Preview: UCLA Bruins are Arizona Wildcats' father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate

As the Arizona Wildcats and UCLA Bruins meet in an odd place (the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif) at an odd time (9 p.m. MST) tonight, I'm reminded of a scene from the Mel Brooks flick, Spaceballs.

"I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate," says Dark Helmet, a play off of Star Wars' Darth Vader.

Lone Star, the protagonist, asks, "What's that make us?"

"Absolutely nothing, which you are about to become," responds Helmet.

For the Wildcats and Bruins, the meeting of two teams that are so similar in such different ways might tell us everything. Or it might tell us nothing.

The hefty Bruins (7-7) could destroy a small-ball Arizona club in the paint, and the game could turn out just like last time -- a 71-49 victory in the last game at Pauley Pavilion, the house that John Wooden built.

Or, you could consider that game a wild fluke, a needed ending to the last game at a historical venue, with an even more fitting ending (still one of my favorites pieces of last year, Bill Plaschke's column on Wooden's great grandson hitting the final shot in old Pauley was amazing.) On the other hand, the Wildcats could run-and-gun the Bruins into submission

The Bruins have struggled. With the dismissal of rugged wild forward Reeves Nelson, the length of UCLA is still there. 6-foot-10, 310-pound center Joshua Smith (9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds), and 6-foot-10 forwards David and Travis Wear can dominate the Wildcats in the paint, but the Bruins are nationally ranked just 208th in rebounds per game.

Arizona comes in at 151st in rebounds per outing despite Sean Miller locking 6-foot-8 forwards Jesse Perry and Solomon Hill into the center and power forward spots (neither weighs more than 226 pounds). Hill comes in as the team's leading scorer and rebounder at 12.1 points and 7.9 boards per game. Perry is second in both categories, averaging 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds a night.

Both teams have been seeking their identities, and neither has nabbed a solid victory this season -- Bruce Pascoe recently mentioned the Wildcats haven't beaten a team in the Top 50 of the Sagarin rankings.

Not that I'm overlooking UCLA's leading scorer and assist man, point guard Lazeric Jones -- 13.6 points, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game -- but as the small-ball Wildcats clash against the length-heavy Bruins, will we determine that, yes, one of these teams is ahead of the another?

"What's that make us?"

These two teams really, really should have found their identities -- looking at the rosters and watching the pieces on the court should make this obvious for these two teams more than others -- but it's oddly unclear how good either team is at this point. Much of it has to do with Arizona losing its two best players (Derrick Williams and Momo Jones) from a year ago. So did UCLA (Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt), and as a result, both teams are still trying to find out who they are.

Here's the other (likely) option: Maybe the result will tell us "absolutely nothing," a victory that is merely a result of match-ups, the size of the Bruins or speed of the Wildcats causing havoc on the opponent.

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