As you know, I have a near-fetish for statistics. They don’t tell the whole story — this does — but they add to an existing narrative, validating said narrative or debunking it altogether.
With that, here are a few interesting stats in UCLA basketball’s win over the Arizona Wildcats.
The amount of seconds that Arizona held the lead over UCLA. This lead came at the very beginning of the contest, with the Wildcats going up 1-0 in the opening seconds. UCLA would respond with at three-pointer and the lead would balloon to 16 in the first five minutes of the game. The Bruins never trailed the rest of the way.
The number of rebounds UCLA grabbed against ‘Zona, compared to the Wildcats’ 44 rebounds. This was the primary concern heading into the contest, especially after the Bruins were badly out-rebounded by an Oregon Ducks team that lives and dies on high rebounding rates. The Bruins still gave up 19 offensive rebounds, but beat the ‘Cats by five in the defensive rebounding department, 30-25.
The rate at which Arizona converted three-point shots. The Wildcats jacked up 24 three-pointers against UCLA in Tucson, and though UCLA is prone to give up quite a few open threes, the Bruins’ rotation to shooters was on a much different level this game and more often than not, Arizona was forcing bad, contested shots against an aggressive UCLA defense.
Arizona’s offensive efficiency rating against UCLA. This is a massive drop-off from their 109.7 offensive rating for the season and attests to the level of defense UCLA played on Thursday night. While Arizona did get a few runs in, the Bruins’ defensive aggression was as good as we’ve seen all season from this team and the level of physicality UCLA played with early on set the tone.
UCLA’s offensive efficiency rating against the ‘Cats. This is a nice, little jump from UCLA’s respectable 108.9 offensive rating for the season and much of the improvement is due to better shot selection. Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams were incredibly efficient and smart in their decision-making and Larry Drew II did a good job of setting up players for open shots, even if he’s quiet while doing so.