The Washington Huskies visit Pauley Pavilion Thursday night hoping to build on recent success and banish the demons of inconsistency. The Huskies are fresh off of a 96-92 shootout win over Arizona State, after a four game losing streak that nearly eliminated the Dawgs from significant at-large postseason consideration. This weekend, in the land of glitter and stars, the Huskies hope to shine.
UCLA (16-6 overall, 6-3 conference) is led by freshman sensation Shabazz Muhammad. The 6'6" swingman (guard/forward) is averaging 18.4 points per game and nearly five rebounds per outing as well. He was recently added to the watch list for the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Muhammad is joined in the backcourt by freshman Jordan Adams for the youthful Bruins. Adams is averaging 15.2 points per game and contributing four boards per game.
UCLA's guards will attempt to outscore the waves of guard play that the Huskies offer up. C.J. Wilcox leads Washington (13-9, 5-4) in scoring at 19 per, but Scott Suggs, Abdul Gaddy, and super-sub Andrew Andrews have all contributed big games at times.
The Huskies' frontcourt has found new energy since Shawn Kemp Jr. has joined Aziz N'Diaye in the starting lineup. Kemp tallied 18 points against ASU in his best overall game to date.
Las Vegas lists the Bruins as a 7 1/2 point favorite. This one is a difficult one to figure, given both teams' proclivity to inconsistency. Let's take the points and use our winnings on a map of the homes of Hollywood stars of stage and screen.
Thursday's game will be carried on ESPN with Dave Pasch and UCLA legend Bill Walton on the call. Locally, the game will be broadcast over the radio by IMG College Sports Network and KJR Sportsradio 950 AM and 102.9 FM with Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton calling the action. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. P.S.T.