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December 31, 2005The banged up Bruins (11-1, 1-0) will take on Cal (7-3, 1-0), both teams started off conference play on the right foot with victories. UCLA wants to continue their winning ways at home as their record at Pauley Pavilion is a perfect 8-0. Keeping their undefeated home record against a talented Bear team could prove to be difficult if the Bruins are without their super point guard Jordan Farmar.
Farmar sprained his right ankle in Stanford game during the second half and his status could be game-time decision. Farmar aggravated the same ankle that he injured earlier in the year that forced him to sit out two games.
If Farmar can't go then the reins to the offense will be handed to freshman point guard Darren Collison who is coming off a career high eight assist game against Stanford.
The Bruins will have their hands full trying to contain Cal sophomore forward Leon Powe (6-8, 240).
Powe led Cal in their victory over USC on Thursday with a spectacular performance that saw him score 20 points and grab 14 rebounds. On the season, Powe leads the Bears in scoring with 20.7 average and in rebounds averaging 10.2 per game.
You can call Powe, Mr. Double/Double as he now has 18 career double/doubles and has led Cal in rebounding in 30 of the 33 games he has played, including five of six this year. Powe first underwent a pair of surgeries on his left knee in 2004 that kept him out all of the '04-05 campaign.
Just a reminder Powe was the Pac 10 Freshman of the Year for the 2004 season.
Another player the Bruins better be ready for is junior guard Ayinde Ubaka (6-4, 200). Ubaka is averaging 13.5 points per game and chipping in 3.9 assists. He has hit on 22-58 three-pointer hitting 37.9% from beyond the arc.
Senior guard Richard Midgley (6-3, 195) can really score. He has scored 1,024 career points for the Bears and is No. 3 on the all-time three point list hitting 155 during his career. Midgley, originally from the United Kingdom, is averaging 11.7 points per game and 3.6 assists.
Former Bruin great Jamal Wilkes son, Omar Wilkes (6-2, 198) is sophomore guard who has obviously inherited his father's dead-eye shooting ability. Wilkes is a lethal three-point shooter and is hitting on 55.0% (11-20) from three-point range, which good enough for best in Pac-10. Wilkes is averaging 10.3 points per game and 2.1 assists.
At center the Bears have a big body in sophomore DeVon Hardin (6-11, 235). Hardin was the Golden Bear MVP when scored 23 points and had 14 rebounds against Northeastern. On the season, Hardin is averaging 11.4 points per game and 7.2 rebounds.
If the Bears are able to prevail against the No. 11 rated Bruins it will be the first time since 2000 that Cal would be able to sweep the two Los Angeles schools on the road.
If Farmar can't play, Arron Afflalo will have to continue his fine play. Afflalo is having a monster season averaging 18.4 points per game.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will also have to continue his impressive ways. Another good game out recently back in action Josh Shipp and center Lorenzo Mata will also help the Bruins cause.
Besides Farmar, other injuries of note are, Ryan Wright who sprained his right ankle in the first half against Stanford, but came back to play. Wright is expected to play today.
Ryan Hollins will not play (groin strain) and either will Michael Fey who is nursing a right ankle sprain.