13.Jan.2011 Basketball: UCLA @ Oregon State
Hmm. Two wins, at home, versus the Arizona schools followed by two losses on the road against the Washington schools.
What to make of this? The short answer is: "who knows?"
The sample is way too small to form any conclusions, but it seems as if both Washington schools are better than the Arizona schools, so there's that; then factor in that both loses were away games. To me it's what one should expect from a young, talented team that is searching for their identity and confidence.
Now into town comes a vulnerable UCLA squad. While the Bruins are clearly down, it should be noted the Beavers have lost 11 straight to this program, dating back to 2005, and the Bruins hold an 86-34 historical advantage. However, the Bruins have issues. Lazeric Jones has a ruptured tendon in his finger, Josh Smith has attacked Pac-10 refs in the media (which will not win him any calls), and Ben Howland has moved to a zone defense in search of answers. Tyler Honeycutt is the best player for the Bruins. If OSU insists on the 1-3-1 expect him to make them pay.
That being said, I actually prefer the Beavs in this one. UCLA is the brand name and safe pick, but I can't shake the feeling that they're in the midst of an existential crisis that trumps Oregon State's sophomoric inconsistency. It won't be a blowout, but something along the lines of Beavs by 4 sounds about right to me.
Stream: None, check justin.tv after tip off.