clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

GameThread: WSU at UCLA

WSU Cougars Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
Taylor Rochestie 6-1 193 G Sr. 12.6 3.5
Klay Thompson 6-6 187 G Fr. 13.0 4.0 1.7
Nikola Koprivica 6-6 216 G
Jr. 3.6
2.4 1.7
Caleb Forrest 6-8 223 F Sr. 6.2 3.1 0.8
Aron Baynes 6-10 250 C Sr. 12.0 7.4
UCLA Bruins Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
Darren Collison
6-0 160
G Sr.
Jrue Holiday
6-3 180
G Fr. 9.4
Nikola Dragovic
6-9 216
Jr. 8.3
Josh Shipp
6-10 225 G/F Sr. 13.0
Alfred Aboya 6-9 225
Sr. 9.7

There are some years when UCLA blows you off the floor with superior individual talent. This isn't one of them.

But while there's no Kevin Love this season, there's a boatload of balance, and any player in the starting five for the Bruins can beat you on any given night. Nikola Dragovic did us in last time. This time it could be someone completely different. It's a nightmare for the teams in this conference - a program with the talent level UCLA has finding a way to balance it all, and play as a team.

The Huskies found out first hand just how good UCLA is on Thursday. Today, the Bruins may be susceptible. I have a hard time believing Klay Thompson is going to have back-to-back disappointing performances. And I have a harder time believing Dragovic is going to shoot the lights out in back-to-back games against WSU. Negate his shooting night in Pullman, and I believe we win that first matchup.

What is the key today? Protect the ball. UCLA is ranked 17th nationally in defensive turnover percent (turnovers forced). The Cougars, well, every time we've fallen apart this season, you can find several key turnovers scattered along the way.

UCLA is also 5th nationally in effective field goal percentage. That doesn't concern me as much. WSU is a defensive oriented team, ranked 18th in defensive eFG%, and can hold up against almost anyone in that regard.

The Cougars can win this game. But they have to make every possession count, they have to get to the line, and they have to avoid our trademark scoring drought.

Like most things against UCLA, easier said than done.