Scouting Report: UCLA Guards

UCLA's guards have been one of its strengths this season. Read on for a more complete look at them and more.

UCLA has been somewhat of an inconsistent team this season, but it is made up of numerous parts and is relatively balanced.

Much of its offensive success is due to the play of point guard Larry Drew. While he is not a scorer by any means, as shown by his six points per game, Drew is averaging eight assists per game and only has 33 turnovers this season.

UCLA's other players do a great job of getting to where Drew wants to go, thus a lot of his assists are more of the drop pass as opposed to him getting deep into the lane and dishing it out.

That is not necessarily an insult, but rather says that Drew is not the type of player to slice through Arizona's defense like a player such as Jahii Carson can do.

Drew leads UCLA in minutes and if you were to ask Ben Howland who he thinks the most vital player on the Bruins is, there is a good chance that he would say Drew.

The biggest negative to Drew's game is probably his ability to defend. He is not a high level defender by any means and has difficulty staying in front of quicker guards.

UCLA's help defense tends to be more important when the Bruins face quicker guards and it will be interesting to see how Mark Lyons attacks him.

One of the bigger surprises for UCLA has been the play of freshman Jordan Adams, who is averaging 15 points on 45 percent shooting.

Adams has slowed down a bit as of late, as he has shot above 38 percent only once in his last seven games. In addition, Adams scored two points against Oregon State and seven against Oregon on a combined 1-12 shooting.

Adams is only a 33 percent shooter from behind the arc, but does have the ability to shot well there once he gets going. His biggest strength, however, is his ability to shoot the mid-range jumper.

Adams does a pretty good shot at getting up his shot on his own and also excels using screens as well. He is also a momentum player in that if he struggles to make his first few attempts, there is a good chance that his overall game will suffer because of it.

We could classify Shabazz Muhammad as a guard, but we will choose to address him as a forward because of the way he plays. Thus, the only guard left on the roster that UCLA uses is Norman Powell.

Powell comes off the bench and plays a little over 20 minutes per game. Powell may be the best guard defensively and if the Bruins are struggling in that area, Howland has no issue putting him in for extended minutes.

He is a decent shooter, making 48 percent of his six attempts per game. He is not a real big threat behind the arc or really does much else besides score and defend, but he does well with what UCLA needs him to do.

Powell has scored in double digits in two of his six conference games, which is a sign of his consistency.

He is certainly an athlete, but the teams that have forced him away from the basket are the ones that have defended him the best.

UCLA's guards are easily their strength and the Bruins just are not going to win if they do not get a good effort from them.

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