Tonight, the UCLA Bruins visit the Arizona Wildcats at 6 pm on ESPN.
The Bruins remain undefeated in conference play after beating Arizona State in overtime on Thursday. Meanwhile, Arizona is looking to salvage the weekend after losing to Southern Cal, 87-73.
If the Bruins can win tonight, it will be UCLA’s fourth consecutive victory over the Wildcats. Another UCLA win will help cement Mick Cronin’s dominance over Sean Miller.
Let’s look at the Wildcats’ starting five.
U of A is led by a pair of junior guards who are both averaging at least 12.7 points per game. James Akinjo leads the team with an average of 12.9 ppg while redshirt junior Jemarl Baker, Jr. is averaging 12.7 ppg. Akinjo is also the team’s assists leader with an average of 5.4 per game.
The remaining three starters are all underclassmen. Redshirt sophomore forward Jordan Brown average 10.0 points per game while also average 5.7 rebounds per game while true freshman Azuolas Tubelis is averaging 10.5 points per game and leads the team with an average of 5.9 rebounds per game.
True freshman Dalen Terry rounds out the top five. Terry’s 13 steals is second on the team. Freshman Bennedict Mathurin looks to be the biggest bench threat for the ‘Cats. He is actually third in scoring on the team with an average of 10.6 ppg while graduate transfer Terrell Brown, Jr. can be counted on for a solid 8.3 points per game off the bench.
This year’s Arizona team isn’t particularly good at shooting threes. As a team, they are shooting just 35.6% from behind the arc and the team’s two guys with the most shot attempts are both making less than 36.5%. Baker has made the most threes on the team, but he’s shooting just 36.4% while Akinjo is shooting just 32.8% from three.
In addition to being the team’s highest scorer, Akinjo is also their best defender. He leads the team in both steals and turnovers with 18 and 27, respectively.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that recent freshman enrollee Mac Etienne will make his debut for UCLA tonight. He won’t see many minutes, but what better way to introduce the heralded freshman to UCLA basketball than to play in a few minutes in a big rivalry game like this one.
The TuneIn player won’t embed here on Substack, but you can open another tab to listen. Today’s game is on ESPN with Roxy Bernstein and national treasure Bill Walton calling the game. If you would prefer to listen to Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray call today’s game instead you can listen to today’s game online.Join your fellow Bruin fans discussing today’s game below.
This is your UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats game thread.
Opponent: Arizona Wildcats (9-2, 3-2)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 59-44
When: 6:00 pm PT, Saturday, January 9, 2021
Where: McKale Center, Tucson, AZ
TV: ESPN with Roxy Bernstein and Bill Walton
Live Stream: WatchESPN.comand the ESPN app
Radio/Audio:AM 570 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy MurraySatellite Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 373 (Arizona Call)And, of course, in The Mighty Bruin Game Thread!
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
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