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Bruins had big problems with Arizona State center

Jordan Bachynski led the Sun Devils to an easy victory in the first meeting, but he has done little since.

February 26, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • Arizona State's Jordan Bachynski, right, goes up over Oregon's Tony Woods.
Arizona State's Jordan Bachynski, right, goes up over Oregon's… (Chris Pietsch / Associated…)

Memories of Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State's 7-foot-2 center, remain tattooed in the minds of UCLA basketball players.

The Bruins (20-7 overall, 10-4 in Pac-12 play) will see the lanky, long-haired junior for a second time when they play the Sun Devils (20-8, 9-6) Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion.

The first meeting didn't leave the Bruins with warm and fuzzy recollections.

Bachynski had 22 points and 15 rebounds, both career highs, as Arizona State routed UCLA, 78-60, at Tempe, Ariz. He made 10 of 12 shots and had six blocks.

Basically, he spent the day dunking on Bruins at one end of the court and swatting shots at the other end.

"We don't see many guys like him," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said Tuesday. "We can't simulate Bachynski in practice. We have no one like that. You just have to adjust to him as you play him."

Travis Wear and David Wear, UCLA's best big men, are each 6 feet 10. Both are more effective facing the basket. Travis Wear, who missed Sunday's game against USC because of a sprained right foot, is doubtful for Wednesday's game. Wear missed the first game against Arizona State because of a concussion.

It leaves the Bruins short-handed against a little-known Canadian center who dominated the inside last time out.

Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA's multi-talented freshman, admitted after that game, "I never heard of the guy."

Nor has much been said about Bachynski since. He has 53 points and 32 rebounds in the eight games since the Sun Devils played UCLA.

"That performance would be difficult to sustain," Arizona State Coach Herb Sendek said. "He was absolutely spectacular in that game, in all ways. It was a special day for him."

Bachynski averages 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds a game.

Parker rolls

With Travis Wear possibly out, Tony Parker has a chance to build on a solid outing against USC.

Parker, a 6-9, 275-pound freshman, had eight points and three rebounds against USC in his best game of the season.

"He gives us physicality inside, hitting, banging bodies," Howland said. "That's what we need him to do."

Parker played 13 minutes against Arizona State last time, finishing with no points and one rebound.

"I've got to get physical with him," Parker said of Bachynski. "I have to make him work harder to get catches, make him uncomfortable."

Other Bruins have plans for Bachynski as well.

"We need to pump fake him a lot," guard Jordan Adams said, "get him off his feet and get him in foul trouble."

The eyes have it

Muhammad struggled against USC while playing with a right eye that was half closed because of conjunctivitis. He made two of seven shots.

He said Tuesday that the eye had improved considerably.

Muhammad wears goggles to protect the eye but uses them only in practice.

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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