March 4, 2013
LOS ANGELES - No. 23 UCLA closes its regular season with two Pac-12 road games this week, currently tied for first place in the Pac-12 Conference standings with Oregon. The Bruins (22-27, 12-4) will play at Washington State (11-18, 2-14) on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. The Bruins close their regular season on Saturday at Washington (11 a.m.).
Venue: Beasley Coliseum (11,671)
Tip-Off Time: 6:35 p.m. PT
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), Don MacLean (analyst)
ON THE ROAD
UCLA has won its last 19 games at Washington State, a streak that began during the 1993-94 season. The Bruins have recorded an 18-2 record in 10 seasons against Washington State under head coach Ben Howland. UCLA has not won at Washington since Jan. 10, 2004, during Coach Howland's first season as the Bruins' head coach.
THE LAST TIME
The Bruins opened a 39-24 cushion before securing a 76-62 win over Washington State in Pauley Pavilion when the schools last faced each other on Feb. 9, 2013. Shabazz Muhammad scored 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, and Jordan Adams finished with 14 points for UCLA.\
Shabazz Muhammad has been named one of eight finalists for the Integris Walter Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award, as announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers' Association on Monday. In addition, Kyle Anderson secured Pac-12 Player of the Week honors Monday after averaging 19.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg in two home victories last week. Anderson and Muhammad are UCLA's only players to have earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season.
UCLA'S RECENT RUN
The Bruins have won six of their last seven games after having dropped back-to-back games to Arizona State (Jan. 26) and USC (Jan. 30). UCLA has won its last four games, outscoring the opposition by an average of 8.5 ppg. Through the Bruins' last seven games, Larry Drew II has made 12 of 19 three-point shots (.632) while averaging 10.6 ppg and 7.4 apg. During UCLA's four-game win streak, Kyle Anderson has averaged 16.8 ppg and 11.0 rpg.
HELPING A BROTHER OUT
David Wear has averaged 9.9 ppg and 9.0 rpg in UCLA's last three games, stepping up for twin brother Travis Wear (right foot sprain). David averaged 35.5 minutes last week against USC and Arizona State when Travis could not play. Travis played 17 minutes in UCLA's win over Arizona (March 2), his first game back from the injury. David totaled 15 points and eight rebounds in UCLA's 83-74 win at Arizona (Jan. 24) when Travis missed the second half (concussion).
UCLA guaranteed itself a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament with a 74-69 win over Arizona last Saturday night (top four teams in Pac-12 standings advance to quarterfinals). UCLA and Oregon are currently tied for first place in the Pac-12 standings, at 12-4, with two games remaining on their schedules. The Bruins can assure themselves of at least a tie for the conference's regular-season crown by winning at Washington State and at Washington this week.
Freshman Shabazz Muhammad leads UCLA with 18.3 ppg, the second-highest scoring average among Pac-12 players (behind California's Allen Crabbe, 18.4 ppg). Muhammad ranks No. 36, nationally, in points per game, but first among all freshmen in the country. He is second in the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage (.446). The 6-foot-6 forward was named as one of 30 candidates to the Naismith College Player of the Year Award watch list last week.
UCLA leads the Pac-12 in scoring average, having registered 76.0 points per game (No. 23, nationally). The Bruins lead all Pac-12 teams in conference action with 72.0 points per game. UCLA has compiled the third-best scoring margin in the Pac-12 (all games), outscoring the opposition by 7.0 points per game. The Bruins are first in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (46.3 pct, No. 46 in nation) and are first in assists per game (17.2 apg, No. 5 in nation).
Freshman Kyle Anderson has logged eight of UCLA's 13 double-doubles. The 6-foot-9 product of Fairview, N.J., is the Pac-12's only player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (6th, 9.0 rpg) and assists (6th, 3.7). Anderson has averaged 10.3 points per game and has compiled a 1.8 assist turnover ratio, the third-best mark among Pac-12 players. Anderson enters the week ranking fifth in the conference in steals per game (1.7 spg).
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Kyle Anderson enters Wednesday night's game having logged a team-leading 261 rebounds in 29 games. His rebound total is the fifth-highest single-season total at UCLA in 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland. Anderson's 9.0 rpg average is the third-highest mark in the Howland Era.
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 (vs. Fresno State). That trio also accomplished the feat in a 79-74 overtime win versus Arizona State (Feb. 27), with Adams scoring 22, and Muhammad and Anderson 21 each. Muhammad has twice scored 27 points, and Adams logged 26 against UC Irvine (Nov. 13).
UCLA has won three conference regular-season crowns under head coach Ben Howland (2006, 2007, 2008) and has won the Pac-12 Tournament twice (2006, 2008) during the Howland Era. UCLA can clinch a share of the Pac-12's regular-season crown with Oregon by winning both games this week. The Bruins can secure the regular-season title in outright fashion with two wins and one loss by Oregon (at Utah, at Colorado this week).
UCLA's trio of freshman starters - Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad - have accounted for 54.9 percent of the Bruins' total points (1210 of 2204) and for 47.0 percent of the team's total rebounds (507 of 1078). These freshmen account for three of UCLA's top four scorers. Kyle Anderson's team-leading 261 rebounds are the most by any UCLA freshman since Kevin Love finished with 415 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 15.0 ppg, the 10th-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 (third-best mark among Pac-12 freshmen). The native of Atlanta has scored in double figures in 21 games and has recorded at least 20 points in 10 contests. 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 9-2 in games decided by five points or fewer this season. In 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has logged a 57-33 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 3-2 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.
OPENED IN DOUBLE-DIGITS
Freshman Shabazz Muhammad scored in double digits in each of his first 12 games at UCLA, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since Kevin Love (2007-08) scored in double figures in all 38 games played as a freshman (missed the 13th game of the season). Muhammad and Love are the only players in head coach Ben Howland's 10-year tenure to have opened their UCLA career with at least seven consecutive double-digit efforts.
Junior forward Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL (sustained the injury on Oct. 26, 2012).