Date: Saturday, 2/13/21
Tip-Off Time: 4:30 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: KJR 950 AM/KVI 570
Location: Seattle, Washington
Betting line: Washington +9.5
UCLA Bruins 2020-21 Statistics:
Record: 13-5 (9-3)
Points For per Game: 73.5 ppg (105th)
Points Against per Game: 67.8 ppg (97th)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 113.6 (21st)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 97.1 (86th)
Strength of Schedule: 56th
UCLA Key Players:
G- Tyger Campbell, So. 5’11, 180: 11.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.9 ast, 44.0% FG, 27.3% 3pt, 75.0% FT
Now fully recovered from his ACL tear, Campbell has become the best facilitator in the Pac-12. He still struggles to make shots from the outside but a 3.5/1 A/TO ratio means you can get away with not being a lights out shooter. He’s the engine that makes the UCLA offense run. In the first game against Washington he had 11 points and 5 assists.
G- Jaime Jaquez, So. 6’6, 220: 12.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 46.3% FG, 38.2% 3pt, 69.4% FT
Last year Jaquez shot 32% from deep and his 3-pt percentage has been rapidly falling so we’ll find out where it stabilizes and exactly how much of an improvement he made from his freshman to sophomore years. He’s a really solid rebounder for a wing as well and one of the closest statistical/physical comps for Jaquez on KenPom right now is Jimmy Butler. In the first game against Washington he had 15 points and 5 rebounds.
G- Johnny Juzang, So. 6’6, 210: 12.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 38.9% FG, 31.9% 3pt, 93.3% FT
Juzang missed the first 4 games of the season coming off an injury and his transfer from Kentucky and has struggled to make shots unless they’ve been from the free throw line. If Washington’s zone loses track of Juzang though he’s definitely capable of making them pay or just shooting over them even if they don’t leave him open. In the first game against Washington he had 3 points and 3 assists.
G- Jules Bernard, Jr. 6’6, 205: 8.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 42.2% FG, 33.3% 3pt, 77.2% FT
Bernard is another player that has leveled up for UCLA as he’s picked up his rebounding and interior scoring while cutting down on turnovers from last year. He’s had multiple offensive rebounds in over half of UCLA’s games so expect him to set a season high in that regard against UW’s zone. In the first game against Washington he had 20 points and 9 rebounds.
F- Cody Riley, Jr. 6’9, 255: 10.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 55.1% FG, 68.3% FT
With UCLA running a 4 guard/wing lineup it has given Riley plenty of space to work inside. He’s one of the best rebounders in the conference even though he isn’t much of a rim protector. In Pac-12 games so far he’s in the top-4 of both offensive and defensive rebounding rates so a double double against UW seems very likely. In the first game against Washington he had 14 points and 8 rebounds (6 offensive).
UCLA 2020-21 Shot Chart
UCLA Shot Chart From 1st Game Against Washington
When the Huskies last crossed UCLA’s path they were undefeated in conference and hanging on despite losing their star Chris Smith for the season. Let’s just say things have unraveled since then. Including that game against Washington the Bruins are 3-3 in their past 6 games and none of the wins have come by more than 5 points. They’ve played all of the bottom 4 teams in the conference during that time and on Thursday night had their doors blown off at Washington State before rallying late to make the score look respectable. During that 6 game span UCLA has fallen from 9th to 21st in offensive efficiency and have been held below 65 points in regulation 4 times after it happened once in the first 12 games.
All things considered this isn’t a terrible matchup for Washington. As you can see from the shot chart from the first game above UCLA didn’t actually abuse the Huskies in the paint like most teams have. The Bruins were just 18/46 on shots from the free throw line and in. The big problem was that they shot 45% on 3-pt attempts, 60% on long 2’s, and 82% from the free throw line. If UCLA has an off shooting night (which has been much more common lately) then the Husky defense has a shot.
The matchups that have absolutely murdered the Washington offense are ones against the tallest teams in the country. That isn’t UCLA which features just 2 players taller than 6’6 and has a 5’11 point guard. Still, the Bruins held a 15-4 advantage in offensive rebounds and that gap absolutely has to be closed somewhat for Washington to hold on in case they don’t shoot 44% from 3-pt range like they did in the last game.
On Thursday night the Huskies got no-show performances from Marcus Tsohonis and Erik Stevenson who have been extremely important scoring options of late. Both will need to get back on track today for Washington to keep pace.
It’s tempting to pick a Washington upset after one of their better defensive efforts of the season and UCLA’s recent downturn. But the first game involved UCLA missing a lot of shots near the rim and the Huskies shooting it really well from deep. If either one doesn’t happen then the score looks much different.
Washington Huskies- 68, UCLA Bruins- 79
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