SALT LAKE CITY – No. 25 UCLA (14-3, 3-1) plays at Utah (13-4, 2-3) on Saturday afternoon, with tipoff slated for 1:07pm (PT)/2:07pm (MT). UCLA is making its second trip to Salt Lake City since the Utes joined the Pac-12 Conference prior to the 2011-12 season. The Bruins defeated Colorado, 69-56, on the road on Thursday evening and are seeking their third consecutive victory this Saturday. UCLA owns a 6-4 all-time record against Utah.
Venue: Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000)
Tipoff Time: 1:07 p.m. PT/2:07 p.m. MT
TV: Fox Sports 1
TV Talent: Rob Stone (play-by-play), Jarron Collins (analyst)
Radio: AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
UCLA enters its game this Saturday afternoon with a 14-3 overall record after having opened the 2013-14 campaign with eight straight wins (UCLA’s first 8-0 start since going 14-0 to begin the 2006-07 campaign) … through games played Jan. 12, UCLA had ranked ninth in the nation in scoring (86.3 ppg), third in field goal percentage (51.4) and fourth in assists per game (18.1).
Sophomore Jordan Adams has led UCLA in scoring, either by himself or tied with teammates, in 10 of 17 games ... he has scored in double figures in 16 of UCLA’s 17 contests and has reached the 20-point plateau eight times.
Sophomore Kyle Anderson has emerged as one of the country’s most dynamic players and is the only Pac-12 player to rank among the conference’s top five leaders in rebounds (9.1 rpg), assists (6.5 apg) and steals (1.9 spg).
Through 17 games, Kyle Anderson (14.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 6.5 apg) has become the first UCLA player to average at least 10.0/5.0/5.0 since Bill Walton finished with 19.3 ppg, 14.7 rpg and 5.5 apg as a senior in 1973-74.
Most recently, UCLA secured a 69-53 win at No. 21 Colorado on Thursday ... Jordan Adams recorded his third double-double of the year, totaling 14 points and a career-best 13 rebounds, while Norman Powell scored 19 points.
UPCOMING THIS SATURDAY
UCLA will play at Utah on Saturday afternoon, looking for its third consecutive win in Pac-12 play. The Bruins have gone 3-2 in games played away from Pauley Pavilion this season. UCLA has recorded a 6-4 all-time record against Utah, including a perfect 2-0 mark since the Utes joined the Pac-12 Conference prior to the 2011-12 school year. Last season, the Bruins secured a 57-53 victory against Utah at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City (UCLA did not host a Pac-12 game against Utah). Two years ago, UCLA downed Utah, 76-49, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
No player in the country is averaging as close to a triple-double as is UCLA’s Kyle Anderson (15.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 6.6 apg). Through games played Thursday, Jan. 16, Anderson was the nation’s only player to be averaging at least 10.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 6.0 apg. Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane (16.8/7.3/5.9), BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth (13.8/8.2/5.3) and Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier (16.1/6.2/6.2) trail Anderson in that category.
PROTECTING THE BALL
Through games played on Jan. 16, UCLA led all Pac-12 teams in assists per game (17.7), assist turnover ratio (1.7), steals per game (10.7) and turnover margin (+4.7). UCLA had committed the third fewest turnovers per game (10.5). Kyle Anderson (111 assists, 51 turnovers) and Bryce Alford (51 assists, 19 turnovers) have combined for 162 of the Bruins’ 301 assists (53.8 percent). Alford ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with a 2.7 assist turnover ratio.
Sophomore guard Jordan Adams leads UCLA with 17.8 points per game, the sixth-highest scoring average among Pac-12 players (through Jan. 16). Adams scored a career-high 30 points against Morehead State (Nov. 22, Pauley Pavilion) and registered his third double-double of the season (and of his career) last Thursday at Colorado with 14 points and 13 rebounds. He finished second in scoring for UCLA last season (15.3 ppg as a freshman).
Kyle Anderson registered the third triple-double on record in school history on Nov. 22, logging 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in UCLA’s 81-70 victory against Morehead State. That marked UCLA’s first triple-double since Dec. 18, 1995, when Toby Bailey had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Stephen F. Austin. Through his UCLA career, Anderson has finished three assists shy of a triple-double in five games (twice last season, three times this season). Against Duke on Dec. 19, Anderson had 15 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
BIG OFF THE BENCH
UCLA freshmen Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford have played instrumental roles off the bench. In all, the Bruins’ bench this season has accounted for 32.3 percent of its total scoring (468/1450). LaVine ranks third on the team with 12.4 points per game. Alford has scored 7.8 points per game and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with a 2.7 assist turnover ratio. LaVine scored 21 points against Nevada on Nov. 28 and followed that with an 18-point effort versus Northwestern on Nov 29. Alford scored a season-high 20 points in his first-ever Pac-12 game (vs. USC, Jan. 5).
The Bruins have averaged 85.3 points through 17 games, the program’s highest per game offensive output this early in a season since averaging 86.5 ppg after 17 contests in 1994-95, the last year in which UCLA won the NCAA Championship. Earlier this season, UCLA compiled a seven-game streak of at least 80 points scored in victories. That feat had not been accomplished since the 1994-95 campaign (streak from Feb. 22-March 17, 1995).
Junior guard Norman Powell has played in more games (85) in a UCLA uniform than any other current UCLA basketball player. He has made 27 career starts and has played in all 85 UCLA games since the start of the 2011-12 season. This season, Powell has shot 73.1 percent from the free throw line (38/52), making nearly as many free throws as he had in the previous two seasons combined (entered this season having made 36 of 55 free throw attempts). A resident of San Diego, Calif., Powell has averaged 11.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17 games.
PICKED THEIR POCKETS
UCLA has three players that rank among the Pac-12’s top six in steals. Jordan Adams (57 steals, 3.4 spg) leads all Pac-12 players, having logged at least at least two steals in 15 of 17 games. He had a career-high eight steals against Sacramento State on Nov. 12. Kyle Anderson (32 steals, 1.9 spg) ranks fourth in the conference in steals. Norman Powell (26 steals, 1.5 spg) is tied with one other player for sixth among Pac-12 players in that category.
UCLA does not currently have any major injuries. Freshman Noah Allen missed 12 games earlier this season after suffering multiple fractures to his face in a collision sustained against Oakland (Nov. 12). Allen returned against USC on Jan. 5. Freshman Wanaah Bail missed UCLA’s first five games of the season recovering from left knee surgery performed on Nov. 28. Senior Travis Wear missed UCLA’s first three games (appendectomy on Oct. 28).