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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

January 23, 2009 at 7:52 PM

UCLA: Five keys

Baby it’s cold outside. But it figures to be hot at Hec Ed tomorrow (how’s that for a lame lead-in).
Anyway, on to the keys.
1, Darren Collison — You’d never know the UCLA senior point guard an All-American based on how he’s played at Hec Ed in his career. Here are his combined totals in three UCLA losses — 5-27 shooting, 14 points, 13 turnovers. Odds say he’s due for a good game in Seattle — I don’t think it’s really a Husky thing because he’s played all right against UW in Pauley. But he’ll have to shake off the ghosts of Hec Ed — he was 2-15 here last season. Will UW put Justin Holiday on him at some point tomorrow?
2, Rebounding — UCLA was a better rebounding team than UW a year ago. But now without Kevin Love, the Bruins have dropped off, ranking third in the Pac-10 at plus-4.7 per game opposed to UW’s plus-11.1. UCLA coach Ben Howland said today that the key for his team will be “can we keep them off the glass enough to give us a chance” and that “for us to win, all five guys are going to have to rebound on every possession when they shoot the ball.”
3, Three-point shooting — Without Love and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, the Bruins are shooting threes at a much-higher clip this year. Last year, UCLA made 5.4 per game; this year, 7.6. UW is making just 4.3 but is hitting 37 percent in Pac-10 play to just 30.6 for opponents. UCLA, though, has a varied outside attack with five players who shoot them regularly hitting 32 percent of better.
4, Holiday vs. Holiday — An interesting subplot is Justin Holiday going up against Jrue Holiday for the first time in their college careers, and apparently first time ever in an organized game. More specifically, however, you wonder if Jrue — who many thought would be a bigger offensive contributor than he has been to date — might turn it on in the presence of his family. Jrue Holiday has just 14 points in the last three games.
5, Hec Ed — As mentioned earlier, UCLA has lost four in a row to UW in Seattle. But the Bruins have a history of struggling here having lost eight times to UW here (one game came at KeyArena) since 1998. Often, this has been the back end of a road trip with UCLA having won two nights earlier in Pullman, the Bruins a few times seeming to play with heavy legs.But a fired-up crowd awaits again tomorrow hoping to keep the Hec Ed Hex intact.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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