Men's Basketball Hits the Road

Feb. 17, 1998

Wednesday, Feb. 18 -- No. 12 UCLA (19-5, 9-4, third place), ranked No. 12 by AP and No. 12 by USA Today, travels to the L.A. Sports Arena this Wednesday night to face the USC Trojans (7-16, 3-10). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports West2 and broadcast on AM 1150 Sports Radio LA, UCLA's flagship station, with Chris Roberts & Lew Stowers.

Looking Ahead -- Sunday, Feb. 22 - UCLA travels to Durham, NC, to face the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 10:30 a.m. PST - (TV- ABC, Channel 7 in Los Angeles). All UCLA games are radio broadcast on AM 1150 Sports Radio LA.

No. 12 UCLA (19-5, 9-4, 3rd Place) Starting Lineup
UCLA (AP No. 12 , USA Today - No. 12 )

No.  Name            Pos Ht.     Cl.    Ppg   Rpg
12   Toby Bailey     F   6-5     Sr.   16.9   5.2
54   Kris Johnson    F/G 6-4     Sr.   17.7   4.7
52   J. R. Henderson C   6-8 1/2 Sr.   19.5   7.7
 5   Baron Davis     G   6-1 1/2 Fr.   11.5   4.2
25   Earl Watson     G   6-0     Fr.    5.9   4.0
 3   Billy Knight    F/G 6-4     Fr.    3.0   1.0
13   Travis Reed     F   6-6     Fr.    3.9   2.2
20   Brandon Loyd    G   5-10    Jr.    1.4   0.2
22   Rico Hines      F   6-3     Fr.    1.5   0.8

Head Coach Steve Lavin: In his second year as head coach and seventh season on the Bruin staff with a career and school record of 43-13. As head coach at UCLA, he is 3-0 vs. USC and 1-0 against Duke.

Bruin Notes - UCLA, three-time defending Pac-10 Champion, has won six of its last eight games, 19 of its last 23 games and 31 of its last 37 dating back to last year. Four of this year's five losses are to teams that were ranked in the Top 13 on the date of the game and four of the losses have been away from Pauley Pavilion. UCLA is 12-1 on its homecourt in 1997-98 and had won 16 straight prior to the loss to Stanford. UCLA's senior class has never lost two consecutive Pac-10 games. J. R. Henderson is on the mid-season list for the Wooden and USBWA Player of the Year and All-America teams. Kris Johnson is the only player to rank among the Top 10 in all three Pac-10 shooting percentage charts this season. Toby Bailey is the first player in UCLA history to have 1,600 points and 400 assists in his career and he is about to break into UCLA's career Top 10 in scoring. If the Bruins beat USC on Wednesday, it will be UCLA's 37th season of 20 or more wins and the 10th consecutive, dating back to 1989. On Sunday, Feb. 15, junior center Jelani McCoy resigned from the Bruin basketball team but said he intends to remain a full-time student at UCLA for the remainder of the academic year (see attached release).

USC (7-16, 3-10, 8th Place) Starting Lineup
USC Starters

No.  Name              Pos Ht.   Cl.   Ppg   Rpg
 3   Gary Williams     F   6-7   Sr.   8.5   3.1
21   Jarvis Turner     F   6-8   So.   9.8   4.5
44   Greg Lakey        F   6-8   Fr.   5.5   3.6
10   Kevin Augustine   G   6-0   Fr.   6.0   2.4
12   Jeff Trepagnier   G   6-4   Fr.   5.7   3.8

Head Coach Henry Bibby: In his second full season at USC, the Bruin alum as a school and career record of 24-27. Last year in his first full year as head coach, he guided the Trojans to a 17-11 overall record and a berth in the NCAA. While at UCLA as a starting guard, Bibby played on three NCAA championship teams (1970-72) under John Wooden and earned All-American honors in 1972. He is 0-3 vs. his alma mater since the 1996-97 season.

USC in 1997-98: The Trojans have lost their last four games in a row and eight of their last nine. Last week at the Sports Arena, USC lost to California 73-43 on Thursday and 83-59 vs. Stanford on Saturday. In the loss to Stanford, USC was paced by Gary Williams' 18 points.

