Tonight the UCLA men’s basketball team hosts the Stanford Cardinal at Pauley Pavilion at 7 pm PT. Tonight’s game will be a tough one because the Cardinal have lost just two games so far this season.
One of those losses came against Butler while the other came against Kansas. So far in conference play, Stanford is undefeated with wins against UC Berkeley, Washington and Washington State, all at home.
In his fourth season with the Cardinal, Jerod Haase has the Cardinal off to their best start since Mike Montgomery was the coach of the Cardinal.
Stanford is led by junior forward Oscar da Silva, who leads the team with an average of 16.5 points per game. da Silva also leads the team in rebounding with 5.6 per game. Despite that, it’s probably freshman guard Tyrell Terry who is the most dangerous player the Bruins will face tonight.
Not only is Terry second on the team in points and rebounds per game with 15.3 and 5.5, respectively, he also has the ability to beat the Bruins from three-point range where he is a 41.6% shooter.
As if that’s not enough, Terry is just the third-best three-point shooter on the team. Junior guard Daejon Davis is second-best, at least from a percentage standpoint. Davis is shooting 42.1% from behind the arc, but he has not taken as shot as many three-point shots as Terry or Spencer Jones. Jones leads the Cardinal both in three-point shots taken as well as three-point shooting percentage. His percentage is 43.8%.
That means that the Cardinal have three guys who they can use to torch the Bruins from outside, if need be. Expect Haase to use these guys to his advantage as UCLA still hasn’t found a way to stop the three-point shot.
That’s going to put more pressure on both the Bruin defense as well as the offense. UCLA will need to find a way to create turnovers and otherwise disrupt the Cardinal offense before they are able to pass the ball outside for the three if UCLA wants a chance to win tonight. The Bruins’ offense is also going to be under pressure to score more points if the Cardinal is successful at getting the ball outside for the three. Will Coach Cronin give Jake Kyman more minutes tonight, knowing that Stanford will probably use three-pointers to win?
During his press conference yesterday, Coach Cronin, as usual, emphasized defense as being the most critical aspect of the game. He pointed out the fact that Stanford leads the Pac-12 in turnovers and assists. “They’re 14-2 because of their defense,” Cronin said.
Here’s Coach Cronin’s press conference from yesterday, courtesy of UCLA Athletics:
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