UCLA Basketball vs. Stanford: Cardinal by the Numbers


Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The unranked UCLA Bruins (14-4, 3-2 Pac-12) are set to take on Stanford (12-5, 3-2 Pac-12) on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.

With both teams currently sitting at a game above .500 in conference play, the tilt between the two California squads is pretty critical in the grand scheme of the Pac-12 basketball race. Although Arizona looks poised to take the No. 1 spot (despite being a terrible academic institution!), the second spot looks wide open. Both the Cardinal and the Bruins are certainly contenders, and UCLA will face both Stanford and Cal (which currently sits at 5-0 in conference play).

With that, here are three numbers to keep in mind as the Bruins spank Stanford:


The rate at which Stanford shoots the three ball, putting Stanford in the top-five in three point percentage. Of the five Cardinal who have taken 20 threes or more on the season, only one has shot below 40 percent. Wingman Tony Brown is the main culprit, who’s taken a team-leading 55 threes, and has drained a team-leading (and rather jaw-dropping) 50.8 percent of them. Given UCLA’s mediocre three-point defense (evidenced by allowing opponents to shoot a 168th-ranked 34 percent from downtown), this could be a bit much for the Bruins to defend.


The number of turnovers Stanford commits per contest. This ranks in the top-30 in the country, meaning the Cardinal take pretty damn good care of the ball. Of course, this tendency is going to be tested against the Bruins, which has the second-most steals in the nation at a whopping 10.8 per game. Given UCLA’s transition offense is dependent upon forcing turnovers, how well Stanford takes care of the ball will determine how many Zach LaVine highlight dunks we’ll see.


The number of turnovers Stanford has forced this season. While the Cardinal take care of the ball rather well, they aren’t exactly earning extra possessions, with a turnover ratio that is basically one-to-one. UCLA takes care of the ball rather well, too, committing just 194 of them on the year, meaning precious plays will be extended or ended on the boards.