Series History: UCLA leads the series 111-93 and has won the lat seven games in a row. The Bruins won this year's meeting in Pauley 101-84 on Jan. 21 and also won last year's meeting in the Sports Arena 96-87. The Bruins have won three straight games at the Sports Arena. USC's last win over UCLA was at the Sports Arena, 85-79 in 1994.

UCLA's Last Two Games
On Feb. 12, before 13,079 (third largest crowd in Pauley history), UCLA was unable to overcome a 15-point Stanford lead midway through the second-half and lost to the Cardinal 84-81. It's only the second time in the history of the series that Stanford has swept the two games (the Cardinal won 93-80 on Jan. 17 at Stanford; Stanford's first sweep was in 1990, winning 87-79 at Stanford and 70-69 in Pauley). The last time the Bruins were swept in a season league series was by Cal in 1994 (85-70 at the Oakland Coliseum and 92-88 in Pauley). UCLA trailed 45-38 at halftime (the Bruins were 0-11 in the first half from three-point range, ended the game at 3-18) and trailed 70-55 with 8:11 left. But in the next four minutes, the Bruins went on a 15-0 run and tied the game at 70-all with 4:53 left on a basket in the lane by Baron Davis (10 seconds later, Davis picked up his fifth foul). After the 70-70 tie, the Bruins never took the lead (it was tied two more times, the last at 78-all with 51 seconds left). In the final 4:53, Stanford outscored the Bruins 14-11. UCLA was led by three players in double figures, paced by J. R. Henderson's game-high 26 points, 19 by Toby Bailey and 15 from Kris Johnshon (the Bruin senior trio scored 60 of UCLA's 81 points), while Jelani McCoy came off the bench to add nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Stanford had four players in double figures, led by Kris Weems' 23 points and Peter Sauer's 21 points and 10 rebounds. The Bruins shot 48.4 from the field, 16.7 (season-low) from three-point range and 69.6 (123) from the foul line, with 33 rebounds and 19 turnovers. The Cardinal shot 50.8 from the field, 46.2 from three-point range (6-13) and 72.0 (18-25) from the foul line, with 37 rebounds and 23 turnovers.

On Feb. 14 before 11,497 in Pauley, UCLA led 44-40 at halftime and pulled out an 87-84 victory over California. With 10 seconds left to play, the Bruins held an 85-84 lead. With eight seconds left, Bruin senior Kris Johnson was fouled, hit both free throws and gave UCLA the 87-84 advantage. In the game's final 3:04, UCLA hit eight straight free throws. The Bruins had three players in double figures, led by Johnson's team-high 28 points and J. R. Henderson's 23 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Cal was led by 31 points from Gino Carlisle. The Bruins shot 53.7 from the field, 46.7 (7-15) from three-point range and 64.7 (22-34) from the foul line, with 28 rebounds and 16 turnovers. Cal shot 55.8 from the field, 40.0 (4-10) from three-point range and 78.6 from the foul line, with 30 rebounds and 20 turnovers.

Bruin Notes

UCLA's senior trio (Toby Bailey, J. R. Henderson and Kris Johnson) has never lost two consecutive Pac-10 games. Their league record is 57-10 (85.1) and their overall mark is 98-22 (81.7), with three Pac-10 titles, one NCAA championship and an Elite Eight finish.

Should UCLA beat USC on Wednesday night in the Sports Arena, the Bruins' overall record will be 20-5. It will make the 37th time in UCLA history that the Bruins have won 20 or more games in a season. It will also be the 10th year in a row of 20 or more victories, dating back to 1989.

The Bruins visited a homeless shelter on Feb. 13, the children's ward of the UCLA Medical Center on Jan. 30, the City of Hope in Duarte on Dec. 19 and while at The Great Alaska Shootout, UCLA visited a children's hospital in Anchorage.

Against CS Fullerton, the Bruins' home opener this season, UCLA for the first time in school history started four true freshmen (Travis Reed, Rico Hines, Earl Watson and Billy Knight).

The win over New Mexico was UCLA's third victory (with no losses) in The Wooden Classic. In the first Wooden Classic in 1994, UCLA beat Kentucky 82-81, when then-Bruin freshman J. R. Henderson sank two free throws with 0.6 seconds left in the game to seal the win for the Bruins. In 1995, UCLA beat Maryland 73-63, when then-Bruin freshman Jelani McCoy had UCLA's first-ever recorded triple-double--15 points, 10 rebounds and a Pac-10 and school single-game record of 11 blocked shots. UCLA did not play in the Wooden Classic last year.

