Jan. 3, 2006
UCLA HEAD COACH Ben Howland - In his third season at UCLA and 12th year as a collegiate head coach (in his 25th season of college basketball, as an assistant and head coach). In his career, Howland is 0-5 vs. Arizona and 4-4 vs. Arizona State.
UCLA's 67-56 win over then No. 17 Nevada at the Wooden Classic was Howland's first victory over a ranked nonleague opponent while at UCLA. He recorded his 200tth career victory on Nov. 19, when UCLA defeated Delaware State 56-37 in Pauley Pavilion. In Howland's second year (2004-05) at UCLA, he joined an elite list of college coaches (28) who have led three different teams to the NCAA Tournament (Howland's overall NCAA record is 4-4) - 2005 UCLA, 2003 Pittsburgh ("Sweet 16), 2002 Pittsburgh ("Sweet 16") and 1998 Northern Arizona. In 2005, Howland led the Bruins back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002; he directed the Bruins to a win over nationally-ranked Washington; led UCLA to a third-place tie in the Pac-10 and to a Pac-10 Tournament appearance. In Howland's first year (2003-04) at UCLA, highlights included a 9-3 start (5-0 in the Pac-10), wins over NCAA Tournament teams Michigan State, Washington (twice) and Vermont and an appearance in the Pac-10 Tournament.
In his last two seasons (2002-03) at Pittsburgh - in 2003, he led the Panthers to a 28-5 overall record, No. 4 national ranking, NCAA "Sweet 16" and the Big East Tournament Championship and in 2002, Pittsburgh was 29-6 overall (school record for wins), advanced to the NCAA "Sweet 16" and the Big East Tournament title game and Howland was the consensus National Coach of the Year.
HEAD COACH LUTE OLSON - The Hall of Famer is in his 23rd year at Arizona (558-167) and 33rd as a Div. I head coach (he's the 15th coach in NCAA history to record 750 career wins). He's led Arizona to one NCAA title (1997), three other Final Fours and 21 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The Wildcats have won two of the last three Pac-10 regular season titles, including 2005. Olson is 28-19 vs. UCLA.
THE WILDCATS - UA has won its last seven games since losing at Houston on Dec. 3 (69-65). Arizona opened the Pac-10 last week, winning on the road at Washington State (70-52) and last Saturday at No. 7 Washington, knocking the Huskies from the unbeaten ranks and ending the nation's longest home winning streak (32) - 96-95 in double overtime. Hassan Adams has led Arizona in scoring in seven of the last eight games, including the last three (he had 25 points at Washington State and a career-high 32 points at Washington). He's the Pac-10 leading scorer (20.8) and for the last two weeks has been the Pac-10 Player of the Week.
SERIES HISTORY - UCLA leads the series 38-31. In Tucson, the Wildcats have won the last eight games (UCLA's last win was 1997, 66-64) and overall, UA has won the last four games in row (UCLA's last win was in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament, beating No. 1 Arizona 96-86OT). In 2005, Arizona beat UCLA 76-73 in Tucson and 83-73 in Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA'S LAST GAMES
Dec. 31 - California 68, at No. 11 UCLA 61 - California had four of five starters score in double figures as the Golden Bears beat the Bruins for the second consecutive season in Pauley Pavilion, 68-61. The loss snapped UCLA's eight-game winning streak and 11-game Pauley Pavilion winning streak (dating back to 2005).
California led 30-25 at halftime. With 9:24 left to play, Ryan Wright gave the Bruins their first second half lead (44-41), with a slam dunk and free throw. But California would again retain the led and would lead by as many as seven points twice (final time, 58-51, 2:34 remaining) in the next seven minutes.
With 1:08 left, Jordan Farmar's 12-footer pulled the Bruins to within two points (60-58). In a key play, it appeared that Arron Afflalo had stripped the ball from Cal's Ayinde Ubaka, but Ubaka got the ball back and scored on a four-foot bank shot to give California a 62-58 lead. The Golden Bears outscored UCLA 6-3 in the final 35 seconds to seal the win. UCLA had two players in double figures - Affalo's 19 points (fourth straight game he's led the Bruins in scoring) and 10 points from Josh Shipp.
The Bruins shot a season-low .367 (18-49) from the field, .294 (5-17) from three-point range and a season-high .833 (20-24) from the foul line, with a season-low 25 rebounds, season-low five assists, 11 turnovers, season-low 0 blocked shots and three steals.
