9.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 52.7% FG, 71.7% FT

F- Chris Smith, Jr. 6’9, 215: 13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 47.2% FG, 31.0% 3pt, 85.3% FT

F- Jaime Jacquez, Fr. 6’6, 215: 8.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 47.9% FG, 32.2% 3pt, 77.8% FT

G- David Singleton, So. 6’4, 205: 3.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 35.3% FG, 38.2% 3pt, 80.0% FT

G- Tyger Campbell, Fr. 5’11, 180: 8.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.3 apg, 38.3% FG, 30.1% 3pt, 64.5% FT

2019-20 UCLA Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

The Bruins are mediocre from essentially everywhere beyond the 3-point arc but that means they aren’t terrible from anywhere either. UCLA has actually been really good at the elbow and baseline jumper on the right side of the court which is one of the key areas to the Husky zone defense. Expect to see plenty of them trying to get the ball to Chris Smith in that spot who is shooting 48% in that range at 6’9 as their better version of Jaden McDaniels.

The Outlook

After UCLA’s loss to Stanford their coach Mick Cronin made it clear to reporters that lackadaisical effort would be rewarded by a spot on the bench no matter the player. That almost certainly referred to senior shooting guard Prince Ali who lost his spot in the starting lineup that night. The team has experienced a dramatic turnaround since that point as the Bruins are now 6-2 since that time with wins over Arizona and Colorado.

One of the reasons why this was a bad matchup back when the teams squared off in Seattle was that UCLA is a phenomenal offensive rebounding group. They lead the Pac-12 in that category in conference play and the only rotation player for the Bruins under 6’4 is their point guard. UCLA absolutely killed the Huskies on the offensive glass in the last meeting as they were +11 in offensive rebounds to offset a +17 free throw attempt advantage for Washington. That may be the shape of the game again as UCLA is also last in the conference in free throw rate on defense.

That first game was decided by UCLA freshman Jake Kyman who went 7/12 from 3-point range and is just 13/44 (29.5%) the rest of the season combined. While Kyman hasn’t broken out since that point, UCLA’s 3-pt shooting has improved since adding David Singleton and Jaime Jacquez to the starting lineup. The Bruins started the season playing two non-shooting bigs next to each other and it killed their spacing. Now UCLA plays one traditional center alongside 4 players all hitting at least 31% from deep. They are still one of the worst 3-pt shooting teams in the country from a raw percentage standpoint but the spacing from putting out 4 semi-credible shooting threats at the same time has also opened up driving lanes to the basket for everyone.

UCLA is still one of the worst in the nation at defending the 3-point arc and opponents are shooting nearly 40% from deep against them. That was also true for the game in Seattle and Washington was just 3/12 and that was with Quade Green still eligible. You can expect UCLA to double team Isaiah Stewart like everyone else has recently and dare Washington to make shots from the perimeter. It has been an effective strategy and there’s no reason to think the Huskies will suddenly knock down wide open shots.

Neither team is very good at taking care of the ball and the Bruins almost never push the pace in transition. Expect this one to a sloppy rock fight with both teams playing oversized lineups that don’t place a premium on ball handling. We saw a 38 point swing from the first time the Huskies played USC (with Quade Green) to last night. I don’t expect a 40 point victory from UCLA but it’s difficult to expect a better result either.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 62, UCLA Bruins-68

*****

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