Dec. 25, 2012
LOS ANGELES - UCLA (9-3) rides a season-best four game winning streak into Friday night's showdown against No. 7/9 Missouri (10-1) in New Pauley Pavilion. Game time is 7 p.m. The Bruins' final non-conference game of the regular season will be nationally televised on ESPN2, with Dave Flemming and Bill Walton calling the action. Most recently, UCLA secured a 91-78 victory over Fresno State in New Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 22.
Venue: New Pauley Pavilion (13,800)
Tip-Off Time: 7:05 p.m. (PT)
TV Talent: Dave Flemming (play-by-play), Bill Walton (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
BRUINS VERSUS TIGERS
While the all-time series between UCLA and Missouri spans just six games, the last two meetings between these programs have taken place in the 1995 NCAA Tournament (Round of 32) and the 2002 NCAA Tournament (Sweet 16), respectively. UCLA will host No. 7/9 Missouri in Pauley Pavilion for the first time since 1975 on Friday, Dec. 28. This non-conference meeting, slated for a 7 p.m. (PT) tip-off, will be nationally televised on ESPN2. UCLA has registered a 5-1 record in the all-time series. Missouri won the most recent contest, 82-73, on March 21, 2002.
REVISITING UCLA HISTORY
UCLA's best memory from the series against Missouri took place in the second round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament. Trailing by one point (74-73) with 4.8 seconds to play, guard Tyus Edney dribbled the ball the length of the court and scored on a layup at the buzzer, lifting UCLA to a 75-74 victory, leading to the "Sweet 16" and an eventual NCAA Championship, the 11th NCAA title in program history. Edney's historic shot and UCLA's one-point victory against Missouri ranks among the all-time greatest moments in UCLA athletics history.
VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS
UCLA has compiled a 21-16 record against top-25 ranked opponents over the last six-plus seasons (since start of 2006-07 campaign). UCLA has not faced a top-10 ranked team since defeating No. 10 Arizona, 71-49, in the Bruins' final game in "old" Pauley Pavilion (Feb. 26, 2011). UCLA's last contest against a top-10 ranked non-conference opponent was played Dec. 2, 2011, at No. 4 Kansas. The Bruins lost to the Jayhawks, 77-76. UCLA's last game at home against a non-conference, top-10-ranked team took place Jan. 12, 2002 (W, 87-77, over No. 1-ranked Kansas).
TOP FRESHMAN SCORERS
Three of UCLA's freshmen - Shabazz Muhammad, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson - have each scored 20 points or more in at least one game this season. In fact, that trio tallied at least 20 points each in the team's 91-78 win over Fresno State on Dec. 22, marking the first time in school history that three or more freshmen had each logged 20 points in the same game. Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams became UCLA's first-ever freshman duo to score at least 20 points in the same game when UCLA downed Long Beach State, 89-70, on Dec. 18.
THE LAST TIME OUT
UCLA secured a 91-78 win over Fresno State last Saturday, extending its winning streak to a season-high four games. Shabazz Muhammad led UCLA with a season-best 27 points, Jordan Adams had 25 points, and Kyle Anderson logged season-highs with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Over UCLA's last two games, Adams has averaged 24.5 points and 6.0 rebounds while collecting seven assists (no turnovers) and six steals. Muhammad has averaged 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in the Bruins' last two contests.
ADAMS FINDING HIS SHOT
Freshman Jordan Adams has made 18 of 25 field goals (72.0 pct) in UCLA's last two games. In addition, he has made 5 of 8 three-point attempts in those two contests (62.5 pct). Heading into Friday's game, he leads UCLA in field goals made (71), field goals percentage (51.4), 3-pointers made (23), free throws (53) and free throw percentage (.869, 53/61).
Jordan Adams (24 points) and Shabazz Muhammad (21 points) became the first duo of UCLA freshmen in school history to have scored at least 20 points in the same game last Tuesday. Adams, who was 8-for-11 from the field against Long Beach State, registered his sixth 20+ point performance of the year. Muhammad scored at least 20 points for the third time in eight contests. Adams and Muhammad have been UCLA's top scorers in nine.
