Some may think that No.5 UCLA (24-3, 11-3 Pac 12) could be heading into a trap game when they tipoff against ASU (13-15, 6-9 Pac 12) at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona. The Bruins are looking for the season sweep.
With first-place Arizona (25-3, 14-1 Pac 12) on deck, could the Bruins be looking past the Sun Devils with a huge contest against the Wildcats on the horizon?
UCLA Coach, Steve Alford, in his weekly presser didn’t think that would be a problem. The Bruins have done a very good job focusing on the task at hand and that task is the Sun Devils.
The Bruins took care of business the first time around winning handily 102-80, but there was an eight minute stretch in the second stanza that allowed the Sun Devils back into the game and it was during a part of the season that the UCLA was having lapses, one that cost them their first loss to Oregon on a buzzer beater.
“We didn’t play well during that stretch, but sometimes you have to credit their performance,”Alford said after the previous game with ASU. “They [ASU] made shots during that stretch. They drew fouls during that stretch. I think that stuff is going to happen.”
Alford had reason to be pleased with the first game against the Sun Devils. The Bruins had 30 assists, scored 102 points and had five players scoring in double-figures.
One that is for sure, the Sun Devils are an explosive offensive team and have players who are among the Pac 12’s top scorers. Senior guard, Torian Graham (6-5, 195) is second in the conference in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game (ppg). Junior guard, Tra Holder (6-1, 180) is fourth in the Pac 12 scoring 17.2 ppg and junior guard Shannon Evans II (6-1, 160) in tenth in the league averaging 15.8 ppg.
The Sun Devils are averaging 79.3 ppg, their best showing since the 1997-98 season. ASU stands fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring. The Sun Devils do a good job at the foul line shooting 74.2 per cent. This fourth best in the Pac 12. ASU does a great job taking care of the basketball averaging only 10.6 turnovers a game that is best in the Pac 12 Conference.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05PM PST and will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch handling the play-by-play andUCLA great Bill Walton analyzing the action.
UCLA’s backup station, AM 1150 will broadcast the contest if you are stuck in Los Angeles traffic. Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and another all-time Bruin great, Tracy Murray (analyst) will be in their usual chairs.
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channel 134/Ch. 197 and SIRIUS App. Channel: Ch. 959 will broadcast the game on satellite.