Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

Video: Ben Howland previews UCLA at Stanford

February 26, 2009 |  2:38 pm

UCLA enters tonight's game at Stanford in an unusual position -- looking up at the top of the standings. Although the Bruins didn't secure their three consecutive conference titles until the final weekend of the regular season, they also aren't used to this sort of hole. With four opponents left, they trail Washington by a game and a half.

The Huskies were able to pull ahead because UCLA has lost three of its last four games. It's the roughest stretch for the Bruins since January 2005, when they lost three in a row -- at Arizona, then to Stanford and Cal.

In order to get things going this weekend, UCLA will have to win on the road, which hasn't been a friendly place. They're 6-5 away from Pauley Pavilion.

Here's Ben Howland taking a look at tonight's game at The Farm:

Keep an eye on UCLA's shooting percentage in the home stretch -- on both ends of the court. While the Bruins are ranked second in the nation offensively, hitting 50.3% of their shots, their 45.1% allowed is far below the defensive expectations of Howland and the UCLA faithful.

Even when UCLA has been winning, defensive shooting percentage has remained an issue. In many games, the Bruins were able to mask the bad percentage by not allowing many shots. They lead the conference in steals, with 8.7 per game.

-- Adam Rose