UCLA Bruins (21-8, 12-4) at Washington Huskies (19-9, 10-6)
Stars: F Reeves Nelson, C Joshua Smith and F Tyler Honeycutt
Location: Seattle, WA (Alaska Airlines Arena formerly HEC Ed)
Time: 6:00 PM (PDT)
Radio: 950 AM
Matchup: The Los Angeles schools come to town this weekend as UW takes on UCLA Thursday and USC Friday. Both schools look to be playing their best basketball of the season. UCLA has won 8 of its last 10 games and are currently riding a two game winning streak after sweeping the Arizona schools.
UCLA controls its destiny in determining how they finish in the PAC-10, if they win out they will control a share of the PAC-10 title. They will also have a shot at sole possession if Arizona continues to crumble.
UCLA is looking to ride this wave of winning momentum to the top of the PAC-10 and into the NCAA tournament. They are hot right now and look to be the best team in the PAC-10.
However, the Huskies are looking to squash that momentum at home with an angry UW crowd after losing their last game to in-state rivals WSU. UW needs to find a way to bounce back from its recent string of erratic play if they want to have any shot at the NCAA tournament.
It doesn’t help that the injuries are stacking up for UW, with Abdul Gaddy and Tyreese Breshers out for the season (Breshers has retired), Scott Suggs may play but not be at 100%, and it looks like Darnell Gant may also be injured. UW needs to find a way to get back to what they do best–play defense. That has been their recipe for success since Lorenzo Romar took over, it is also what USC has accredited to their recent resurgence. However, Romar has mentioned that UW has gotten away from this defense first mentality and he plans to correct that in this series.
The team is hoping to come out against UCLA with their mindset around stopping their opponent. Look for this to be a hard fought game, and a game that may come down to the wire. UCLA has had a few blowouts but most of their games have come down to within a few points, and 2 have gone to overtime. It is going to be scrappy and both teams are going to have to hang in it to the final whistle.
Keys to Success for the Huskies:
- Shot Selection- UW needs to use its passing ability to find an open shot, not get desperate.
- Rebounding- UCLA’s best players are their big guys, UW needs to box them out and out rebound them.