Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Here are some really key and/or interesting statistics that UCLA fans will need to be aware of heading into Thursday night’s tilt with No. 6 Arizona.
The rate at which Arizona rebounds, with the ‘Cats gobbling up 57 percent of all available rebounds. That number is the third-best in the nation and significantly dwarfs UCLA’s 51 percent rebounding rate. The Bruins’ rebounding has been a pervasive issue all year and it cost UCLA a win against Oregon, a team that posts the seventh-best rebounding rate in the country at 56 percent.
The offensive points scored per possession by Arizona, a stat that shows how efficient an offense is on a per-possession basis rather than relying on points per game. In points-per-game, UCLA averages 77.6 points, 14th-best in the country, to Arizona’s 75.8 points a contest. However, Arizona doesn’t like to run as fast as UCLA does given their size and that’s partly why they’re not putting up as much points. Arizona is a more efficient offense, however, with their 1.096 PPP mark earning them the 12th spot in the country in offensive rating while also proving they’re more efficient than UCLA, which scores 1.076 points-per-possession, good for No. 32 in the country.
The rate at which Arizona converts its three-point attempts. This stat will be looked at closely for the rest of the season because UCLA cannot seem to hold its opponents to bad shooting nights from downtown unless the team is really, really bad from the perimeter. Indeed, UCLA allows opponents to shoot at a 33 percent rate, a number that was at one point for worse and could be worse if teams like Cal were able to convert open shots from deep.
The percentage of possessions for Arizona that ended in turnovers. This is a number that UCLA can actually exploit to their advantage. Though the Bruins don’t force turnovers, the ‘Cats seem to be more turnover-prone than UCLA is — the Bruins nearly always have the advantage in the turnovers department and are No. 6 in the country in turnovers per possession. If Arizona coughs up the ball consistently, UCLA will get a lot of open looks in transition that could keep them ahead of the Wildcats.
The conversion rate of three-point attempts Arizona has allowed this season from opponents. Just as UCLA can be exploited from deep, so too can the ‘Cats, who are dismal in their three-point defense. UCLA doesn’t shoot threes well consistently — averaging 35 percent from downtown — but if Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams find their mojo, largely non-existent the past few games, Arizona just might be done for.