California shot .522 (24-46/only fourth opponent to shoot over .500) from the field, .600 (6-10/second-highest season opponent percentage) from three-point range and .875 (14-16) from the foul line, with a game-high 32 rebounds, 11 assists, a game-high 16 turnovers and three blocked shots and steals. The Golden Bears had four starters in double figures, led by Ubaka's 18 points, 12 points from guards Omar Wilkes and Richard Midgley and 10 points/eight rebounds from forward DeVon Hardin. Forward Leon Powe added five points and a game-high 12 rebounds for California.
Dec. 29 - at No. 11 UCLA 71, Stanford 54 - before 10,984 in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA's defensive intensity led the Bruins to a 71-54 win over Stanford in both teams' 2006 Pac-10 opener. The Bruin win snapped two Cardinal winning streaks over UCLA (Stanford had won the last eight games in Pauley and the last six games overall).
To start the game, Stanford missed its first 12 shots from the field and the Bruins led 18-1 (14:25), on a jumper by Ryan Wright. In the first half, UCLA limited the Cardinal to .200 (5-25) from the field and .167 (1-6) from three-point range and led 38-19 at halftime.
In the second half, UCLA's biggest lead was 24 points (58-34, 7:33, Arron Afflalo corner jump shot).
The Bruins had three players in double figures - Afflalo's game and career-high tying 23 points (eighth-time this season he's led UCLA in scoring, including last three games); Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's 12 points and 12 rebounds (fourth season double/double, second consecutive for second time this season/has led the Bruins in rebounding every game this year) and in his first game back since right hip surgery on Sept. 28, Josh Shipp played 29 minutes, with 11 points and three rebounds.
UCLA shot .509 (27-53) from the field, .438 (7-16) from three-point range and .667 (10-15) from the foul line, with a game-high 36 rebounds, 18 assists, 14 turnovers, a season-high tying eight blocked shots and six steals.
Stanford shot an opponent season-low .292 (14-48) from the field, .273 (3-11) from three-point range and .742 (23-31) from the foul line, with 31 rebounds, 10 assists, 13 turnovers, three blocked shots and five steals. The Cardinal was led by Matt Haryasz's 13 points and seven rebounds.
Start the Season - UCLA's 11-2 start (UCLA's eight-game winning streak was snapped by the home loss to California) is the best under Howland (in his third season) - last year, 6-1, lost next game at Michigan State; 2003-04 - started 3-1, lost next game to UC Santa Barbara in Pauley Pavilion. It's the best start since 1994-95 - UCLA's 11th NCAA title team, started 12-1 (losing at Oregon on Jan. 5), then lost 14th game (12-2) to California in Pauley (Jan. 28, 100-93, game was later forfeited by California) - UCLA would not lose another game, winning the NCAA Championship and finishing with a 32 (school record for wins)-1 overall mark.
Cedric Bozeman - The senior forward who had started every game before Stanford, on Dec. 27 injured his left shoulder in practice (an MRI revealed torn cartilage). He will rest and rehab the next 3-4 weeks (and attempt to come back and play after that time period). Arron Afflalo - UCLA's leading scorer (18.6/third in the Pac-10), he's an early season Scout.com All-American and was named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team. Afflalo is the only Bruin to have started every game and scored in double figures every game, including six games of 20 or more points (has scored a career-high 23 points twice, vs. Stanford and New Mexico State). He's led UCLA in scoring in nine games this season, including the last four. His career three-point percentage is .413 (74/No. 13 in school history-179/fourth in school history).
Jordan Farmar - a preseason Wooden Award/Naismith Player of the Year candidate, he leads the Pac-10 in assists (6.00). Vs. Stanford, suffered a sprained right ankle (second time this season/he played only four minutes in the second half), but came back to start vs. California (and played 36 minutes).
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - The Bruins' leading rebounder (8.7/No. 2 in the Pac-10), he's been UCLA's leading rebounder in 12 of the last 13 games. His streak of 12 consecutive games was snapped in the Bruins' loss to California (longest streak since 1977-78, when David Greenwood led UCLA in rebounding in the final 13 regular season games). Mbah a Moute has four double/doubles (including two consecutive on two occasions) - the first starting freshman to accomplish that feat since JaRon Rush (1998-99-final two games that season-at Arizona-16/10 and Detroit Mercy (NCAA)-10/13).
Josh Shipp - Returned to the starting lineup vs. Stanford (29 minutes, 11 points, three rebounds) and California (27 minutes, 10 points, three rebounds) since missing the first 11 games because of right hip surgery on Sept. 28.
Alfred Aboya - provided a spark for the Bruins off the bench vs. California, playing a season-high 20 minutes, with eight points (4-4 from the field), and a season-best three rebounds.
Michael Fey/Ryan Hollins - UCLA's two seven-foot senior centers missed the Stanford/California games with injuries -Fey (sprained right ankle)/Hollins (groin strain).