MATCHUP: Colorado Buffaloes (19-8, 8-6 Pac-12 Conference) at UCLA Bruins (14-12, 5-8).
GAME TIME: Saturday, 9 p.m. MST, Pauley Pavilion.
BROADCAST: Radio — 850 AM; TV — Fox Sports 1.
COACHES: Colorado — Tad Boyle, sixth season (127-76, 183-142 overall); UCLA — Steve Alford, third season (64-35, 527-270 overall).
LEADERS: Colorado — Scoring: F/C Josh Scott, Sr., 16.7 ppg; Rebounding: Scott, 8.8 rpg; Assists: G Dom Collier, So., 2.9 apg. UCLA — Scoring: G Isaac Hamilton, Jr., 16.8 ppg; Rebounding: F/C Tony Parker, Sr., 8.9 rpg; Assists: G Bryce Alford, Jr., 5.4 apg.
NOTABLE: UCLA leads the all-time series 9-2, including a 7-0 mark at home...Wesley Gordon averaged 10.5 points and 11 rebounds in two games against the Bruins last year...Bryce Alford leads the Pac-12 with an .845 free throw percentage...After going 3-for-4 on Wednesday at USC, CU's George King increased his league-leading 3-point percentage to .463. Collier ranks second at .452, though his 73 attempts are the fewest among the league's top 15...After missing two and a half games due to an ankle injury, Scott came off the bench to make 6-of-8 shots and score 17 points Wednesday against USC. Scott is likely to return to the starting lineup against UCLA.
LOS ANGELES — Given how the Colorado Buffaloes took on a deer-in-headlights look once USC shifted to a zone defense late in Wednesday's collapse, CU can expect upcoming opponents to employ similar tactics.
Yet considering the array of the Buffs' perimeter shooters that generally have performed well throughout the 2015-16 campaign, zone defenses are a look that should make a team that leads Pac-12 Conference in 3-point percentage collectively salivate.
It is a shortcoming coach Tad Boyle hopes his club figures out in a hurry, as the Buffs attempt to shake off their discouraging loss at USC by salvaging a split in Los Angeles at UCLA Saturday night.
"They went to that zone with seven and a half minutes to go, and we just didn't handle it well," head coach Tad Boyle said. "The thing is, we're a good zone offensive team. We've proven it this year. Sometimes we handle it well. Sometimes we don't. We didn't other night.
"We've got good players. We've got good shooters. We're one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the league. We should lick our chops. It's all mental."
CU will look to rebound against a UCLA team that has lost three of its past four games and five of its past seven. For about 32 minutes the Buffs put together arguably their best road performance of the Pac-12 schedule against the Trojans, only to be done in during the waning minutes by a tentative offense and a slew of turnovers that led to a game-closing 31-10 run by USC.
"I think everybody's aware of where we have to get better," CU senior Josh Scott said. "I think people want to correct it, but I think the only way to tell if these problems are corrected is playing in games. So we'll have to wait until tomorrow night."
UCLA is coming off a two-point loss at home Thursday night against Utah and features the sort of high-scoring guards that have given the Buffs trouble all season in juniors Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford. Both players rank among the top six scorers in the Pac-12, with Hamilton ranking fourth at 16.8 points a game and Alford sixth with 16.2 points per game. The Bruins also boast a solid interior presence in senior Tony Parker, who is third in the league in rebounding at 8.9 per game and also has recorded more offensive rebounds than any player in the conference.
"There was a lot of energy at practice yesterday and (Friday)," guard Dom Collier said. "We're looking forward to getting the taste out of our mouths. But they are, too. We just have to go out and play our game. We've played against a lot of good guards this year, so we're not going to see anything new."
One day after his contract was extended an additional year through the 2020-21 season, Boyle reiterated his desire to remain a Buff for life.
"I'm really appreciative of (chancellor) Phil DiStefano and (athletic director) Rick George," Boyle said. "I'm honored to be the coach of Colorado. I said this when I got the job that this is my dream job and this is where I want to be. I'd love to finish my career as the head coach of Colorado and I'm thankful they have enough faith in me to extend me another year."