Well, if you were looking for big basketball games, you’ve come to the right place.
UCLA is entering what might prove to be the toughest week of games this season. Two games on the road, one a true road game and the other a neutral-site game. Both games are against ranked teams, and both games will provide UCLA an opportunity to gain a big non-conference win on the resume.
We start this trip today with a future conference foe in the Maryland Terrapins. Maryland is starting the season off strong under new coach Kevin Willard. Willard spent the past twelve seasons as head coach at Seton Hall, so he definitely knows what he’s doing from a coaching perspective, and already has Maryland playing strong basketball. The Terrapins knocked off the same Illinois team that beat UCLA earlier this month but have stumbled a bit of late, losing on the road at Wisconsin and a neutral site game to Tennessee where the Volunteers tried their best to blow a 17-point halftime lead.
The Maryland lineup is pretty consistent. All 10 games have featured the same five starters, and only three bench players have played more than 60 minutes this season, indicating a relatively short bench compared to what UCLA has trotted out this year. The Terps are led by the tandem of Jahmir Young and Donta Scott. Young is a transfer from Charlotte and leads the team in both points (156) and shot attempts (128). He’s ostensibly the point guard but plays more like a lead guard - his 34 assists would place him barely above Amari Bailey at UCLA, and 14 behind Tyger Campbell. Scott is not far behind Young as far as points (141) and shot attempts (120), but he has been Maryland’s workhorse as far as playing time and I imagine most Maryland observers would say that he has been their best player.
Outside of those two, the Bruins will need to contain Hakim Hart. Hart has been the only consistent outside shooter for Maryland this year - among players with at least 10 three-point attempts, Hart is the only one shooting above 40% on the season (43.2%). The fourth major scorer is post player Julian Reese, who is hitting an absurd 75% of his shots from the field this year. Reese will represent an interesting challenge for UCLA’s bigs, as he’s a solid rebounder who plays good defense. That said, he’s the most foul-prone player in the rotation, and UCLA might want to focus on getting him in foul trouble. The last player in the starting lineup is Donald Carey, who has been the team’s leader despite the poor shooting. Carey will make his living on the defensive end.
The Maryland bench has some intriguing options. Jahari Long is another deep-shooting threat for the Terps, though he has only taken eight attempts on the season. Ian Martinez is a transfer from Utah, giving Maryland one player that the Bruins will have some familiarity. Patrick Emilien is a solid rebounder but has struggled from the field. No other bench piece has played anything outside of spot minutes.
For UCLA to win this game, they’re really going to have to take advantage of any minutes where any of the bench pieces are on the floor. Maryland’s starting unit has been exceptional but the bench players have been merely passable, and the only teams that were able to take advantage of that drop-off in play also happen to be the two teams that beat the Terrapins in the past few weeks. In addition, they’ll need to run the offense as efficiently as possible, as Maryland’s aggressive defense has struggled against offenses that move the ball quickly.
If there is one benefit as well, this appears to be a game where UCLA’s usually-leaky perimeter defense might not be a major problem. Maryland does shoot a good amount of three-pointers but outside of Donta Scott, they are not very good at making those shots. Maryland lacks a true point guard, so this will be a game where UCLA’s defense should look to establish itself and get in passing lanes.
This is your UCLA men’s basketball at Maryland game thread. Here’s how to watch tonight’s game.
Opponent: #17 Maryland Terrapins (8-2)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 6-2
When: 6:07 pm PT, Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Where: XFINITY Center, College Park, MD
TV: FS1 with Jason Benetti and Bill Raftery
Live Stream: FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app
Satellite Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 83
Local Radio: AM 1150 with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
Thanks again for supporting The Mighty Bruin. Your paid subscriptions make this site possible. Questions, comments, story ideas, angry missives and more can be sent to @TheMightyBruin on Twitter.
Will tyger show up and play substantial minutes? Or will Andrews get the quick insert to try and win this game with true defense.
UCLA doesn’t have any bigs that are offensive threats, so getting the other bigs into foul trouble means we would have to play into the bigs underneath. So far this season that would be a bad idea as none of our bigs are offensive threats… so trying that now seems ill advised.
Hopefully jaquez can score buckets
And hopefully our perimeter defense doesn’t allow switches that give their best 3 pt shooter open looks like we did against Illinois when that one guy torched ucla in the second half with 6-7 3s… that’s what opposing coaches do to ucla defense. They find a player that’s hot and feed him all night to win the game. Will ucla adjust to their hot hand?
Uc regents approve UCLA’s move to the big 10 provided we make welfare payments to Berkeley lol so this matchup vs Maryland will be one well be seeing a lot in the future!
Should be a tough game, in their house! Go Bruins!
Tipoff at 6:12 pm
Just finished baking. Glad for the few extra minutes before tip off. Go Bruins!
Bruins need to bring the defensive energy tonight.
Let's go, Bruins!
Once again Tyger got a good shot but it didn't drop.
Thought Clark mighta got fouled there...
Thank God! B1G here we come!
didn't Maryland lower his shoulder on that charge?
Wow. Tgeses refs already.
Brick city early.
Refs seem to be helping Maryland tonight. Clark gets flattened, no call. Tyger establishes position, called for block.
We brought SPTRs with us!
Good offensive energy - just needs to knock down the open shots.
MD looks unprepared for our defense
Bruins are opening well!
Bona! I love it!
2 blocking fouls on Tyger now
Can we mention the REFS again?!!!!
Baptism by fire for Dylan Andrews coming up.
Looks like I’ll get what I asked for… see if Andrews can live up to a lot of minutes this game
Refs are letting the players play very physically
ok the refs are kinda sorta making up for their terrible calls/noncalls now.
we'll see how that goes, but Mick was rightfully livid at the refs in the first 9 minutes.
Good start - like defensive intensity!
Steal number 5!
Way to be patient, Singleton!
Singleton thru up a prayer and it was answered LOL
Throw it down, young man!!
Mcclendon seeing some first half action!
Bruins look more confident than we have seen recently.
We're getting some nice looks at the basket due to our suffocating defense!
wow what is Maryland doing?
But it's still to early to get excited. I got burned hard by hte Lakers last night LOL
We look too soft for the B1G.
I like Bailey playing PG
We need to score, or this crowd is gonna go wild
3 to 0 under the rim :(
McClendon saw that layup coming and sent that ball out!
Loving the defense!!
ucla calls a play for Bona against someone with 2 fouls but can't capitalize or draw a foul. He needs to get better for that.
David Singleton breakout game??