Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pac-10 Tournament Game 6



WHEN/WHERE: 8:30 p.m. tonight, Staples Center


WASHINGTON STATE (17-14, 9-10 Pac-10)

Wildcats starting lineup Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Taylor Rochestie (Sr.) 13.3 3.6 4.7
G Marcus Capers (Fr.) 1.4 2.3 1.2
F Klay Thompson (Fr.) 13.0 4.0 1.8
F Nikola Koprivica(Jr.) 3.3 2.5 1.6
C Aron Baynes (Sr.) 12.2 7.5 0.6

UCLA (24-7, 13-5)

Bruins starting lineup Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Darren Collison (Sr.) 14.8 2.5 5.0
G Josh Shipp (Sr.) 14.4 3.0 1.6
G Jrue Holiday(Fr.) 8.6 3.7 0.6
F Nikola Dragovic (Jr.) 9.2 4.0 1.5
C Alfred Aboya (Sr.) 10.1 6.0 0.6

WHAT TO KNOW: A battle of tempos and strong defenses conclude the night at Staples Center and despite the dramatic differences between these two schools -- one is in LA and the other is in Pullman, Wash. (have you ever been to Pullman). As former coach George Raveling once said, "It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from there." -- the similarities are striking, starting with the defensive philosophy. The matchup between Collison and Rochestie should be an interesting one because both are scorers who have habits of hot streaks. Rochestie was brilliant in the previous meeting against UCLA while Collison is consistently a productive scorer. It will make waiting for the first three games worth it. ... Also look for Baynes against Aboya and how the two matchup burliness against athleticism. ... The Cougars are likely already in the NIT and a victory tonight may give them a first-round home game.

WHO TO WATCH: Dragovic is a late bloomer whom few expected to make the impact this season that he has. He burned Washington State in the first meeting and his 3-point shooting make UCLA tough to defend because he stretches the floor. A couple of long-range bombs for Dragovic make for a long night for the Cougars.

HEAD TO HEAD: This is the third meeting between the two clubs and each team won on the road. Dragovic scored 20 points and the Bruins staved off a WSU surge in the late going for a 61-59 win at the Palhouse on Jan. 22. Rochestie had the game of his career, tallying 33 points, including five 3-pointers, as he single-handedly carried the Cougars to an 82-81 win on Feb. 21. The Bruins played their worst game of the season defensively.

WASHBURN'S PICK: The Bruins are the better team and the Cougs finally run out of gas in the second half 78-66 UCLA.

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