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UCLA to visit St. John's at MSG: Tempo-Free Notes

A few pre-game tempo-free notes as St. John’s prepares to entertain UCLA. Neither team is enjoying a vintage year but UCLA tipping it off in MSG against St. John’s is always special. The Saturday afternoon game at MSG sees the Bruins enter with an 8-6 Pac-12 record. They won three of their last four and defeated crosstown rival USC, on Wednesday. St. John’s comes in following a thirty point loss across the river against Seton Hall.

The basic numbers with conference games only being used:

Possessions

Off. Efficiency

UCLA

65

106

St. John’s

68

97

On the defensive end, Ben Howland’s Bruins are allowing a 98 efficiency. Their efficiency margin, a plus eight and somewhat of a surprise (thought it would be less given the 8-6 mark).

St. John’s is giving up a 110 efficiency. That works out to a minus 13 efficiency margin. Not a surprise given the 4-10 Big East ledger.

Neither team turns it over a great deal nor forces turnovers. They both have a 19% TO rate and UCLA’s opposition gives it up 20.4% of the possessions, St.. John’s 21.5%.

Bruins are hitting an impressive eFG mark of 52.9%. Not from beyond the arc. UCLA’s three point shooting is 21% . The points, in Ben Howland fashion, are coming inside the arc.

The keys? From a tempo-free standpoint, watch the battle under the glass. UCLA’s offensive rebounding percentage is +5% (32.8- 27.5) over their opposition. St. John’s is a -9.5%. Their ability to keep the West coast visitors off the offensive glass will go a long way toward deciding this matchup.

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