Scouting Report: UCLA frontcourt

UCLA's frontcourt is dangerous offensively and also presents a variety of looks. Read on for a closer look at what the Bruins have, struggle with, and more.

UCLA's front court is somewhat of a mixed bag because it has a strong ability to score, but has struggled defensively and on the glass this season.

The most talented forward on the team is Shabazz Muhammad, who is averaging 18 points and five rebounds per game on 45 percent shooting.

The freshman has pretty much been as good as advertised, at least from a scoring perspective. His defense leaves a little something to be desired and he is not a great passer, but Muhammad's scoring ability makes up for that depending on your perspective.

Muhammad's three-point shooting has been somewhat of a surprise, because it was not a big strength in high school. However, he is shooting 45 percent from behind the arc and is usually good for one or two of them each game.

When Muhammad is dangerous, it is because his floater is working. He has done a good job of developing the floater and mid-range jumper as his go-to weapons and has done so effectively. He does tend to struggle a little more with physical defenders, so it will be interesting to see how Solomon Hill approaches the defensive matchup.

It's not a coincidence that when Muhammad struggles, UCLA does too. He only had six points against Utah and that was a close win and his ten-point performance against Oregon could not save UCLA from losing that game. Muhammad's three lowest scoring performances have come in his last four games, so that could be something to watch as well.

In addition to Muhammad, Kyle Anderson has been a solid freshman. He came to UCLA with the belief that he would be running more point, but the play of Larry Drew has moved him to a hybrid forward role that sees him handling numerous positions.

Anderson is easily UCLA's best rebounder and in reality, he is probably its best passer as well. He is averaging nine points and nine rebounds per game to go along with four assists. Anderson's biggest issue is his ability to get past his defender because he completely lacks any kind of speed. However, he has had some success with it this season and it appears that his lack of speed actually hurts him more defensively.

The 6-foot-9 forward is going to do most of his damage in the lane and has a great jumper in the paint in which he uses his size to get it over his defender. Anderson has scored in double digits in four of his five Pac-12 games and in the two games in which he did not shoot well, still contributed on the glass or with his passing.

A closer look at his numbers reveals that Anderson actually struggled a bit with teams that like to get out in transition. He had five turnovers against Oregon and San Diego State, but did not turn it over against Utah and has good turnover numbers against teams that tend to play more of a half court set.

Moving on, one of the biggest surprises in the conference has been the play of Travis Wear, who has scored in double digits in his past seven games and has not shot below 50 percent in that span. His hot streak basically started with a 22-point performance against Missouri and he has added a 23-point performance against Colorado and scored 17 points in both Oregon games.

Wear is another interesting matchup because he does not really like to get inside and when he does, there is some physical struggle there. However, bigger guys also have difficulty guarding him because of his ability to step out and shoot.

UCLA excels with the pick and pop game and Arizona will almost certainly try to use Tarczewski to be physical with Wear because, if he can't, the Wildcats may be forced to go small in order to contend with that.

Travis has been much better than his brother David, but David is still a contributor for the Bruins and gets about 20 minutes each outing. David has only scored in double digits twice since the third game of the season, but his ceiling was shown against Missouri when he went 7-7 for 16 points and 6 rebounds with no turnovers in 24 minutes.

If David gets going, the possibility is there for him to be a dangerous player. However, that inconsistency is what has led him to getting inconsistent minutes as well.

Freshman Tony Parker is probably UCLA's most physical player, but he can't find any type of consistent minutes. He is likely good for about five per game but, with Arizona's size, it would not be a surprise to see Parker get some more playing time.

There was some indication that Parker would transfer, but he decided to stay and has still not been able to see the court much.

UCLA's forwards are good offensively but, like its guards, tend to struggle with physicality. Oregon's big men absolutely dominated the Bruins, but a solid offensive performance from Travis Wear kept them in the game. There are times in which Arizona likes the three-point shot a bit too much and against UCLA, it will make much more sense to be aggressive.

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