New UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland Era Begins Saturday

Nov. 25, 2003

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SATURDAY, NOV. 29 - VERMONT at UCLA (Pauley Pavilion, 5 p.m., TV- Fox Sports Net West 2/Radio - XTRA Sports 690/1150, with Chris Roberts and Don MacLean).


No. NamePos. Ht. Cl. Ppg Rpg
1Dijon ThompsonF6-7Jr.14.04.7
4Trevor ArizaF6-7Fr.22.0*8.0*
45Michael FeyC7-0So.2.31.6
3Brian MorrisonG6-2Jr.7.1**1.4**
21Cedric BozemanG6-6Jr.7.33.0

*2002-03 Westchester HS
**2001-02 North Carolina

UCLA HEAD COACH Ben Howland - Begins his first season at UCLA and his 10 th year as a head coach (Pittsburgh 2000-03/Northern Arizona 1995-99/168-99 overall). In his last two seasons 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.

In school history, seven of UCLA's 12 head coaches won their first game as the new Bruin head mentor (1988- 89, Jim Harrick, 84-62 vs. Texas Tech in Pauley Pavilion; 1984-85, Walt Hazzard, 87-58 vs. Idaho in Pauley Pavilion; 1979-80, Larry Brown, 82-40 vs. Idaho State in Pauley Pavilion; 1977-78, Gary Cunningham, 75-73 vs. BYU in Pauley Pavilion; 1948-49, John Wooden, 43-37 vs. UC Santa Barbara in Los Angeles; 1921-22, Caddy Works, 30-12 vs. Cal Tech in Los Angeles and 1919-20, Fred W. Cozens, 46-38 vs. Manual Arts HS in Los Angeles).

UCLA STAFF - Joining Howland are assistant coaches -Donny Daniels, for the last three seasons was the head coach at CS Fullerton; Ernie Zeigler, for the last two years served on Howland's Pittsburgh staff and Kerry Keating, for the last two seasons was at Tennessee under Buzz Peterson, along with Director of Operations Chris Carlson, who for the last two seasons served in the same capacity for Howland at Pittsburgh. Rounding out the staff are Administrative Assistant Doug Erickson, in his 12 th season on the Bruin basketball staff and Basketball Intern Matt Geniesse, in his third season.

THE BRUINS - From last season's team, UCLA returns four performers, all who started at different times in 2002- 03 - 6-7 junior guard/forward Dijon Thompson (started UCLA's two exhibition games), 6-6 junior point guard Cedric Bozeman (started UCLA's two exhibition games), 7-0 sophomore center Ryan Hollins, a member of last summer's USA Junior World team and 6-9 senior forward T. J. Cummings (academically ineligible first quarter). UCLA returns four other lettermen who saw considerable playing time last year - 6-1 junior point guard Ryan Walcott, 6-0 senior guard Jon Crispin, 7-0 sophomore center Michael Fey (started both of UCLA's exhibition games) and 6-8 junior forward Josiah Johnson. The Bruins also return four other lettermen who had playing minutes in 2002-03, led by 6-3 junior guard Janou Rubin, along with two redshirts from last season, led by 6-8 freshman forward Matt McKinney (out 6-8 weeks with a fractured bone in his left foot). Newcomers to the active Bruin roster will include - 6-2 junior guard Brian Morrison, who sat out last season after transferring to UCLA from North Carolina (he started UCLA's two exhibition games) and 6-8 true freshman Trevor Ariza, who last season earned second-team Parade Magazine All-America honors and led Westchester HS to its second consecutive Div. I CA State title (Ariza started both exhibition games).

UCLA'S LAST GAMES - Both exhibition contests, the Bruins defeated the Southern California All-Stars 95-59 on Nov. 18 and on Nov. 12, UCLA defeated EA Sports West, 74-67, with four Bruin alumni on the roster (Ray Young, Matt Barnes, Rico Hines and Ed O'Bannon, the 1995 Wooden Award winner as the nation's top player). (please see attached box scores).

