Things heat up in the Pac-12 as the UCLA Bruins (14-4, 3-2) welcome the Stanford Cardinal (12-5, 3-2) to Pauley Pavilion for a game that will be very telling for these two teams. The Cardinal are riding a three-game win streak into LA that started with a victory over then #17 Oregon, while the Bruins try to right the ship after a painful loss at Utah.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Location: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
Tip-Off: 8:00 p.m. PT/11:00 p.m. ET
Odds: UCLA -6.0
Ticket Information: uclabruins.com/tickets
Preview: Stanford is not great, but they are no slouch either. After beating Oregon, they then smacked around Washington State and took down a Washington team that is suppose to be doing better than they actually are. Still, the focus is Stanford and they are rolling.
Remember this name: Chasson Randle. Actually, you should know his name already, it seems as if he has been at Stanford for the last decade. Never the less, if the Bruins want to shut down the Cardinal, they need to shut down Randle. He can get from the arc to the basket before you finish blinking. As Stanford’s main offensive threat, he is getting 19.5 points per game. For one of the smaller Stanford players he sure knows how to get in between the defense.
One guy that will be a little easier to keep tabs on is 6’10” forward and all-around athletic beast, Dwight Powell. Even though the Bruins will be able to shadow him, they need to make sure he does not run through them… Wear twins, I’m looking at you! Powell is getting 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He is even leading the team in assists with 4.2 per game. That needs to be shut down.
Now for UCLA, are they going to get back to their up-tempo ways? It seems certain that their offense-less game in Utah was just a glitch. Look for the Bruins to get some of their swagger back, especially from playing in front of the crowd at Pauley. If anything, Jordan Adams, Norman Powell and Zach LaVine might have something to prove… they were all a bit non-existent in that game against the Utes.
You know who forged ahead in the Utah game? Kyle Anderson, with 28 points, that is who. Even if Stanford is able to shut down the majority of the Bruins, which is doubtful, Anderson would be the only one to break on through. He is that kind of guy.
Prediction: UCLA 79 – Stanford 67