At the Alaska Shootout, where Baron Davis and Earl Watson started all three games for the Bruins (Watson has started all 20 games this year and Davis 19 of 20), it was the first time since the 1979-80 season that UCLA started two freshmen at the guard positions. In '79-80, under Larry Brown, the Bruins started freshmen Rod Foster and Michael Holton, now in his second year as a UCLA assistant, and the Bruins advanced to the NCAA championship game, losing to Louisville. The loss to North Carolina at The Shootout was the second worst in school history and the Bruins tied the school record for single-game three-point attempts (23). Against Alaska Anchorage, UCLA at one time had five true freshmen on the floor, for the first time since freshmen became eligible in 1972-73.

UCLA is now 19-5, its the best start since 1994-95, when UCLA won the NCAA title. UCLA was 17-7 last year, 18-6 in 1995-96 and 23-1 in 1994-95. The Bruins were 19-5 in 1993-94 but went 2-2 in their final four games. The opening season defeat to North Carolina at The Alaska Shootout was UCLA's third consecutive opening game loss -- 1995, 78-69 to Santa Clara at the Maui Classic (started the season 2-2); 1996, 77-76 OT to Tulsa in Pauley at the Preseason NIT (started the season 2-2) and 1997, 109-68 to North Carolina at The Alaska Shootout.

In the early signing period, the Bruins inked 6-4, 200-pound Ray Young, from St. Joseph Notre Dame HS in Alameda, rated the No. 1 prep off-guard in the nation by Dick Vitale's preseason magazine, and 6-7, 215-pound forward Matt Barnes, from Del Campo HS in Fair Oaks, one of the top forward prospects in the State.

In preseason rankings, the Bruin were picked No. 5 by USA Today and No. 6 by AP. Playboy selected UCLA preseason No. 1. In a vote of Pac-10 sportswriters in the conference preseason poll, UCLA was selected second in the Pac-10, behind defending national champion Arizona.

J. R. Henderson is on the mid-season list for the Wooden and USBWA Player of the Year and All-America teams. Henderson, Toby Bailey and Jelani McCoy were all on preseason lists for the Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year and All-America team. On Naismith, Bailey, Henderson and McCoy were on the Best of the Rest chart (10 players) and on the Wooden list, Bailey and McCoy were among the Top 25 candidates and Henderson was on the Players Considered Top 25 chart.

UCLA players and coaches are available for interviews following practices on Tuesday and Friday (3-6 p.m.) and practices are open those days for the media. Interviews at other times can be arranged through the UCLA Media Relations Office.

The Bruins have won the last three Pac-10 titles outright. The Bruins are 57-10 in conference play over the last three+ years with three outright titles. In the second half of Pac-10 play over the last three+ years, UCLA is 27-4. In the last six+ years, it owns a record of 48-10 in the second half of the season.

In the decade of the 1990s, UCLA is the only Pac-10 school to have a non-losing record against every other team in the league: 9-9 vs. Arizona (includes Pac-10 Postseason), 18-0 vs. Arizona State (includes Pac-10 Postseason), 12-6 vs. California, 14-5 vs. Oregon (includes Pac-10 Postseason), 15-3 vs. Oregon State, 11-7 vs. Stanford, 11-6 vs. USC, 15-2 vs. Washington, 16-1 vs. Washington State.

UCLA has led the NCAA in field goal percentage shooting the last two years --1997, 52.0 (932-1791) and 1996, 52.8 (897-1698). They ranked fourth (50.5) when ranking were released last Tuesday.

Toby Bailey's younger brother, Ryan 'Moose' Bailey, is sitting out this season at UCLA after transferring from Penn State. In 1997 at Penn State, Bailey started as a true freshman for the Nittany Lions at point guard. He will be a sophomore next season for the Bruins.

The 1997 NCAA Tournament was UCLA's 33rd appearance in the

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Feb 27
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
L, 70 - 79
Wednesday, Mar 02
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
L, 68 - 76
Saturday, Mar 05
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
L, 82 - 86
Wednesday, Mar 09
vs. USC
Las Vegas, NV
L, 71 - 95