Jan. 11, 2013
BOULDER, Colo. - UCLA returns to action at Colorado (11-4, 1-2 Pac-12) on Saturday at the Coors Events Center. Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Bruins will tip-off against the Buffaloes at 11:05 a.m. (PT)/12:05 p.m. (MT). UCLA defeated Utah, 57-53, in a Pac-12 road contest in Salt Lake City on Thursday night. Last season, UCLA won its only meeting against Colorado, securing a 77-60 decision at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Venue: Coors Events Center (11,064)
Tip-Off Time: 11:05 am PT/12:05 pm MT
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: JB Long (play-by-play), Ernie Kent (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 85
SIRIUS XM Radio: Channel 85
BRUINS IN BOULDER
UCLA concludes its two-game road swing on Saturday afternoon at Colorado, the seventh all-time meeting between the two programs. The Bruins defeated Colorado, 77-60, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in a Pac-12 contest last season. Saturday's meeting will be the only regular-season contest between UCLA and Colorado. UCLA has gone 3-2 in games played away from Pauley Pavilion this season, having earned its first road win at Utah on Thursday night.
LAST SEASON'S GAME
Lazeric Jones scored a game-high 17 points in UCLA's 77-60 win over Colorado on Jan. 28, 2012. Travis Wear finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Tyler Lamb logged 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists. UCLA has not played at Colorado since the Dec. 7, 1972 (Colorado won, 82-60).
EYEING THE BUFFALOES
Colorado enters this Saturday's game with an 11-4 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Pac-12 play, having logged a 66-60 win at home against Southern California on Thursday evening. The Buffaloes and Bruins tied for fifth place in the Pac-12 regular-season standings in 2011-12.
MOST RECENT GAME
UCLA defeated Utah, 57-53, before 9,510 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Thursday evening. The Bruins were held to their lowest point total of the season, logging their eighth consecutive victory. UCLA received a team-leading 12 points from Larry Drew II, Travis Wear and Jordan Adams. Kyle Anderson finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Drew II scored on a driving layup with nine seconds to play in regulation, pushing UCLA's advantage to 57-53. UCLA's eight-game winning streak is the program's longest since the 2008-09 season.
UCLA IN CONFERENCE ACTION
Last week, UCLA opened its conference slate with a pair of victories over California (79-65) and Stanford (68-60). With UCLA's win over Utah, the Bruins have opened Pac-12 play with a 3-0 record for the first time since 2007-08 (opened 4-0 in conference action that year). Under head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has won its first three conference games four times (including this season). Against California, Kyle Anderson totaled 19 points and 12 rebounds. Two days later, Shabazz Muhammad logged a game-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Junior forward Travis Wear scored 10 of his 12 points against Utah in the second half on Thursday evening, helping lead the Bruins to a 57-53 win in their first true road contest of the 2012-13 season. Wear ranks third on the team with 11.3 points per game this year, but has averaged 15.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in the Bruins' last four contests (shooting at a 54.3 percent clip and making 9 of 10 free throws). He scored a career-high 22 points in UCLA's overtime win over Missouri (Dec. 28) and has scored in double figures in the Bruins' last four games.
GIVING AN ASSIST
Through games played Thursday (Jan. 10), senior Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (5.08) and ranks third, nationally, in assists per game (8.25). Drew II has logged at least eight assists in 11 of UCLA's 16 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 13 of 16 contests. Through UCLA's recent six-game homestand, Drew II registered 54 assists and seven turnovers while averaging 6.8 points per game.
Larry Drew II has totaled 132 assists and 26 turnovers in 16 games. His assist per game average and assist turnover ratio through 16 games is the best of any UCLA player under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland. Previously, Darren Collison had logged 96 assists and 52 turnovers midway through the 2006-07 season. UCLA leads the Pac-12 in assists per game, assist turnover ratio and turnover margin.
