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No. 12/15 UCLA Hosts Crosstown Rival USC
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  02/03/2009

Feb. 3, 2009

LOS ANGELES -

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Coach Howland's Weekly Press Conference (Feb. 3) 

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
DATE: Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009
SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
TIP-OFF: 7:37 p.m. PT
TELEVISION: FSN Prime Ticket
TALENT: Bill Macdonald (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
RADIO: AM 1150
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Tracy Murray (analyst)
SERIES: UCLA leads 127-100

BRUIN INJURY REPORT
Mustafa Abdul-Hamid is out for the remainder of the season after having surgery on Dec. 23 to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. Alfred Aboya received three stitches in his forehead immediately after the loss at Washington (Jan. 24) after contact in the game. He had his stitches removed after the win over Stanford (Jan. 31).

SERIES vs. USC
This is the 228th meeting between UCLA and USC with the Bruins leading the series 127-100. UCLA is 60-20 (.750) against USC at home since 1947. UCLA leads the all-time matchups in Pauley Pavilion 36-9 (.800). Last year, USC upset fourth-ranked UCLA 72-63 on the strength of Davon Jefferson's 25 points and nine rebounds and O.J. Mayo's 16 points. Josh Shipp led UCLA with 21 points while Kevin Love contributed a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Darren Collison also chipped in 11 points. Earlier this year, the Bruins held on for a 64-60 win at Galen Center (Jan. 11). Collison led all scorers with 18 points and a game-high six assists. Nikola Dragović scored 14 points in his first start of the season. Jrue Holiday added 13 points while Josh Shipp chipped in 10 points. DeMar DeRozan led USC with 15 points while Taj Gibson and Daniel Hacket each scored 13 points for the Trojans. The Bruins led 33-31 at the break. USC led by six (51-45) with 10:45 to go, but the Bruins went on an 8-0 run (led 53-51, 8:20) and never trailed again. Head Coach Ben Howland is 8-4 all-time against USC while Tim Floyd is 2-6 vs. UCLA.

POLLING UCLA
UCLA moved up four spots to No. 12 this week in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and moved up two spots to No. 15 in the Associated Press poll, released on Feb. 2. UCLA has been ranked in the top 25 in the AP poll for 69 straight weeks (since the 2005-06 preseason) and in the Coaches Poll for 71 straight weeks (since 2004-05 final poll), which is the longest streak in the nation.

COACH HOWLAND WINS NO. 300
Ben Howland earned his 300th victory of his career with the 72-54 win over DePaul in the 15th Annual John R. Wooden Classic (Dec. 13, 2008). He is currently 311-148 (.678), which ranks 25th on the winningest active coaches list by percentage and 68th on the active list by victories. Howland's first career victory was his first game at Northern Arizona in 1994, a 71-69 victory over New Mexico Highlands. His 100th career victory came in his second season at Pittsburgh with the 77-65 win at home over Seton Hall (Jan. 13, 2001). His 200th win came in his third season at UCLA with the 56-37 home win over Delaware State (Nov. 19, 2005).

HOME SWEET HOME
UCLA sports an all-time record of 606-90 (.871) in Pauley Pavilion, which is in its 44th season as the home of the Bruins. UCLA has a 16-game home winning streak against unranked teams.

BRUIN BITS
Darren Collison extended his UCLA record of consecutive made free throws to 43 before missing at USC on Jan. 11, 2009. He surpassed Henry Bibby's streak of 36 straight, set in 1972.

Collison had quietly built his conscutive free throw streak back to 18, but missed his first attempt against California (Jan. 29).

Darren Collison's free-throw percentage of 94.4 percent (68-for-72) this season currently leads the nation and is second on UCLA's single-season charts.

Collison also leads the team, Pac-10 and ranks 44th nationally in assists per game at 5.2 apg. He also leads the team, Pac-10 and ranks 37th nationally in assist turnover ratio at 2.29. Collison also ranks 49th in the country in field goal percentage at 54.0 (108-for-200), which ranks 4th in the Pac-10.

Nikola Dragović has made at least one three-point field goal in each of the last eight games, the longest streak on the team. He's shooting 46.0 percent (23-for-50) from long range in Pac-10 games (7th in the league) and has shot even better since being elevated as a starter at USC (Jan. 11), draining 48.8 percent (20-for-41) from three-point range.

In the last three-plus years, UCLA and Head Coach Ben Howland are 52-11 (.825) in Pacific-10 Conference play and 114-21 (.844) overall.

In the last three-plus years in Pacific-10 Conference play, Head Coach Ben Howland is 25-7 (.781) on the road (25-3 everywhere, excluding Seattle) and 27-4 (.871) at home.

In the last four years, Head Coach Ben Howland and UCLA are 32-0 (1.000) in the first game of a two-game Pac-10 weekend series and 19-9 (.679) in the second game (this doesn't include USC and non-conference weekends). Overall, UCLA is 38-6 (.864) in the opening game of a weekend series in the Howland era, but just 25-19 (.568) in the second game.

Josh Shipp became the 47th player in UCLA history to score 1,000 points in a career at California (Jan. 5, 2008). He now has 1,486 career points (19th place).

Darren Collison became the 48th player in UCLA history to score 1,000 points in a career with 24 points vs. #7 Stanford (Mar. 6, 2008). He now has 1,442 career points (23rd place).

While the Bruins' offense is averaging 76.1 points per game, the defense is as strong as ever, allowing just 60.5 points per game. UCLA has held 19 of 21 opponents below 68 points and 13 of 19 to 60 or fewer points (Washington season-high 86 points).

Senior guard Darren Collison was named a third team All-American by the Associated Press at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season and as a first team preseason All-American in 2008-09.

Last year, Darren Collison's three-point field goal percentage of .525 (53-for-101) was the single best season mark in UCLA history. This year, junior guard Michael Roll is off to a good start, shooting a percentage of .545 (36-for-66) from downtown.

Darren Collison was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2K Sports Classic Los Angeles Regional and was later named to the All-Tournament team in New York.

UCLA saw its national-leading streak of 42 straight weeks ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll come to a halt on Nov. 24, 2008 when the Bruins slipped to No. 13 in the AP poll. That streak included final and preseason polls (streak began with final poll of the 2005-06 season, Mar. 6, 2006).

UCLA has held 10 opponents in 2008-09 to fewer than 60 points, going 9-1 in those games. Last year, the Bruins held 21 opponents to fewer than 60 points and was undefeated when doing so. The Bruins have held 76 opponents under 60 points in the Ben Howland era (6th season) and are 73-3 (.961) in those games (two of the losses were in his first year and this year to Michigan, 52-55).

UCLA's scoring defense of 60.5 in 2008-09 marks the fourth-straight year the Bruins have allowed fewer than 61 points per game (59.0 in 2008, 59.9 in 2007 and 58.7 in 2006).


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