GIVING AN ASSIST
Larry Drew II ranks second nationally with 8.5 assists per game and is fourth in the nation with a 5.37 assist turnover ratio (leads the Pac-12 in both categories). He has logged at least eight assists in nine of UCLA's 12 contests. In two games last week, Drew II finished with 19 assists and two turnovers. He scored a season-high 14 points in UCLA's 89-70 win over Long Beach State (Dec. 18). Entering Saturday's game, Drew II has recorded 102 assists and 19 turnovers. He dished a career-high 13 assists against Cal State Northridge (Nov. 28) in an 82-56 victory.
DREW II'S STRONG START
Larry Drew II's 102 assists through the team's first 12 games marks the best start, in terms of assists per game, for any UCLA player under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland. Previously, Darren Collison owned the record for most assists in the Howland Era through the Bruins' first 11 games (72, in 2007-08). Drew II has registered at least 10 assists in four games this season - 12 versus James Madison (Nov. 15), 13 against Cal State Northridge (Nov. 28), 11 versus San Diego State (Dec. 1), and 10 against Fresno State (Dec. 22).
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Kyle Anderson leads all UCLA players and all Pac-12 freshmen with 8.7 rebounds per game. Through games played Dec. 23, he ranked fifth among Pac-12 players in rebounds per contest. He finished three assists shy of a triple-double in UCLA's win over Fresno State on Dec. 22 (had season-highs with 20 points, 17 rebounds). UCLA's only previous triple-doubles were logged 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).
DOWN THE ROAD
UCLA will open Pac-12 play against California on Thursday, Jan. 3. Tip-off in New Pauley Pavilion is slated for 8 p.m. The Bruins will be back in action two days later (Jan. 5), hosting Stanford at 12 p.m. In all, the Bruins have 18 conference contests lined up before the Pac-12 Tournament (March 13-16) in Las Vegas. Last season, UCLA went 0-2 against California and 1-1 against Stanford. The Bruins' opened their Pac-12 schedule with a 60-59 loss at Stanford (Dec. 29) before dropping an 85-69 decision at California (Dec. 31).
In UCLA's last game, a 91-78 win at home against Fresno State (Dec. 22), the Bruins received 72 of 91 total points from three freshmen - Shabazz Muhammad (27 pts), Jordan Adams (25 points) and Kyle Anderson (20 pts). That trio accounted for 79.1 percent of UCLA's points that evening and 73.8 percent of the Bruins' total rebounds (31 of 42). Heading into Saturday's game against Missouri, that trio of freshmen has logged 51.8 percent of UCLA's scoring (495/955) and 41.8 percent of the team's total rebounds (200/478).
With his 5-for-9 3-point effort against San Diego State (Dec. 1), Jordan Adams became UCLA's first freshman to make five or more 3-pointers in a game since Michael Roll nailed 5-of-6 against Washington (Jan. 14, 2006). Adams ranks second on the team with 18.2 points per game, the fifth-highest scoring average in the Pac-12. He became the first freshman in program history to have scored at least 20 points in each of his first four games (freshmen could not play on the varsity team until 1972-73). Adams became UCLA's first player to score 20+ points in four straight games since Dijon Thompson (Jan.-Feb. 2005).
The Bruins have gone 3-1 in games decided by five points or fewer this season. Most recently, UCLA overcame an eight-point deficit in the final four minutes to defeat Texas, 65-63, at Reliant Stadium (Dec. 8). Other narrow victories have come against Georgia (60-56, Nov. 20) and UC Irvine (80-79, in overtime, Nov. 13). Midway through his 10th season as UCLA's head coach, Ben Howland has led UCLA to a 52-32 record in games decided by five points or fewer.
Sophomore Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL and is expected to miss 1-2 more weeks. He sustained the injury during practice on Oct. 26, 2012.
OPENING IN DOUBLE-DIGITS
Freshman Shabazz Muhammad has scored in double digits in each of his first nine games at UCLA, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since Kevin Love (2007-08) scored in double figures in all 38 games played as a freshman (missed the 13th game of the season). Muhammad and Love are the only players in head coach Ben Howland's 10-year tenure to have opened their UCLA career with at least seven consecutive double-digit efforts.