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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - UCLA Bruins (Game 25)

The Bruins have lost four of their last five. Can Oregon State keep the pressure on a failing UCLA squad?

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at California John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Bruins (13-13)

  • Head Coach: Murry Bartow (Interim-1st Season)
  • Top Performer: Kris Wilkes (17.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG)
  • Points For: 78.0 PPG (64th)
  • Points Against: 76.5 PPG (T-291st)
  • Last Game/Streak: 104-80 Loss at Stanford (1L)

The Skinny

It’s been a messy season thus far for UCLA.

The Bruins’ storylines are known by this point, as the blue-blood program notably cut ties with head coach Steve Alford, thrust assistant coach Murry Bartow into an interim role and have rode the backs of a mismatched group of underclassmen with chemistry issues to a 13-13 overall record. Now, in the midst of conference play with a 6-7 mark against league foes, UCLA is trying to right the ship after dropping seven of their last ten games overall.

Surprisingly, Oregon State is probably not the team they want to see coming to town.

The Beavers have looked strong in their last two contests after dropping a strange home game to Stanford, as they handily took care of business against California and rival Oregon. The back-to-back victories have put the Beavers back in the NCAA Tournamen tbubble conversation with a 16-8 overall mark, but the weakness of the Pac-12 this year will have to be an obstacle the team overcomes.

It means that the boys from Corvallis simply can’t spoil chances like this to win on the road.

While the Bruins have looked less than stellar throughout the entirety of the campaign, there’s still enough pure talent on the team’s roster to have that breakthrough moment at just about any time.

UCLA forward and potential first-round NBA Draft pick, Kris Wilkes (17.3 PPG) is legitimately one of the league’s most coveted players, who should be able to match the versatility of the Beavers front-court and likely Pac-12 Player of the Year, Tres Tinkle. Around Wilkes, explosive guards like Jaylen Hands (13.0 PPG) and Jules Bernard (6.6 PPG) are both coming off a combined 48-point display, meaning their confidence should be at an all-time high, allowing pieces like the New York duo of center Moses Brown (10.5 PPG) and guard Prince Ali (9.6 PPG) to focus more on their all-around contributing roles.

However, when it comes down to it, it’ll be a match of a trending Beavers squad and a Bruins team with just about nothing left to lose, as the Westwood crew tries to avoid missing any sort of post-season action for the first time since the 2016 season.


Player To Watch

Moses Brown (Freshman) - A towering interior presence from New York City, seven-footer Moses Brown has been every bit of the five-star prospect he was hyped up to be so far for the Bruins this season. A shot-changer at the rim on defense, Brown has also found his way on the offensive end, where he shoots an extremely efficient 63.3% from the field. Currently third on the team in scoring with 10.5 points per game, he also leads the Bruins with 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest.

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Southern California
The size and length of true seven-footer Moses Brown on the inside for UCLA could cause problems for Oregon State.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

  • Date: Thursday, February 21st
  • Time: 8:00 PM PT
  • Location: Pauley Pavilion (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Coverage: Fox Sports 1