Feb. 18, 2013
LOS ANGELES - UCLA (19-7, 9-4) returns to the court at crosstown rival USC on Sunday, Feb. 24, looking to even the season series against the Trojans (12-14, 7-6). The Bruins have won three of their last four games and enter the week in a second-place tie with Arizona in the Pac-12 standings. Both UCLA and Arizona (9-4 Pac-12) trail first place Oregon (10-3 Pac-12) in the conference race. UCLA has just five regular-season games remaining on its regular-season schedule.
Venue: Galen Center (10,258)
Tip-Off Time: 12:36 p.m. PT
Television: Fox Sports Net
TV Talent: Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst), Laura McKeeman (reporter)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst)
UCLA HEADS TO USC
UCLA concludes its season series at crosstown rival USC on Sunday afternoon (12:30 p.m.), looking to respond from the Trojans' 75-71 overtime victory at UCLA on Wednesday, Jan. 30. USC's victory three weeks ago snapped UCLA's four-game win streak against the Trojans. In that contest, the Bruins forced overtime, overcoming a 15-point second-half deficit before USC won the game by four points (UCLA's first overtime loss since Feb. 20, 2011).
THE LAST TIME
Shabazz Muhammad scored a game-high 22 points while battling effects of the flu in UCLA's 75-71 overtime loss to USC on Jan. 30. Five players scored in double figures for USC, with Aaron Fuller leading the way with 15 points. USC shot at a 47.7 percent clip and out-rebounded UCLA by a 44-36 margin.
HOWLAND VERSUS USC
In his 10th season as UCLA's head coach, Ben Howland has registered a 13-9 record against USC. The Bruins have compiled a 4-2 record against USC at Galen Center since the Trojans' home arena opened during the 2006-07 season. Last year, UCLA downed USC, 66-47, at Galen Center.
BACK FROM THE BAY
The Bruins split a pair of road games at California (lost, 76-63) and Stanford (won, 88-80) last week and currently rest in a second-place tie with Arizona in the Pac-12 standings. UCLA and Arizona trail first-place Oregon by one game in the conference race. Shabazz Muhammad averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in the two games, totaling a game-high 25 points in UCLA's 88-80 win at Stanford last Saturday afternoon.
DON'T BE OFFENDED
UCLA leads the Pac-12 in scoring average, having registered 76.0 points per game (No. 26, nationally). The Bruins lead all Pac-12 teams in conference action with 71.0 points per game. UCLA has compiled the third-best scoring margin in the Pac-12 (all games), outscoring the opposition by 6.8 points per game. The Bruins are first in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (46.4 pct, No. 42 in nation) and are first in assists per game (17.0 apg, No. 8 in nation).
Shabazz Muhammad leads all NCAA Division I freshmen in scoring, having logged 18.5 ppg in 23 games. UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett has registered 18.0 ppg (467 points, 26 games) entering the Rebels' game against Colorado State on Wednesday. Muhammad has scored at least 20 points in 11 games (UCLA has gone 10-1 in those contests). Muhammad has scored in double figures in 22 of 23 games played, including each of his last 10 contests.
Kyle Anderson ranks sixth in the nation among freshmen in rebounds per game (8.8). Not only has Anderson logged seven double-doubles, but he is also the Pac-12's only player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (6th, 8.8 rpg) and assists (6th, 3.7). Anderson has averaged 9.6 points per game and has compiled a 1.7 assist turnover ratio, the fourth-best mark among Pac-12 players. He ranks fifth in the conference in steals per game (1.7 spg).
Through games played Feb. 17, UCLA ranks fourth in the country in assist turnover ratio (1.52), while senior point guard Larry Drew II leads the country in that category (3.9). UCLA's loss at California on Feb. 14 marked the Bruins' only game this season in which they did not force 10 or more turnovers. UCLA has committed more turnovers than assists in just two of its 24 contests (wins against Georgia on Nov. 20 and Washington on Feb. 7).
TOP 10-YEAR TOTALS
UCLA has compiled more wins (227) and a higher winning percentage (.686) than any other Pac-12 program over the last 10 years, since Ben Howland took over as UCLA's head coach (2003-04 through 2012-13). UCLA is the only Pac-12 program to have recorded more than one 30-win season in the last 10 years - the Bruins had three consecutive years with at least 30 wins in 2006, 2007 and 2008. UCLA also leads the group of 12 teams, over the last 10 years, in Pac-12 wins (117), conference win percentage (.669), NCAA Tournament victories (15), NCAA Tournament win percentage (.714, 15-6 W-L), and Pac-12 regular-season titles (3).
GIVING AN ASSIST
Through games played Sunday, Feb. 17, senior Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (3.90) and ranks fourth, nationally, in assists per game (7.65). Drew II is currently tied for seventh place on UCLA's single-season assist list. His average of 7.65 assists per game stands as the highest mark in school history, just ahead of Pooh Richardson's 7.61 assist per game average in 1989. Drew II has logged at least eight assists in 16 of 26 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 19 of 26 games. No UCLA player has registered 200 or more assists in one season since Tyus Edney finished with 216 assists in 1995.
Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad are among 12 players who have been named to the Wayman Tisdale Award National Freshman of the Year midseason watch list. UCLA is the only program to have at least three freshmen selected to the award's midseason watch list. Michigan and UCLA are the only teams with at least two players on the watch list, as released by the U.S. Basketball Writers' Association on Jan. 31.
UCLA's trio of freshman starters - Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad - have accounted for 53.7 percent of the Bruins' total points (1063 of 1976) and for 46.3 percent of the team's total rebounds (449 of 969). These freshmen account for three of UCLA's top four scorers. Kyle Anderson's team-leading 230 rebounds are the most by any UCLA freshman since Kevin Love finished with 406 boards in 2007-08.
Larry Drew II made a game-winning jump shot at the buzzer against Washington on Feb 7, lifting the Bruins to a 59-57 win over Washington. Drew II's winning shot marked UCLA's first "buzzer beater" since Jan. 20, 2011, when Reeves Nelson scored on a tip-in at the buzzer in Pauley Pavilion to help UCLA beat California, 86-84. Earlier this season, Drew II made a driving layup at Utah (Jan. 10) in the final 10 seconds to help UCLA preserve a 57-54 win. He also made a game-winning layup with 17 seconds left in overtime to give UCLA an 80-79 win over UC Irvine (Nov. 13).
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.
Freshman Jordan Adams ranks second on the team with 14.7 ppg, the 10th-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 7-2 in games decided by five points or fewer this season. In 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has logged a 55-33 record in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA's two greatest comeback wins this season took place against Texas (Dec. 8) and Missouri (Dec. 28). The Bruins trailed Texas (in Houston) by eight points (59-51) with 3:43 to play in regulation and took a 62-61 lead with 47 seconds left. UCLA was losing to Missouri by nine points (86-77) with 5:34 remaining in the second half before winning the game in overtime.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS
UCLA has gone 2-2 against teams ranked in the top-25 this season (team must be ranked during week 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.
Sophomore guard Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL (sustained the injury on Oct. 26, 2012). Sophomore guard David Brown is day to day with a sprained right ankle.