UCLA Hosts Arizona at Honda Center Thursday Night

Jan. 4, 2012


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Coach Howland's Press Conference | Gametracker | Live Audio

DATE: Jan. 5, 2012
SITE: Honda Center (17,608)
TIP-OFF: 8:06 p.m. (PT)
TV: Fox Sports Net and Prime Ticket
TALENT: Steve Physioc (play-by-play) and Marques Johnson (analyst)
RADIO (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
SERIES: UCLA leads 48-35

This is the 84th meeting between UCLA and Arizona with the Bruins leading the series 48-35 (.578). The Bruins won the last meeting, a 71-49 blowout of then 10th-ranked Arizona, in the final home men's game of old Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 26, 2011. Reeves Nelson had a huge double-double of 27 points and 16 rebounds to help UCLA improve to 30-13 against the Wildcats at home. Joshua Smith had 17 points while Tyler Honeycutt added 15 in the victory. Derrick Williams had 15 points and seven rebounds while Kyle Fogg chipped in 10 points to lead the Arizona scoring attack. In addition to this game being a Pac-12 Conference game and a home game for UCLA (NCAA says that the Honda Center has been designated as a home-away-from-home site in 2011-12), it also is a John R. Wooden Classic contest. Head Coach Ben Howland is 10-9 all-time against Arizona.

This is UCLA's 15th appearance in the John R. Wooden Classic. The Bruins are 10-4 (.714) all-time in Wooden Classic matchups. UCLA is 8-0 in the Wooden Classic when they are ranked and 2-4 as an unranked team. The Bruins upset previously unbeaten No. 16 BYU (10-0) 86-79 in last year's Wooden Classic. Reeves Nelson led four Bruins in double figures with 23 points (Honeycutt 17, Smith 15, Jones 12) while Jimmer Fredette had 25 points to lead BYU. Brandon Davies scored 18 for BYU.

UCLA began the season ranked 17th in the AP Top 25 and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, but has fallen out of both polls. Arizona is unranked in both polls but was ranked No. 16 in both during the preseason.

Ben Howland earned his 300th victory of his career with the 72-54 win over DePaul in the 15th Annual John R. Wooden Classic (Dec. 13, 2008). He is currently 364-188 (.659), which ranks 35th on the winningest active coaches list by percentage and 50th on the active list by victories. Howland's first career victory was his first game at Northern Arizona in 1994, a 71-69 victory over New Mexico Highlands. His 100th career victory came in his second season at Pittsburgh in the 77-65 win at home over Seton Hall (Jan. 13, 2001). His 200th win came in his third season at UCLA with the 56-37 home win over Delaware State (Nov. 19, 2005). Howland is 19-9 (.679) in the NCAA Tournament (15-6 (.714) at UCLA).

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland is approaching 200 career victories at UCLA and currently sits at 196-89 (.688) at UCLA in his ninth season at the helm of the Bruins. With the win over Eastern Washington (Dec. 14), Howland passed Jim Harrick for second place on the all-time UCLA career victories list. Harrick posted a 192-62 record in his eight seasons (1988-89 to 1995-96) as the Bruins' mentor. Coach John R. Wooden is the all-time leader at 620-147 (.808) in his 27 seasons (1948-49 to 1974-75).

Junior guard De'End Parker has missed the last 12 games with patellar tendinitis and is out for the game against Arizona (Jan. 5). Senior point guard Lazeric Jones and freshman guard Norman Powell both suffered left ankle sprains in practice on Dec. 27, but both were able to play in the Pac-12 opener at Stanford on Dec. 29. Jones rolled the same ankle late in the first-half at California (Dec. 31), but returned to play the second half.

Senior point guard Lazeric Jones had his career-best eight straight games in double figures snapped in the loss at Cal last week. The Bruins are 6-3 in the last nine games after starting the season 1-4. In the last nine games, Jones has averaged 16.1 points, 4.0 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals while shooting 61.0 percent (49-for-84) from the field and 58.1 percent (18-for-31) from three-point range.

Senior point guard Lazeric Jones is second among all NCAA Division I guards in effective field goal percentage since Nov. 28 (or in his last nine games). Effective field goal percentage is field goals made, plus 0.5 of three-point field goals made, divided by the number of field goal attempts. In Jones' case, he is 49-of-84 from the field and has made 18 three-pointers. So when you add 49 and 9 (half of his 18 treys) divided by 84, you get his effective shooting percentage of 69.0 percent. He is just behind Buffalo senior guard Zach Filzen (.717, 43-of-60) and ahead of BYU junior guard Brock Zylstra (.652, 45-of-69).

UCLA Basketball is coming to an arena near you. The Bruins host nine more home games during the regular season, with seven being played at the Los Angeles Sports Arena (downtown L.A.) and two at the Honda Center (Anaheim). Catch all nine exciting contests in UCLA's inaugural Pac-12 season.

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