If UCLA is going to avoid slipping to .500, its primary goal Saturday will be to contain Jimmer Fredette.
To put it plainly, the 6'2" senior, who hails from Glens Falls, New York, is rather good, averaging 23.7 points and 4.1 assists per game for a team ranked No. 18 in the country. Presently, his team is undefeated and its latest win was a 22-point thrashing of Arizona in Salt Lake City. In that game, Fredette scored 33 points and recorded a career-high nine rebounds, as well.
At this point in the season, little doubt remains that the Cougars are amongst the best 25 teams in the nation.
UCLA, on the other hand, has been on a bit of a down slide since opening the season 3-0. In their last six games, the Bruins have won just twice, and as a result, many message board geeks have been quick to label Saturday's contest against the Cougars, a part of the Wooden Classic, as a "must-win game."
Despite a 9-4 overall record in the Wooden Classic, the Bruins have won just once when unranked and last year fell to Mississippi State by a score of 72-54. Historically, they've owned the one-day tournament, but recent years haven't been particularly, as evidenced by Ben Howland essentially pleading with fans to show up for the game.
Yet, a win remains a distinct possibility considering the Bruins' strong play in the interior, which could pose problems for a shorter BYU team. For UCLA, its top two scorers and rebounders are 6'8" forwards Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson, who combine to average 29.1 points and 16.7 boards. Another advantage may lie with center Joshua Smith, who in his last four games, has averaged 12.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
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