Jan. 28, 2013
LOS ANGELES - UCLA will be sporting an all-new blue uniform as it hosts crosstown rival USC on Wednesday evening in Pauley Pavilion (7 p.m.). The Bruins are encouraging their fans to take the lead of the players and go full head-to-toe dressed in blue. UCLA (16-5, 6-2 Pac-12) has won its last four meetings against the Trojans (8-13, 3-5). Wednesday evening's game will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion (13,800)
Tip-Off Time: 7:05 p.m. PT
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 92
SIRIUS XM Radio: Channel 199
UCLA renews its rivalry with USC on the court this Wednesday evening in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins are looking to extend their winning streak against the Trojans to five games. UCLA won all three meetings last season, including a 55-40 decision in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament at Staples Center. The Bruins enter this week's conference meeting having won 11 of their last 13 games. USC looks to snap a two-game skid.
Looking to give the Bruins a home court advantage, UCLA is encouraging its fans to WEAR BLUE in Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday. The Bruins will wear alternate all-blue uniforms, designed and developed by adidas. The new uniforms feature solid color blocking of team logos and a shimmer finish for a bold on-court look.
Reggie Miller will have his No. 31 jersey retired at halftime during Wednesday's game against USC. Miller is one of three former UCLA stars to be honored with a jersey retirement this season - Jamaal Wilkes' No. 52 was retired Jan. 17, and Don Barksdale's No. 11 jersey will be retired Feb. 7. Among the greatest pure shooters, Miller starred at UCLA from 1984-87, helping guide the Bruins to the 1985 NIT Championship (sophomore season).
BACK FROM THE DESERT
UCLA split a pair of road games at Arizona and Arizona State last week. The Bruins upended No. 6-ranked Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., 84-73, last Thursday night before a raucous crowd of 14,617 at the McKale Center. Two days later, UCLA dropped a 78-60 decision at Arizona State. Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams scored in double figures in each game. Muhammad led UCLA with 23 points against Arizona, while Adams logged a team-high 19 at ASU.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS
UCLA has gone 2-2 against teams ranked in the top-25 this season (team must be ranked on day of game) and has posted a 2-0 mark against top-10 ranked opponents. This marks the fourth season in Ben Howland's 10-year tenure as UCLA's head coach that the Bruins have earned two wins against top-10 teams - UCLA downed No. 7 Missouri (97-94, overtime) on Dec. 28 and knocked off No. 6 Arizona (84-73) on Jan. 24.
Shabazz Muhammad recorded his eighth game with at least 20 points, totaling a team-best 23 points at Arizona in an 84-73 win last Thursday night. UCLA has gone 8-0 this season when Muhammad has scored at least 20 points. The freshman from Las Vegas scored a season-high 27 points in consecutive games in December - in victories over Fresno State (Dec. 22) and then-No. 7 Missouri (Dec. 28). Muhammad currently ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring and has logged the highest scoring average of any Pac-12 freshman.
Not only has Kyle Anderson logged six double-doubles, but the freshman from Fairview, N.J., is the Pac-12 Conference's only player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (5th, 9.1 rpg) and assists (6th, 3.8). Anderson is averaging 9.6 points per game and has compiled a 1.8 assist turnover ratio, the fourth-best mark among Pac-12 players. He is seventh in the conference in steals per game, having registered 35 steals in 21 contests (1.67 spg). Anderson totaled eight points and 12 rebounds in UCLA's 84-73 win at Arizona last Thursday evening.
GIVING AN ASSIST
Through games played Sunday, Jan. 27, senior guard Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (4.6) and ranks fourth, nationally, in assists per game (8.0). Drew II has logged at least eight assists in 14 of UCLA's 21 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 17 of 21 games. Overall, Drew II has totaled 167 assists and 36 turnovers in 21 games while averaging 6.2 points per game. Drew II has registered more assists (167) than any UCLA player since Darren Collison finished the 2006-07 season with 199 assists as a sophomore.
UCLA's trio of freshman starters - Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad - have accounted for 52.6 percent of the Bruins' total points (851 of 1619) and for 45.0 percent of the team's total rebounds (362 of 804). These freshmen account for three of UCLA's top four scorers. Kyle Anderson's team-leading 192 rebounds are the most by any UCLA freshman since Kevin Love finished with 406 boards in 2007-08. Muhammad has scored at least 20 points in eight games, while Adams has scored at least 20 points in seven games.
UCLA returns to action at home versus Washington on Thursday, Feb. 7. Two days later, the Bruins will host Washington State in Pauley Pavilion. Last season, UCLA split a pair of regular-season games against Washington (each team won its' home game). The Bruins won both regular-season contests versus Washington State. After the pair of home games against Washington and Washington State, UCLA will play at California (Feb. 14) and Stanford (Feb. 16).
DON'T BE OFFENDED
UCLA leads all Pac-12 programs in scoring average, having registered 77.1 points per game (the 23rd highest scoring average in the nation). In addition, UCLA has compiled the third-best scoring margin among Pac-12 programs, having outscored the opposition by an average of 8.1 points per game. The Bruins lead the conference in field goal percentage (46.9 percent, ranking No. 29 in the nation) and are first in assists per game (17.3 apg, No. 8 in the nation).
PROTECTING THE BALL
UCLA enters Wednesday night's contest against Southern California having compiled a 1.54 assist turnover ratio, the highest ratio in 10 seasons under head coach Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (4.64). The Bruins have had just one game this season (Nov. 20, vs. Georgia in Brooklyn, N.Y.) with more turnovers than assists.
Freshman Kyle Anderson finished three assists shy of a triple-double against Fresno State (Dec. 22), posting season-highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds that night. UCLA's only previous triple-doubles took place in Dec. 1995. Toby Bailey finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 18, 1995. Jelani McCoy tallied 15 points, 11 blocks and 10 rebounds against Maryland on Dec. 9, 1995.
RUNNING THE POINT
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). He has dished 10 or more assists in five games this season and has scored in double figures in four contests. The transfer from University of North Carolina made his debut at UCLA on Nov. 9, 2012, after having sat out the 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Freshman Jordan Adams ranks second on the team with 15.2 ppg, the eighth-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 (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).
The Bruins have gone 6-1 in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes to defeat Missouri, 97-94 in overtime (Dec. 28). Other victories have come against Colorado (78-75), Utah (57-53, Jan. 10), Texas (65-63, Dec. 8), Georgia (60-56, Nov. 20) and UC Irvine (80-79, overtime, Nov. 13). In 10 seasons as head coach, Ben Howland has led UCLA to a 54-32 record in games decided by five points or fewer.
Junior 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.