VERMONT (0-2 overall/2002-03-Overall 21-12, America East 11-5, second-place, lost in first round of NCAA to Arizona, 80-51).


No.NamePos.Ht. Cl. Ppg Rpg
22Taylor CoppenrathF6-9Jr.19.06.0
43Scotty JonesF6-7Sr.4.03.0
11T. J. SorrentineG5-11Jr.7.02.0
24David HehnG6-5Jr.0.04.0
32Germain NjilaG/F6-4Jr.6.06.0

HEAD COACH TOM BRENNAN - in his 18 th year at Vermont and 23 rd season as a head coach, he entered 2003- 04 with a 217-260 school mark and a 269-235 overall record.

THE CATAMOUNTS - Last season, Vermont advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history (the Catamounts won the America East Tournament after placing second in the regular season) and lost to Arizona, 80-51. The Catamounts return most everyone from last season, including Taylor Coppenrath, the 2003 America East Player of the Year and T. J. Sorrentine, the 2002 America East Player of the Year (who missed last season after breaking both wrists in the preseason). LAST GAMES - On Monday, Nov. 24, the Catamounts dropped a 56-53 decision at Iona in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at White Plains, NY. On Nov. 17 in a Preseason NIT first round game at Nevada, Vermont lost to Nevada, 69-49 in Reno.

SERIES HISTORY - It's the first meeting between UCLA and Vermont.


UCLA IN SEASON OPENERS - Since 1975-76 (1974-75 was John Wooden's last season as the Bruin head coach), UCLA is 20-8 (28 years) in season openers. Since 1989-90, the Bruins are 9-5 (14 years) and since 1999-00, UCLA is 2-2 (four years). Since 1965-66 (Pauley Pavilion's first year), when UCLA's season opener has been in Pauley, the Bruins are 25-3 (in the last four season openers in Pauley, the Bruins are 2-2 -2002, lost to San Diego, 86-81OT; 1999-beat Fairfield, 76-57; 1998-beat Santa Clara, 89-76;1996-lost to Tulsa, 77-76OT).

PAC-10 MEDIA DAY-BRUINS SELECTED SIXTH IN PRESEASON VOTE - Nov. 6 was Pac-10 Media Day at the LAX Hilton. According to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball, Arizona was picked to win the 2004 conference title, the Bruins were selected sixth. Here's the vote total -1. Arizona (26) 339, 2. Stanford (7) 321, 3. California (1) 238, 4. Oregon 215, 5. USC (1) 207, 6. UCLA 188, 7. Arizona State 185, 8. Washington 108, 9. Washington State 69, 10. Oregon State 55.

CO-CAPTAINS - Bruin head coach Ben Howland has appointed juniors, Cedric Bozeman and Dijon Thompson, as UCLA's season-long captains.

T. J. CUMMINGS - Cummings, 6-9 senior forward from Homewood, IL (Homewood-Flossmoor HS) is academically ineligible for the first quarter. He will miss at least five games (two exhibition/three regular season), but will be allowed to practice. At the conclusion of Fall Quarter final exams (Dec. 8-12), Cummings' academic status will be re-evaluated. If Cummings is ruled eligible (and depending on when that ruling is issued), he could play in some (or all) of UCLA's games between Fall and Winter Quarters (six games). Winter instruction begins Jan. 8.

Matt McKinney - On Nov. 4, UCLA announced that McKinney, 6-8 redshirt freshman forward from Santa Ynez HS, would miss 6-8 weeks because of a fractured bone in his left foot. The foof is casted and no surgery is planned. McKinney originally injured his left foot on June 15 during his first game in the Say-No Summer League at West Los Angeles College.

UCLA REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE - Featuring nine NCAA Tournament teams (14 games), along with two NIT representatives. The teams from last season's NCAA are- "Elite Eight" Kentucky, Michigan State and Arizona; "Sweet 16" Notre Dame and Vermont, along with Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford and California. St. John's won the 2003 NIT title and UC Santa Barbara also played in last year's NIT.

