Farmar Named Nation's Top Freshman by Rivals.com

March 8, 2005

When Jordan Farmar announced that UCLA would be his college destination, there was little doubt among most observers that he would be an impact player for the Bruins.

After all, he was one of the top recruits in the nation, a player chosen as a high school senior to play in the prestigious McDonald's All-America game. He averaged nearly 28 points and seven assists as a prep senior at Taft High School in Van Nuys, Calif., and was part of a heralded recruiting class that was expected to help return UCLA basketball to national prominence.

With three-year starting point guard Cedric Bozeman set to return, it was also expected that Farmar's role would be somewhat limited in his first season in Westwood. But that all changed when Bozeman suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, forcing Farmar into an expanded role as the Bruins' starting point guard.

"It was mixed emotions," said Farmar of Bozeman's injury. "It hurt the team because Ced is a great player and a better person. But I was also happy to have the opportunity to show what I could do."

Farmar then proceeded to show what he could do, and to say he succeeded would be a grand understatement.

How effective was Farmar as a freshman in Westwood? Effective enough to be named the 2004-05 Rivals.com National Freshman of the Year.

"Jordan has had an outstanding year," said UCLA coach Ben Howland, whose team wrapped up the regular season with an overall record of 18-9 and a Pac-10 mark of 11-7. "This is a great honor for him to receive. He's earned it."

Farmar has started all 27 games for the Bruins, who are a virtual lock for the NCAA tournament, and is averaging 13.5 points, 5.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game heading into postseason play. He's shooting 43 percent from the floor, including 36 percent from 3-point range, and 81 percent from the foul line, while playing better than 34 minutes per game.

While he has put together a tremendous season, Farmar struggled a bit early in the season in adjusting to the college game. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder turned the ball over 26 times in UCLA's first five games, and while he averaged nearly 12 points during that span, he connected on just 18 of 43 shots from the floor.

But the turning point came in the Bruins' sixth game, a dramatic 87-85 victory against Pepperdine. Farmar scored 25 points in the game, on 8-for-11 shooting, turned the ball over just once and scored the game-winning basket with less than five seconds left to play.

From there, Farmar settled into his role and became one of the top performers in the Pac-10 regardless of class. His steady play at the point was especially crucial in helping UCLA win its final four games of the season, a feat that got the Bruins off of the NCAA bubble.

"Jordan has done a great job leading this program," Howland said. "He has continued to improve throughout the season and has played his best basketball down the home stretch."

While he's focused on trying to lead his team on an NCAA-tourney run, Farmar already has targeted one aspect of his game on which he'll focus during the offseason.

"The shooting and ball skills are things you always work on, but I need to let my body mature and get in the weight room and get stronger," said Farmar, who was named the Rivals.com National Freshman of the Week twice this season. "I want to be at my optimum physical condition."

Farmar's coach has little doubt that his point guard will continue to get better in all areas of the game.

Said Howland: "With Jordan, what's exciting for me is his best is yet to come."

2004-05 Rivals.com National Hoops Freshman of the Week winners
Arron Afflalo, March 1
Glen Davis, Feb. 22
Darius Washington, Feb. 15
Marvin Williams, Feb. 8
Darius Washington, Feb. 1
Daniel Gibson, Jan. 25
Jeff Green, Jan. 18
Jordan Farmar, Jan. 11
D.J. White, Jan. 4
Toney Douglas, Dec. 28
Bryce Taylor, Dec. 21
Jordan Farmar, Dec. 14
Daniel Gibson, Dec. 7


EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 77
Sunday, Dec 06
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 76
Saturday, Dec 12
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
W, 71 - 66
Tuesday, Dec 15
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
W, 89 - 80
Saturday, Dec 19
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
L, 76 - 89
Tuesday, Dec 22
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 67 - 53
Friday, Jan 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 93 - 96 (2OT)
Sunday, Jan 03
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
L, 78 - 85
Thursday, Jan 07
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 84
Saturday, Jan 09
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 74
Wednesday, Jan 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 75 - 89
Wednesday, Jan 20
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
W, 82 - 73
Saturday, Jan 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
L, 72 - 86
Thursday, Jan 28
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
L, 84 - 86
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 50
Thursday, Feb 04
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 61 - 80
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Wednesday, Mar 02 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Mar 05 - 3:30 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Mar 09 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, Mar 10 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 8:30 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Mar 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, Mar 15 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Four
Dayton, OH
Thursday, Mar 17 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Round
TBA
Saturday, Mar 19 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
TBA
Thursday, Mar 24 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Mar 26 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Apr 02 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
Monday, Apr 04 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS