Stanford Looks To Bounce Back Against No. 17/16 UCLA Saturday At Pauley Pavilion
Jan. 30, 2009
Stanford Cardinal (13-5, 3-5 Pac-10)
No. 17/16 UCLA Bruins (16-4, 6-2 Pac-10)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (13-5, 3-5 Pac-10) tries to bounce back from its third one-point loss of the year when it battles No. 17/16 UCLA (16-4, 6-2 Pac-10) on Saturday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins have won four in a row in the series, including a sweep of three meetings last year that were decided by 10 points or less. UCLA and Stanford finished 1-2, respectively, in the Pac-10 last season.
Saturday's game can be heard live on KTRB AM 860 and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. Dave Flemming handles play-by-play duties while John Platz offers color commentary. The game will be televised nationally on ABC, with Terry Gannon (play-by-play) and Steve Lavin (analyst) providing coverage.
The month of February kicks off with a three-game homestand, beginning with a rematch against Washington State on Feb. 5 as the second half of Pac-10 play gets underway. Stanford plays five of its eight games in February at home.
Scouting No. 17/16 UCLA
No. 17/16 UCLA (16-4, 6-2 Pac-10) shook off an 86-75 loss at Washington last weekend with an impressive 81-66 victory over California on Thursday night at home. The Bruins have already suffered as many losses as all of last year but still remain a fixture in the national rankings. UCLA, 10-1 in home games so far, boasts an impressive offense that is averaging 75.1 points per game while shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from three-point territory. The Bruins are averaging only 32.9 rebounds per game but have racked up 175 steals. Players to watch include: Darren Collison (14.6 ppg, 52.8 percent from the field, 94.3 percent from the foul line, 107 assists, 35 steals), Josh Shipp (12.3 ppg, 39.7 percent from three-point territory), Jrue Holiday (9.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 63 assists, 30 steals) and Alfred Aboya (8.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 57.3 percent from the field).
Stanford All-Time vs. UCLA
UCLA owns a 130-89 edge in the series, which dates back to the 1924-25 campaign. Since posting a six-game winning streak that spanned from 2002-2005, Stanford has dropped six of the last seven meetings. UCLA swept all three meetings last year, winning 76-67 on the road, 77-67 in overtime at home and 67-64 in the Pac-10 Tournament championship game. Stanford last won at UCLA back on Jan. 20, 2005.
Who To Watch Against UCLA
In six career games, Anthony Goods is shooting 25-47 from the field (53.1-percent) and averaging 12.6 points per game. Goods has also knocked down 15 three-pointers, his most against any other Pac-10 club. Lawrence Hill has made 21-46 from the field while averaging 8.0 points per game in seven contests. Mitch Johnson is averaging 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in seven career meetings.
Shaking It Off
Since the start of the 2007-08 campaign, Stanford has demonstrated the ability to bounce back after a tough defeat. The Cardinal has dropped back-to-back games only three times during this stretch and sports an 8-3 record in such games since the start of last year. Stanford has not dropped three straight games since an 0-3 finish in 2006-07.
A Closer Look At The Nailbiters
Stanford has suffered five losses in league play, matching last year's total when the club finished 13-5 and took second in the Pac-10. Three of those five losses have been of the one-point variety and all have occurred on the road. The last time Stanford suffered at least three one-point losses was during the 1981-82 campaign, when the Cardinal fell to Marquette (66-65), Washington (53-52) and Arizona State (70-69). Prior to this year, Stanford's most recent one-point defeat came against Oregon State back on Feb. 24, 2005, in the form of an 84-83 setback.
Back At The Point
After sitting out both games of last week's homestand against Oregon and Oregon State with a lower right calf strain, Mitch Johnson returned to the starting lineup in Thursday's 70-69 loss at USC. Johnson performed well for the Cardinal in his first game back, scoring 10 points on 4-9 shooting with a pair of three-pointers while pulling down four rebounds and dishing out four assists in a season-high 36 minutes. Prior to missing those two contests last week, Johnson had played in every game of his four-year career.
Cardinal Participating In Coaches vs. Cancer Weekend
During Saturday's game at UCLA, Stanford coaches and support staff will participate in this year's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers weekend. Suits and Sneakers is a national Coaches vs. Cancer event designed to raise awareness about the fight against cancer and the American Cancer Society. By wearing sneakers, participating coaches help raise awareness about cancer and the importance that nutrition and physical activity play in reducing one's risk of the disease.