Jan. 7, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Riding a seven-game winning streak, the UCLA men's basketball team (12-3, 2-0) will play at Utah (8-6, 0-2) on Thursday evening at 6:30 pm PT/7:30 pm MT. The Bruins won the only meeting between the two schools last season, securing a 76-49 decision at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Thursday's game will mark the Bruins' first true road contest of the 2012-13 season and will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks.
Venue: Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000)
Tip-Off Time: 6:32 pm PT/7:32 pm MT
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Ernie Kent (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 123
SIRIUS XM Radio: Channel 191
HITTING THE ROAD
UCLA will play its first pair of away games this week, facing Utah on Thursday (6:30 pm PT) and Colorado on Saturday (11 a.m. PT). The Bruins have not played at the University of Utah since 1930, as last year's meeting at the Los Angeles Sports Arena was the first matchup between the two schools since an NCAA Tournament game in 1983 (in Provo, Utah).
THE LAST TIME OUT
Four UCLA players scored in double figures as the Bruins earned a 76-49 win over Utah in the two schools' last meeting (Jan. 26, 2012 in Los Angeles). The Bruins led at halftime, 36-21, and finished the contest having shot 58.7 percent from the field (including 56.3 percent from 3-point range).
EYEING THE BUFFALOES
Following Thursday's game at Utah, the Bruins will face Colorado on Saturday. Last season, UCLA secured a 77-60 win at the Los Angeles Sports Arena against the Buffaloes in both schools' only matchup (Jan. 28, 2012). Lazeric Jones finished with a game-high 17 points and nine assists.
UCLA IN CONFERENCE ACTION
UCLA opened its conference slate with a pair of victories over California (79-65) and Stanford (68-60) last week, marking the first time that the Bruins have opened conference play 2-0 since 2007-08. Under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has won its first two conference games four times (including this season). Against California, Kyle Anderson totaled 19 points and 12 rebounds. Two days later, Shabazz Muhammad logged a game-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, collecting his second double-double of the season.
LEADERS OF THE PAC
Entering this week's slate of Pac-12 contests, freshman Shabazz Muhammad ranks second in the conference in scoring (19.6 ppg) and freshman Jordan Adams is sixth in that category (16.6 ppg). UCLA leads all Pac-12 teams with 79.9 points per game and ranks fourth in rebounding offense (39.4 rpg). In addition, the Bruins rank first in the Pac-12 in assists per game (18.1) and assist turnover ratio (1.6).
GIVING AN ASSIST
Through games played Sunday, senior Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (5.57) and ranks second, nationally, in assists per game (8.5). Drew II has logged at least eight assists in 11 of UCLA's 15 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 13 of 15 contests. Through UCLA's recent six-game homestand, Drew II registered 54 assists and seven turnovers while averaging 6.8 points per game.
Larry Drew II has totaled 128 assists and 23 turnovers in 15 games. His assist per game average and assist turnover ratio through 15 games is the best of any UCLA player under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland. Previously, Darren Collison had logged 93 assists and 49 turnovers midway through the 2006-07 season. UCLA leads the Pac-12 in assists per game, assist turnover ratio and turnover margin.
HIGH OCTANE OFFENSE
UCLA has averaged a Pac-12-leading 79.9 points per game and averaged 86.5 points during its most recent six-game homestand. Prior to a four-game span in December, UCLA had not scored 89 or more points in four straight games since 1990-91. UCLA scored 91 points against Fresno State (Dec. 22) and 97 versus Missouri (Dec. 28), marking the first time since Jan. 13-18, 2001, that the Bruins scored 90 or more points in consecutive games.
Shabazz Muhammad (27 pts), Jordan Adams (25 pts) and Kyle Anderson (20 pts) became UCLA's first-ever freshman trio to log at least 20 points each in the same game on Dec. 22, 2012, helping lead UCLA past Fresno State, 91-78. In the Bruins' previous game (vs. Long Beach State, Dec. 18), Muhammad (21 pts) and Adams (24 pts) became UCLA's first-ever freshman duo to score at least 20 points in the same game.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Kyle Anderson leads all UCLA players and all Pac-12 freshmen with 8.9 rebounds per game. He is the only Pac-12 player to rank in the top seven in the conference in rebounds per game (8.9, 6th) and assists per game (3.7, 7th). The freshman from Fairview, N.J., has tallied four double-doubles, most recently logging team-highs with 19 points and 12 rebounds in a 79-65 win over California (Jan. 3).
Kyle Anderson finished three assists shy of a triple-double against Fresno State (Dec. 22, had season-highs with 20 points and 17 rebounds). UCLA's only previous triple-doubles occurred 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).
MORE ON DREW II
Senior Larry Drew II recorded a career-high 13 assists (with just two turnovers) in UCLA's 82-56 win against Cal State Northridge (Nov. 28). The former standout at Taft High School (Woodland Hills, Calif.) has logged five games with zero turnovers and at least five assists. Drew II scored a career-high 14 points in the Bruins' 89-70 win against Long Beach State (Dec. 18), finishing that game with nine assists and one turnover.
Larry Drew II has dished 10 or more assists in five games this season - 12 against James Madison (Nov. 15), 13 versus Cal State Northridge (Nov. 28), 11 against San Diego State (Dec. 1), and 10 in wins against Fresno State (Dec. 22) and Missouri (Dec. 28). Drew II transferred to UCLA from North Carolina midway during the 2010-11 season and sat out the 2011-12 season (due to NCAA transfer rules).
Freshman Shabazz Muhammad secured Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week honors, as announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) for the week of Dec. 24-30. He also earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors that week after having scored 27 points in the Bruins' 97-94 overtime win over then-No. 7 Missouri. Muhammad made 10 of 19 field goals, including three of six 3-point attempts, against the Tigers.
Junior twin brothers Travis and David Wear scored 22 points and 16 points, respectively, in the Bruins' 97-94 win over Missouri on Dec. 28. The Wear brothers' combined 38 points against Missouri marked the duo's best career combined point total (previous combined high was 34 points against Arizona on Jan. 5, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif.). Travis Wear has scored in double figures in nine of UCLA's 15 games this season.
Freshman Jordan Adams ranks second on the team with 16.6 ppg, the sixth-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 (and the third-best mark among Pac-12 freshmen). Adams became the first freshman at UCLA to have scored 20+ points in each of his first four games (freshmen could not play varsity until 1972-73). He became UCLA's first player in any class to have opened a season with four straight games of 20+ points since 1990-91 (Don MacLean, six straight).
FOUR IN A ROW
Freshmen Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad have each scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games this season. Regardless of class, that feat had not been accomplished by any UCLA player since the 2004-05 season, when Dijon Thompson had four straight games of 20+ points in January and February of 2005. Adams opened the 2012-13 season with four straight 20+ point performances and Muhammad achieved that feat in Dec. 2012.
The Bruins have gone 4-1 in games decided by five points or fewer this season. UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes to defeat Missouri, 97-94 in overtime, on Dec. 28. Other narrow victories have come against Texas (65-63, Dec. 8), 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 53-32 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.