THE WOODEN CLASSIC - On Saturday, Dec. 6, UCLA will be making its seventh appearance in the Wooden Classic (10:30 a.m/CBS. vs. nationally-ranked Kentucky; second game-Stanford vs. Kansas), held at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. This is the 10 th anniversary of the Wooden Classic (UCLA played in the first Wooden Classic, beating Kentucky 82-81 and went on that season to win the school's 11 th NCAA Championship). UCLA's last appearance in the Wooden Classic was Dec. 8, 2001, when No. 20 UCLA defeated No. 16 Alabama, 79-57 (it was UCLA's fifth victory (in six games) at the Wooden Classic).

NELL AND JOHN WOODEN COURT - On Saturday, Dec. 20, when UCLA hosts nationally-ranked Michigan State (3:30 p.m./FSN), the floor of Pauley Pavilion will be dedicated - "Nell and John Wooden Court", named after the Bruins' legendary coach John Wooden and his late wife, Nell. There is an invitation-only luncheon before the game and all Bruin men's basketball lettermen alumni who have not received an invitation should call 310- 794-2378.

PRESEASON HONORS- Here's a list of the Bruin preseason team and individual honors.

-Athlon - Team-postseason prediction/NIT, No. 7 in Pac-10; Individual - Dijon Thompson. 2 nd team All-Pac-10; Trevor Ariza, No. 29 incoming freshman in the U. S.; Coaches - Kerry Keating, Top 10 assistant coach in the U. S.

-Basketball News -Team - No. 4 in the Pac-10; Individual - Brian Morrison, Impact Transfer; Dijon Thompson, 2 nd team All-Pac-10.

-Lindy's - Team - No. 7 in the Pac-10; Individual - Dijon Thompson, No. 13 small forward in the U. S./second-team All-Pac-10.

-Sporting News - Team- No. 7 in the Pac-10; Individual - Dijon Thompson, No. 12 small forward in the U. S./2 nd team All-Pac-10; Ten Other Formidable Front Courts-(Trevor Ariza, T. J. Cummings, Ryan Hollins, Dijon Thompson).

-Street & Smith's - Team-No. 6 in the Pac-10; Individual - Trevor Ariza, All-West Incoming Freshman (Top 100 College Freshmen).

UCLA SIGNS TOP 10 NATIONAL CLASS -ARRON AFFLALO, JORDAN FARMAR, LORENZO MATA AND JOSH SHIPP - UCLA head coach Ben Howland on Wednesday (Nov. 12) announced the National Letter of Intent signings of four players, all ranked in the nation's Top 100 among U. S. high school seniors. The four prep standouts, all from southern California are -6-5, 190-pound shooting guard Arron Afflalo from Compton Centennial HS; 6-2, 170-pound point guard Jordan Farmar from Taft HS in Woodland Hills; 6-9, 220-pound center Lorenzo Mata from South Gate HS and 6-5, 200-pound wing Josh Shipp from Los Angles Fairfax HS.

According to national recruiting expert Clark Francis (Hoop Scoop), the 2004 Bruin recruiting class is No. 9 in the U. S.

Here's a biographical breakdown of UCLA's four recruits, all incoming UCLA freshman next fall. Arron Afflalo

As a junior last season at Compton Centennial HS under coach Rod Palmer (who lettered at UCLA from 1986-87 and concluded his collegiate career at UC Irvine), Afflalo led the Apaches to a 19-11 overall record, to the CIF SS Div. III-A title game, the Div. III regional semifinals and a share of the Bay League title. A prolific scorer, he averaged 26.2 points a game (he scored 30 or more points on seven occasions and had a career-high 42 points vs. Carson at the one-day Pangos Dream Tournament in Pauley Pavilion last January) and also contributed 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists. In 2003, Afflalo was the Wooden Award Div. III Player of the Year, All-State Cal-Hi Sports, the CIF-SS Div. III-A co-Player of the Year and the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team Player of the Year.

Howland on Afflalo
"Arron is a classic two guard. I'm excited about his toughness and how he plays the game so hard and aggressive, yet so skillful. He's a good passer and shooter who does a good job of putting the ball to the floor and getting to the basket. He also has a chance to be an excellent defender, but what I like best about Arron is he's a very good competitor."

