Tyler Honeycutt to return to the UCLA lineup

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On Tuesday, UCLA head coach Ben Howland said that sophomore forward Tyler Honeycutt will be in the lineup for tonight’s Pac-10 opener against Washington State.

On Dec. 21, Honeycutt sprained his shoulder when he collided with a Montana State player. It forced him to sit out UCLA’s one point win over UC Irvine last Thursday. He said he was “about 92%“, but that he was “able to do everything now.”

Having Honeycutt in the lineup will be huge for the Bruins.

After a slow start to the season, UCLA has won five in a row. And while those five wins haven’t exactly been dominant — they beat Montana State by 16 but nearly gave the game away in the second half, while their one point win over UC Irvine was lowlighted by some horrific free throw struggles late — the Bruins still notched a win over BYU in that span.

This is a team that, believe it or not, has the talent to win the Pac-10 this season.

But if that dream is going to come to fruition, this week’s games are incredibly important.

Washington State and Washington are arguably the two best teams in the league. UCLA will be hosting them on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. If they are going to have any shot at a league title, they have to win at least one, preferably both, this week.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.