The UCLA Bruins are playing the California Golden Bears for the second time this season, and I will tempt fate right off the bat and say that if UCLA shows up focused for this game, they should be able to take it handily.
Maybe this is based on their previous meeting, where the Bruins raced out to an early lead that they never relinquished, eventually winning by 20 points. And while that UCLA team is not the same one that will be on the court today due to the loss of Chris Smith, who scored a game-high 21 points in that meeting, the Golden Bears are also down a key player, as Matt Bradley looks like he will still be out with an ankle injury.
The Bears have something resembling momentum going into this game, as they were able to earn a split on the Rocky Mountain Road Trip when they came back from 15 points down to knock off Utah last Saturday. With Bradley gone, the Bears have had more of a well-rounded approach to scoring, with Andre Kelly and Makale Foreman stepping up in his absence. That said, Bradley’s absence leaves a huge hole in the UC Berkeley attack, as he was the only all-conference level player the Bears had.
This is not to say UCLA has nothing to fear here. Their game against Utah showed that, at the very least, UC Berkeley has a ton of heart and can make things difficult for their opponent. That said, they are sitting at 2-6 in the conference for a reason, and the lack of truly close games against the solid opponents they’ve faced in Oregon and Colorado is probably more indicative of how this game should go rather than their previous game against Utah.
For the Bruins, this game represents a great opportunity for a “get right” game. UCLA should be able to run away with this one, so it would not surprise me to see Coach Cronin stick with some players longer than he normally would in order to get them more reps and help them figure things out in a game setting. Similarly, I would expect this to be an excellent opportunity to sneak Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez some rest.
The TuneIn player won’t embed here on Substack, but you can open another tab to listen. Today’s game is on ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein and Cory Williams 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 UC Berkeley Golden Bears game thread.
Opponent: UC Berkeley Golden Bears (7-8, 2-6)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 142-103
When: 6:00 pm PT, Thursday, January 21, 2020
Where: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
TV: ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein and Cory Williams
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com and the ESPN App
Radio/Audio:AM 570 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy MurraySatellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 972 & XM Ch. 382And, of course, here in The Mighty Bruin Game Thread!
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
Game Notes:UCLAUC Berkeley
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