HIGH OCTANE OFFENSE
UCLA has averaged a Pac-12-leading 78.5 points per game and averaged 86.5 points during its most recent six-game homestand. Prior to a four-game span in December, UCLA had not scored 89 or more points in four straight games since 1990-91. UCLA scored 91 points against Fresno State (Dec. 22) and 97 versus Missouri (Dec. 28), marking the first time since Jan. 13-18, 2001, that the Bruins scored 90 or more points in consecutive games.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Kyle Anderson leads all UCLA players and all Pac-12 freshmen with 8.9 rebounds per game. He is the only Pac-12 player to rank in the top eight in the conference in rebounds per game (8.9, 6th) and assists per game (3.5, 8th). The freshman from Fairview, N.J., has tallied four double-doubles, most recently logging team-highs with 19 points and 12 rebounds in a 79-65 win over California (Jan. 3).
Kyle Anderson finished three assists shy of a triple-double against Fresno State (Dec. 22, had season-highs with 20 points and 17 rebounds). UCLA's only previous triple-doubles occurred in Dec. 1995. Toby Bailey had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Stephen F. Austin (12/18/95) and Jelani McCoy registered 15 points, 11 blocks and 10 rebounds against Maryland (12/9/95).
MORE ON DREW II
Senior Larry Drew II recorded a career-high 13 assists (with just two turnovers) in UCLA's 82-56 win against Cal State Northridge (Nov. 28). The former standout at Taft High School (Woodland Hills, Calif.) has logged five games with zero turnovers and at least five assists. Drew II scored a career-high 14 points in the Bruins' 89-70 win against Long Beach State (Dec. 18), finishing that game with nine assists and one turnover.
Freshman Shabazz Muhammad secured Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week honors, as announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) for the week of Dec. 24-30. He also earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors that week after having scored 27 points in the Bruins' 97-94 overtime win over then-No. 7 Missouri. Muhammad made 10 of 19 field goals, including three of six 3-point attempts, against the Tigers.
Junior twin brothers Travis and David Wear scored 22 points and 16 points, respectively, in the Bruins' 97-94 win over Missouri on Dec. 28. The Wear brothers' combined 38 points against Missouri marked the duo's best career combined point total (previous combined high was 34 points against Arizona on Jan. 5, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif.). Travis Wear has scored in double figures in nine of UCLA's 15 games this season.
Freshman Jordan Adams ranks second on the team with 16.3 ppg, the sixth-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 (and the third-best mark among Pac-12 freshmen). Adams became the first freshman at UCLA to have scored 20+ points in each of his first four games (freshmen could not play varsity until 1972-73). He became UCLA's first player in any class to have opened a season with four straight games of 20+ points since 1990-91 (Don MacLean, six straight).
FOUR IN A ROW
Freshmen Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad have each scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games this season. Regardless of class, that feat had not been accomplished by any UCLA player since the 2004-05 season, when Dijon Thompson had four straight games of 20+ points in January and February of 2005. Adams opened the 2012-13 season with four straight 20+ point performances and Muhammad achieved that feat in Dec. 2012.
The Bruins have gone 5-1 in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes to defeat Missouri, 97-94 in overtime (Dec. 28). Other victories have come against Utah (57-53, Jan. 10), Texas (65-63, Dec. 8), Georgia (60-56, Nov. 20) and UC Irvine (80-79, overtime, Nov. 13). Midway through his 10th season as UCLA's head coach, Ben Howland has led UCLA to a 54-32 record in games decided by five points or fewer.
Sophomore Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL and is expected to miss at least 1-2 more weeks. He sustained the injury during practice on Oct. 26, 2012.
WHAT'S ON DECK
After Saturday's road contest against Colorado, the Bruins return home to face Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 17 and Oregon on Saturday, Jan. 19. The game on Thursday will be televised nationally by ESPNU (6 p.m. PT). UCLA's game versus Oregon on Jan. 19 will be nationally televised by CBS and is slated to begin at 1 p.m.