TV schedule: Saturday, February 6, 10:00 pm ET. Check Local Listings
Arena: Galen Center in Los Angeles, California
The UCLA Bruins 13-3 and 9-1 in the conference are first place in the PAC 12 and they’ve continued to win after they lost their best player Chris Smith for the season due to a torn ACL. The Bruins have 4 other players in double figures and are led by Jamie Jaquez with 12.6 points per game.
UCLA has a really balanced attack but the Quarterback of that is point guard Tyger Campbell who contributes 11.5 points per game. Campbell is also the PAC 12 leader in assist with 6.1 per game. He’s an excellent passer out of the pick and roll and he’s got a pretty good floater game.
What sets UCLA apart from other teams in the league is its offense. According to Kenpom they have a top 15 offense in college basketball and lead the conference in offensive efficiency in conference-only games.
The USC Trojans are 14-3 overall and 8-2 in the conference. They are coming off a close 72-66 win where Evan Mobley had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Mobley is the key player for USC the likely top-5 pick in the 2021 NBA is averaging 16.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. He’s a super mobile big who can shoot from deep, score in the post, handle the ball and he’s an excellent defender. He’s been compared to Jaren Jackson and Chris Bosh. Mobley has a chance to win PAC 12 Player of the Year and should win Freshman of the Year.
What stands out with this Trojan team is their size, outside of Tahj Eaddy and Ethan Anderson every player in USC’s rotation is at least 6’6. Being so tall is a factor of why USC”S defense is so successful. They have the 5th best two-point percentage in college basketball and top 10 in effective field goal percentage and block rate.
This should be a really close game, UCLA is gonna try to get other players outside of Mobley to beat them. I think USC wins in a close one and they will carry that momentum from the win against Stanford.
Prediction: USC 72, UCLA 69