Amari Bailey out there to return for UCLA in USC showdown

At a time when it might use a lift, UCLA simply acquired a bit deeper, extra athletic and more and more dynamic on offense.

Amari Bailey is again.

The freshman guard who missed the final seven video games with discomfort in his left foot is offered to return Thursday in opposition to USC on the Galen Middle, coach Mick Cronin mentioned Wednesday.

The eighth-ranked Bruins went 6-1 in Bailey’s absence regardless of prolonged offensive lulls in a number of video games. Bailey might compensate for a number of deficiencies along with his superior passing and quickness. His skill to get to the basket can draw a number of defenders, giving him the choice to search out open teammates if he can’t discover a shot to his liking.

Averaging 9.5 factors and three.3 rebounds whereas making 36.4% of his three-pointers, Bailey initially suffered his damage final month when Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe stepped on his foot. Bailey performed within the subsequent recreation, in opposition to UC Davis 4 days later, earlier than aggravating the damage and lacking the subsequent month.

Ought to he transfer again into the beginning lineup, Bailey’s return would enable senior guard David Singleton to renew his sixth-man function whereas bolstering a bench that has been badly outscored with Singleton beginning. UCLA’s bench was outscored by its counterparts by a 10-4 margin in opposition to Arizona, 12-7 in opposition to Arizona State, 16-0 in opposition to Colorado and 22-5 within the first assembly in opposition to USC.

Lacking all 5 pictures, Singleton was a part of a team-wide stoop that doomed UCLA (17-3 total, 8-1 Pac-12) throughout a 58-52 loss to Arizona final weekend. The Bruins shot a season-low 31.3% whereas making 4 of 20 three-pointers (20%).

What’s the important thing to capturing higher?

“Passing,” Cronin mentioned earlier this week. “I always say this to you guys — passing is the key to good offense. Throw in some good screening as well.”

And many others.

One of many 25 finest groups within the nation by practically any goal measure, UCLA was left off the poll of Related Press voter David Thompson — no, not that David Thompson — this week. It’s nothing private, Thompson mentioned. “My plan was never to overlook UCLA,” Thompson, who writes for the Fayetteville Observer, mentioned. “I made a human error and forgot to put the Bruins in my poll.”