The Stanford Cardinal (9-5, 0-1 Pac-12) head to Pauley Pavilion to face the UCLA Bruins (11-3, 1-0 Pac-12) for a Saturday matinee game. Stanford is coming off a loss to USC where they held the lead for a majority of the game and UCLA is coming off of a comfortable victory over the Cal Golden Bears where they had 3 starters scored upwards of 15 points.
About the Bruins
The very young and highly talented Bruins squad will be an extremely difficult task for the Cardinal. UCLA is lead by a couple of diapers-dandies (freshman) in Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams. Muhammad was the #2 overall recruit last year and has shown why thus far by leading the team in scoring at 19.3 points per game as well as shooting 49% from the field, including 48.5% from behind the arc. Second on the team is Adams who is averaging 16.9 points per game while also shooting 48.4% from the field and, should he get to the charity stripe, is shooting upwards of 86% from there as well even while garnering the most attempts of anyone else on the team.
Also of note to watch is #4 overall recruit from a year ago Kyle Anderson who is averaging just under double-digit points at 9.5 per game and leads the team in boards with 8.7 a game. Lastly, so as not to completely ignore the upperclassmen, be on the lookout for Travis Wear as well who can fill the stat sheet avergaring 11.3 points a game, 6.3 rebounds a game and 1.5 blocks per game.
Coming off a disappointing loss to the Trojans, Stanford will look to get back on track, and that begins with the starters. The bench outscored the starters by a large margin and once again Stanford failed to hit field goals at a decent percentage which has been their motus operandi thus far. While it was definitely encouraging to see the bench produce at such a high level, having a talented player such as Chasson Randle laying a goose egg while his team only lost by 2 points hurts. Of course scoring will definitely have to come from all spots on the floor, but they cannot always count on guys off the bench putting up career highs.
Stanford Will Win If…..
Stanford will win if they can play great defense and are vigilant with the ball. Let’s face it, Stanford isn’t going to put up 80 points a game like the Bruins can. UCLA also boasts one of the best passing teams in the nation, 4th in fact, averaging 18.5 assists per game. One way to stop that potent offense is to limit turnovers and stretch out those offensive possessions to limit the shot attempts for the Bruins. When the fast-break opportunities arise they will have to capitalize, and in turn will have to limit those chances for the UCLA as well. Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis will have to continue their ways as the only consistent scorers for the Cardinal as of late and will need help from somewhere, hopefully everywhere.
Tags: Chasson Randle Dwight Powell Jordan Adams Josh Huestis Kyle Anderson NCAA Shabazz Muhammad Stanford Cardinal Stanford Cardinal Basketball Stanford Cardinal Men's Basketball Travis Wear UCLA Bruins UCLA Bruins Basketball