Hoops Preview - UCLA

After Thursday night's 80-58 win over USC, Washington secured at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title. In a little more than 12 hours from now, the Huskies will either keep a share of the spoils or take the crown all to themselves. And all that stands in their way is the UCLA Bruins, who smoked Washington State by 32 to set up this intriguing battle Saturday at the LA Sports Arena

The game will tip at 11 a.m. PT and will be carried live nationally on television via CBS.

UCLA, 17-13 and 10-7, is led by the solid all-around play of Lazeric Jones, although he is battling a sore ankle going into Saturday's game. The 6-foot-1 guard is averaging 13.2 points on 44 percent shooting. In addition to the scoring, the senior from Chicago is pulling in 4.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals a game. He is No. 71 nationally in steals per contest.

Down in the paint, UCLA has three highly talented options: Travis Wear, David Wear and Josh Smith.

Travis Wear, a 6-foot-10 sophomore transfer from North Carolina, is averaging 11.4 points a game on 53 percent shooting. He is also grabbing 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game. Nationally, he is No. 42 in offensive rebound percentage (14.1), No. 66 in floor percentage (59.6) and No. 77 in offensive rebounds per game. Floor percentage is the number of scoring possessions divided by number of total possessions.

His Twin, David, is nearly identical in stats, averaging 10.6 points a game on 51 percent shooting from the field. He is pulling in 6.1 rebounds a game, but just 0.2 blocks.

The most imposing presence of the three inside, Smith is a mammoth to handle. While the highly-touted 6-foot-10 sophomore has been a disappointment overall this season, he is still averaging 10.2 points on 59 percent shooting and 5.1 rebounds in just 17.7 minutes per game on the court. The reason for his lack of minutes is mainly due to an inability to stay out of foul trouble, averaging 3.1 per game. Despite that, the Kent, Wash. native ranks No. 15 nationally in offensive rebound percentage (16), No. 18 in free throw rate (71.7), No. 24 in possession percentage (30.9), No. 24 in possession percentage (30.9) and No. 42 in field goal percentage. All of those numbers rank Smith in the top three in the conference in each category.

Like Jones, Smith is also a little banged up and considered questionable for Saturday's game, although Howland did tell reporters Friday afternoon that Smith told him he would be fine to play.

Beyond those four, Tyler Lamb and Jerime Anderson will be key players for the Bruins.

As a team, like a typical Ben Howland group, the Bruins do a lot of things well. They rank nationally No. 17 in field goal point percentage (60), No. 28 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23), No. 29 in 3-point field goal percentage (38.5), No. 36 in block percentage (8.6) and No. 37 in floor percentage (54.9).

Historically, the series has been dominated by UCLA, 91-40. Washington is also only 7-59 against the Bruins when playing in their house. Husky Head Coach Lorenzo Romar - once a top assistant for the Bruins - is also only 2-7 while playing UCLA on the road.

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