Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
As the UCLA Men’s Basketball team prepares to face-off against a very talented but vastly underachieving University of Washington squad, let’s break down the Huskies by the numbers.
One of the most important stats coming into the contest is Washington’s lack of success on the glass. When it comes to crashing the boards, they are led by 7-foot senior center Aziz N’Diaye, who grabs an impressive 9.3 rebounds per game, but as a team they average just 36, which lands them way outside of the top rebounding teams in the nation at 136th. What makes their rebounding woes even more important is their abysmal shooting percentage.
The Huskies shoot 44.1% from the field, which ranks 135th in the nation. Four of Washington’s key players, Scott Suggs, Abdul Gaddy, Andrew Andrews and Desmond Simmons, all shoot less than 42%, which contributes most to their inefficient scoring. If Washington were a better rebounding team, they’d limit their opponents’ possessions and gain a few more of their own, giving the Huskies more chances to up their productivity. UW’s inefficiency scoring baskets could also be related to their inability to share and protect the ball.
Washington has a terrible assist/turnover ratio, at .9 per game. At less than 12 dimes per contest, the Dawgs rank 248th in the country in that category, which is outrageously disappointing for a team who had Pac-12 championship aspirations entering the season. In addition to their trouble sharing the ball, they have problems holding on to the ball, as they average more turnovers (13) than they do assists (11.8).
All of these stats go to show how inept their offense is, which UCLA should be able to take advantage of. The Huskies are scoring 69.9 points per game as a team, which is good for 8th in the Pac-12 conference. On paper, UCLA (with their 77 points per game) should dominate Washington offensively, but that’s why they play the game.
Washington has very gifted and experienced upperclassmen in C.J. Wilcox, Suggs and N’Diaye, and all it would take is a road upset to light a spark under this Huskies team. If these young Bruins can capitalize on UW’s shortcomings, it could very well lead to a much-needed victory for UCLA.