Jordan Farmar
As a junior last season under coach Derrick Taylor, Farmar led Taft to a 25-6 overall record and to the CIF Los Angeles City section semifinals (the first time in school history). He averaged 28.5 points, 9.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds. At last year's Simi Valley Tournament, Farmar averaged 43 points in four games. He was the 2003 Los Angeles Daily News co-Player of the Year.

Howland on Farmer
"Jordan is a true point guard. Looking at all the point guards (coming out of high school next year) from summer camps, Jordan was without a doubt among the top three in the country. He's an outstanding playmaker and shooter and I like his leadership qualities and competitive nature. Like all great point guards, he makes everyone else around him a better player."

Lorenzo Mata
Mata is the first South Gate HS boys basketball player in the school's history to receive a Div. I scholarship. As a junior last season under coach Sal Serrano, Mata had 25 double-doubles (in 26 contests) and averaged 21.4 points, 14.3 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots. He earned All-Los Angeles City Section and was a Long Beach Press-Telegram first-team performer. Mata's only been playing basketball for four years and could be a candidate for the Mexican National Team in the future.

Howland on Mata
"I'm extremely pleased with Lorenzo's signing and what he brings to UCLA. He's a very strong, athletic inside player who can block shots and rebound. He's a good defender who has a nice touch around the basket."

Josh Shipp
As a junior last season at Fairfax HS under coach Harvey Kitani, Shipp helped lead Fairfax to the City finals and averaged 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists and earned All-State underclassman and All-City second team honors. His father, Joe, was a USC football player; his older brother, Joe, was a senior forward last season at California and in 2003 he led the Pac-10 in scoring (20.4 points) and his sister, Britteny, attends UCLA.

Howland on Shipp
"Josh is an outstanding wing player. He is very skilled as an outside shooter and passer who comes from a great athletic family. Josh continues to get better and better each and every year and he will be an outstanding player here at UCLA."

WALT HAZZARD NAMED TO 2004 PAC-10 HALL OF HONOR - Hazzard, who led the Bruins to their first NCAA Championship (1964) and coached UCLA from 1985-88, will be UCLA's third inductee into the prestigious Pac-10 Hall of Honor (joining 2002 charter member John Wooden and 2003 inductee Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). A three-year starter and two-time All-American (1963-64) for the Bruins as a 6-2 guard under Wooden, Hazzard was the keystone to UCLA's first NCAA Championship in 1964 and first unbeaten season (30-0). As a senior co-captain in 1964, he averaged a career-high 18.6 points, was named the Outstanding Player at the NCAA Final Four and earned National Player of the Year honors from the USBWA and the Helms Athletic Foundation. At the conclusion of his Bruin career, Hazzard's 1,401 points were tops in school history. In 1964 after winning the NCAA crown, Hazzard also won a gold medal representing the U. S. team at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. A first-round draft choice of the Lakers, he played 10 years in the NBA, including one appearance in the NBA All-Star game. From 1985-88, Hazzard returned to UCLA as the Bruins' head men's basketball coach. In four winning seasons (his overall record was 77-47, 62.1), he led UCLA to two 20+ win campaigns, the 1987 Pac-10 regular and postseason championships, a 1987 NCAA second round advancement and two NIT bids, including the 1985 NIT Championship, in his first season as the Bruins' head coach. In 1987, Hazzard was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

Joining Hazzard in the 2004 class are - Khalid Reeves (Arizona), Lafayette "Fat" Lever (Arizona State), Jason Kidd (California), Ron Lee (Oregon), Mel Counts (Oregon State), Howard "Howie" Dallmar (Stanford), Bob Boyd (USC), James Edwards (Washington) and George Raveling (Washington State).

The 2004 Pac-10 Hall of Honor banquet will take place on Wednesday, March 10 in conjunction with the 2004 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament, held at The Staples Center in Los Angeles (March 11-13).

