How To Watch, Game Preview and Game Thread: #3 Arizona Wildcats at #7 UCLA Bruins

Johnny Juzang earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for his performances last week. UCLA is going to need another game like those from him tonight against Arizona. (Photo Credit: Scott Chandler/uclabruins.com)

Tonight, the UCLA Bruins welcome fans back to Pauley Pavilion for the first time since their December 1st game against Colorado. And, what a matchup it is!

The Wildcats have bounced back from the Sean Miller era faster than anyone could have predicted under new head coach Tommy Lloyd. In fact, Lloyd, who had previously spent his entire coaching career as an assistant at Gonzaga, won his first eleven games before finally losing a road game against the University of Tennessee. Among those first eleven wins was a game against then-#4 Michigan. The Wildcats didn’t just beat the Wolverines. They crushed them, 80-62.

The Wildcats have also won their first six Pac-12 games under Lloyd and, now, Lloyd brings them to Pauley Pavilion for the first time.

Let’s look at the Arizona starting five.

Starting Five

Interestingly, the University of Arizona will only start one player from the state of Arizona tonight. In fact, they will only start one player from the US. The other four starters are all foreign-born players.

Sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin hails from Montreal, Canada and he leads the Wildcats in scoring with 17.5 points per game. Mathurin has actually gotten better as the schedule moved to Pac-12 play. Mathurin is averaging 17.8 ppg in conference games. He also leads the Wildcats in three-point percentage with a season percentage of 38.6%. He has shot 41.7% from behind the arc in conference play, which helps explain the increase in his scoring average during that stretch.

Junior center Christian Koloko is second on the Wildcats in scoring with a season average of 13.2 pointer per game. Like Mathurin, he has a higher scoring average in conference games with 13.7 ppg. The 7 foot, 1 inch tall Koloko is originally from Cameroon. He leads the team in rebounds with 7.2 rpg for the season and 7.5 rpg in conference play and he leads the Pac-12 in blocks with 55.

Estonian sophomore guard Kerr Kriisa is the third expected Arizona starter averaging in double figures in points with an average of 11.5 ppg. Unlike Mathurin and Koloko, Kriisa does not have a higher scoring average in conference games, but he is close with a conference scoring average of 10.8 ppg. He also leads the team in assists with an average of 5.0 per game.

The fourth foreign-born starter tonight will be either sophomore guard Pelle Larsson from Sweden or Lithuanian-born Azuolas Tubelis. Tubelis was injured in Arizona’s game last week against Stanford and missed his first game of the season on Saturday against UC Berkeley. Larsson, who transferred from Utah after last season, filled in by playing more than 21 minutes and putting up nine points, but after Tubelis’ ankle injury against Stanford, he played more than 33 minutes and scored 13 points. For the season, Larsson tends to run either hot or cold and his season scoring average of 6.5 points reflects that.

Finally, we come to lone Arizona starter from the state. That’s sophomore guard Dalen Terry who is from Phoenix. Terry’s another Wildcat whose conference scoring average of 7.5 ppg is higher than his season average of 6.9 ppg. Terry is also second on the team in rebounds per game in conference games with an average of 5.8 rpg.

Outlook

The key to tonight’s game is that UCLA is going to have to play two complete halves of basketball. Playing a great first half, like the Bruins did on Saturday against Colorado, only to let the Buffaloes come within one point late in the game isn’t going to cut it.

In fact, UCLA will need to play tough defense all game long. The only game Arizona has lost was when the Volunteers held them to less than 74 points. The Wildcats’ season average is 88.4 points. So, it will be tough to win if the Bruins can’t hold UofA under 74 points.

All of that said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about tonight’s game. While it has the possible makings of a knockdown, dragout fight, after watching the Bruins last week, I’m afraid that the Bruins may get blown out at home. I hope I’m wrong.

Listen to the Game With TMB!

TuneIn.com now has UCLA’s games listed as “premium” content. So, rather than using TuneIn, you can just listen through the official website like we have done with the small sports for a long time in order to listen to Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray call today’s game, but why would you want to? Yes, you guessed it! National treasure Bill Walton is working the game tonight with Dave Pasch on the ESPN. How could you not want to listen to Big Red? But if you don’t, just be sure to right-click on it so that you can open up another tab and have it going while you chat in the comments below. Listen to today’s game online.

In the meantime, here’s how to watch today’s game:

This is your #3Arizona Wildcats at #7 UCLA Bruins game thread.

#7 UCLA Men’s Basketball (13-2, 5-1)

  • Opponent: #3 Arizona Wildcats (16-1, 6-0)

  • Series Record: UCLA leads, 61-44

  • When: 8:00 pm PT, Tuesday, January 24, 2022

  • Where: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA

  • TV: ESPN with Dave Pasch, Bill Walton and Molly McGrath

  • Live Stream: WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app

  • Radio:
    AM 570 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray

    Satellite Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 81 (UCLA Call)

  • Audio Stream:
    uclabruins.com

  • Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast

  • Game Notes:
    UCLA
    Arizona

Go Bruins!!!


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