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UCLA Game Preview & How to Watch

The Huskies play host to the #11 Bruins in Hec-Ed trying to snap their 2-game losing streak

NCAA Basketball: Washington at UCLA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Sunday, 1/1/23

Tip-Off Time: 4:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Network


Location: Seattle, Washington

DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies +11


UCLA Bruins 2022-23 Statistics:

Record: 12-2 (3-0)

Points For per Game: 79.4 (34th)

Points Against per Game: 61.9 (35th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 116.4 (6th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 89.3 (11th)

Strength of Schedule: 59th


UCLA’s Key Players:

G- Tyger Campbell, Sr. 5’11, 180: 13.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 40.0% FG, 34.5% 3pt, 86.2% FT

Coming into the season there was thought that Campbell might be the best point guard in the country. His numbers though have dipped a little bit this year as his 3-pt shooting numbers from last year (41%) may be proving to be a mirage much like Jamal Bey’s fever dream year. Still, he’s a very steady ball handler and won’t provide the Husky defense with many takeaways.

G- David Singleton, Sr. 6’4, 210: 10.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 50.5% FG, 52.0% 3pt, 92.9% FT

Singleton might be the best shooter in the country having made at least 45% of his 3-points shots in 4 out of 5 seasons including better than 50% so far this year. He went 3/11 over a 3-game stretch midseason but otherwise has made at least 2 deep shots in every single game.

G- Jaylen Clark, Fr. 6’5, 205: 15.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.7 spg, 57.0% FG, 36.7% 3pt, 68.9% FT

Clark has been the breakout star in the absence of Johnny Juzang taking his game to the next level. As a 6’5 wing he’s shooting a crazy 63% on 2-point shots and is also 14th in the country in steal rate. He’s a great scorer as well as an elite perimeter defender. That’s a daunting combination.

F- Jaime Jaquez, Sr. 6’7, 217: 17.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 54.1% FG, 21.7% 3pt, 81.8% FT

The preseason favorite for Pac-12 player of the year has mostly lived up to expectations. He has a terrific midrange herky jerky game and can kill Washington with his ability to score from the free throw line and in. The one flaw is that he can’t reliably make a 3-pointer but will still take about 2 from out there per game so you can’t just leave him 100% alone out there. He’s also in the top-200 nationally in steal rate so it’s not as if he’s only useful on one end of the floor.

C- Adem Bona, Fr. 6’10, 235: 7.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 62.3% FG, 69.2% FT

The true freshman 5-star starts at center but only plays about half the team’s minutes. He’s extremely efficient when he gets the ball at the rim with his physical gifts but isn’t a go-to player down low. He’s a very good shot blocker ranking inside the top-75 nationally but not a dominant rebounder although that shouldn’t matter against UW’s zone. In conference play he’s averaging almost 4 fouls per game so there’s a chance that the Huskies can keep him on the bench if they get him in the air.


The Outlook

The Bruins had an early season stumble during a 2-game MTE in Las Vegas where they lost by single digits to both Illinois and Baylor. It turns out though that both of those teams are in the top-30 nationally so neither is really a bad loss. Since then UCLA has won 9 straight including wins by at least 9 points over Oregon, Stanford, Maryland, and Kentucky that put them in the top-5 by the analytics. They’ve looked invincible up until Friday night when they squeaked past Wazzu 67-66 on a go-ahead basket in the final 20 seconds.

It’s hard to find a flaw to this UCLA team. They rank in the top-11 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. The only other teams in the country that can say that are Houston and Connecticut who are a combined 28-2. They do have an interesting profile on offense as almost everything for them comes from 2-point range. The Bruins are 3rd in the percentage of their points that come from inside the arc and 338th or worse in the percentage for both 3-pointers and free throws. They get the ball inside but don’t usually draw fouls.

It’s not as if UCLA doesn’t shoot 3’s because they aren’t good at it. They shoot 37% as a team but half of their attempts come from Tyger Campbell and David Singleton which means everyone else combines to shoot below 30% from deep. This is also a team that almost never turns the ball over and when you do that plus shoot efficiently from every range of the court you’re going to have an elite offense.

If there’s any kind of flaw for UCLA it’s their interior defense. Bona is a good shot blocker but this is a team that generally plays 3 guards with 6’7 Jaime Jaquez at power forward. They aren’t a team of giants like USC and that has led to ranking 154th in 2-point defense. Mouhamed Gueye tore them apart on Friday night with 18 points and 18 rebounds and it will take a career night from Braxton Meah for the Huskies to have any chance to score consistently.

The Bruins rank 9th nationally forcing turnovers on defense as Clark and Jaquez are elite on the perimeter wracking up steals. Washington needs Noah Williams to play better than he did on Friday night because P.J Fuller is liable to give the game away if he is asked to play much if any point guard with a 5+ turnover night.

Unfortunately for Washington it feels like UCLA may have had their wake-up call about taking opponents seriously on the road 48 hours ago. It’s tempting to think that the Cougars exposed some fatal flaw that the Huskies can exploit. More likely though is that UCLA just had an off night and the odds aren’t good that they’re going to have 2 in a row.

That’s a problem for the Huskies because they just don’t have the talent to match up against a team this talented unless they play a near perfect game and UCLA plays a below average one. Mark it down as the 3rd loss in a row heading into a very tough Arizona road trip next week.


Max’s Record this Year: 10-4 Straight Up, 8-5-1 Against The Spread

Washington Huskies- 66, UCLA Bruins- 84