The UCLA basketball team has proven that they can beat up on weaker teams in the Pac-12, but now they have to try and beat the top dawgs in the conference and this Saturday they will get that chance against the Washington Huskies.
The UCLA basketball team is still trying to find their identity in the post-Alford ea, which has not been easy, but they are making strides with a few blowout victories. The only thing is, these blowouts have come against some of the worse teams in the Pac-12.
Though it is good that they are getting big wins, they have to put that same effort into beating teams in the top half of the Pac-12.
More from Go Joe Bruin
- UCLA Football: It’s time for the nation to meet Dante Moore
- UCLA Football: Where are they ranked heading into week 4
- UCLA Football: Position battle breakdown for Utah showdown
- UCLA vs. Utah: Location, time, prediction, and more
- UCLA Football: Highlights from Chip Kelly’s appearance on the Jim Rome Show
UCLA seems to have no problem taking care of business against lesser teams, but when they have come against more talented squads, they are not putting up the same type of numbers.
Currently, the Bruins are 5-3 in conference and tied for 5th place. They were in a worse position a week ago as Arizona State put them in their place at Pauley Pavilion, giving UCLA their third loss in a row. In the two games since, the Bruins turned things around with wins against Arizona and Washington State, allowing them to climb back up the Pac-12 standings.
If you have been watching UCLA since Pac-12 play started, you can see the difference in how they play in their wins and their losses. Though their opponents will always pose a threat, the outcome of the game is heavily dependant on the Bruins’ production. If they play selfish, loose, and uninspired, then you can expect a loss. If they play as a team, with fire, and determination, they will get the win.
So what will the Bruins do against the better squads in the Pac-12 going from this point forward? We will see this Saturday when UCLA travels to Seattle to take on Washington which is the best team in the conference right now with an 8-0 record.
- Record vs the bottom half of the Pac-12: 4-1 | Avg. point margin: 13.0
- Record vs the top half of the Pac-12: 1-2 | Avg. point margin: -1.0
The Huskies are playing some of their best basketball in years, but they are not without fault. We also have to consider that six of their wins have come against teams in the bottom half of the Pac-12. Although, they did make a statement last night when the downed the then-2nd place USC Trojans, 75-62. This was the same Trojan team that dominated the Bruins a few weeks ago.
Lucky for UCLA, they have been playing better basketball in the last two games, so it is anyone’s guess what will happen at UW this weekend.
UCLA has to continue to work together. That is the main key. Against Wazzu, five Bruins scored in double-digits as they a solid job of getting everyone involved. Maintaining that cohesiveness is paramount to getting a win, in Saturday’s game and going forward… but that is up to the players.