The UCLA Bruins (7-8, 2-1) will face the Stanford Cardinal (7-7, 1-1) at 3:00 Saturday afternoon in Maples Pavilion on the Stanford campus. The Bruins are coming off of a stirring 76-75 overtime victory against Cal while Stanford at the same time defeated USC 54-53 in an equally exciting affair.
The Cardinal were picked by most writers to finish eighth or ninth in the Pac-10 conference, but have generally played a little better than that so far this season. They are 6-2 at home with the win over USC. The Cardinal are led by 6-7 wing Landry Fields. Fields is one of the leading scorers in the conference averaging over 22 points per game (ppg) and 9 rebounds per game (rpg). Fields is an excellent all around player who does everything well on the floor. Stopping Fields will be one of the keys for the Bruins to defeat Stanford.
The starting guards for Stanford are 6-4 sophomore Jeremy Green and 6-3 sophomore Jarrett Mann. Green is a pure shooter who is having an excellent season so far with 16.7 ppg and shooting 42% from the three point line. Green was the high scorer against USC with 17 points. Mann is the point guard and is averaging over 7 ppg. Also getting considerable playing time at the point is 6-0 senior Drew Shiller, who is a pure point guard who is hitting 50% from the three point line so far this year.
The bigs for Stanford are 6-9 sophomore Jack Trotter and Andrew Zimmerman who is also a 6-9 sophomore. These front court players are similar in that they can play inside and on the perimeter and bring a good defensive presence. Zimmerman is a junior college transfer and is averaging and 6.6 ppg and about 4 rpg. Trotter, who only weighs a little over 200 pounds, is averaging about 6 ppg and 4 rpg. There may be opportunities for the Bruin frontcourt, particularly Reeves Nelson, to dominate these guys.
UCLA should be healthy and at full strength for this game. It is expected that once again Tyler Honeycutt will be the starter at small forward with Malcolm Lee starting at the point and Jerime Anderson coming off of the bench.
Stanford is a sound defensive team who may play some zone against the Bruins. UCLA will need to shoot the ball well from the outside as well as get the ball inside to Nelson and others. It will also be important to prevent Fields and Green from having big shooting nights. If the Bruins are ready to play with a maximum effort, they should accomplish these goals and defeat the Cardinal in a close game.