JEROME "POOH" RICHARDSON INDUCTED INTO UCLA ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME - UCLA's standout point guard from 1986-89, Richardson was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 3. During his four years (1986-89) as the Bruins' point guard, Richardson earned All-Pac-10 honors for three consecutive seasons (1987-89) and ended his career as the school's all-time leader in assists (833), steals (189, now No. 4), three-point FG% (46.4, 52-112) and games played (122, now No. 15). Following his collegiate career, Richardson had a 10-year career in the NBA, last playing with the Los Angeles Clippers, and he has endowed a UCLA athletic scholarship.


Ben Howland begins his first season as UCLA's head coach. Here's a quick year-by-year review of his Div. I collegiate head coaching career.

2002-03 (Pittsburgh) - led the Panthers to its second consecutive NCAA "Sweet 16", to the school's first ever Big East Tournament title and second consecutive Big East West crown.

2001-02 (Pittsburgh) - Consensus National Coach of the Year, leading the Panthers to a school record 29 victories, NCAA "Sweet 16", Big East West title and Big East Tournament Championship game.

2000-01 (Pittsburgh) - Pitt advanced to the second round of the NIT and to the Big East Tournament Championship game.

1999-00 (Pittsburgh) - first season at Pitt.

1998-99 (Northern Arizona) - first team in NCAA history to lead the NCAA in both FG% (52.3) and 3-PT FG% (44.5).

1997-98 (Northern Arizona) - led NAU to first-ever NCAA Tournament bid and to the Big Sky regular and postseason titles. Led nation in 3-PT FG% (43.0), second in FG% (52.3).

1996-97 (Northern Arizona) - orchestrated the 10 th best single-season turnaround in NCAA history. Big Sky regular season champion and led nation in 3-PT FG% (4.19) and second in FG% (51.6).

1995-96 (Northern Arizona) - second year at NAU.

1994-95 (Northern Arizona) - first year at NAU.


UCLA VS. NO. 1 - UCLA's 96-89OT victory over No. 1 Arizona on Mar. 13, 2003, in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament, was the fourth over a top-ranked team in as many years. On Jan. 12, 2002, UCLA defeated No. 1 Kansas, 87-77, at Pauley Pavilion. On Feb. 3, 2001, UCLA's 79-73 victory over No. 1 Stanford, the last undefeated team at the time, was its second against the No. 1 team in the nation in less than one year. Its victory over No. 1 Stanford on March 4, 2000 was the school's first over a No. 1 team since Dec. 1, 1986, when the Bruins defeated No. 1 North Carolina, 89-84 at Pauley Pavilion. The last time UCLA defeated a No. 1 team that late in the season was in 1980, when the Bruins upset DePaul in the second round of the NCAA Tournament en route to the title game against Louisville.

UCLA has defeated the nation's No. 1 team on the Associated Press poll on 10 occasions, ranking first on the all-time list. Notre Dame has done it nine times, Duke has done it eight times and North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Ohio State have recorded seven wins vs. a No. 1 team.

In Bruin history, during the regular season, UCLA is 7-11 vs. the No. 1 team, including last season's overtime win over Arizona in the Pac-10 Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, the Bruins have a record of 3-6 vs. the nation's No. 1 ranked team, including UCLA's 76-63 loss to Duke in the 2001 NCAA East Region "Sweet 16".

PAULEY PAVILION (12,819) - Has been the home of Bruin basketball for 38 seasons. UCLA's all-time Pauley Pavilion record is 528-75 (603 games, 87.6). UCLA overtime win vs. then-No. 18 Cal on Feb. 20, 2003 was UCLA's 600th game in Pauley Pavilion. The win over Washington on March 11, 2000 was UCLA's 500th victory on its home court.

On Feb. 19, 1997 in UCLA's 82-60 win over USC, the largest crowd in Pauley Pavilion history watched that game (13,382; previous high was 13,037 vs. Oregon, 3/11/95). Then, four days later (Feb. 23, 1997) in the 73-69 win over Duke, UCLA set a new attendance record 13,478, breaking the old one by 96.

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