November 6, 2013
LOS ANGELES – UCLA will open its 95th basketball season against Drexel on Friday in a game televised by Pac-12 Networks in Pauley Pavilion (9 p.m., PT). Friday night’s non-conference meeting will mark the first game for Steve Alford as UCLA’s head coach.
UCLA won the only previous meeting against Drexel, defeating the Dragons by a 57-56 margin at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 25, 2005. The Bruins have gone 13-7 in their previous 20 season-opening games. Last fall, UCLA opened renovated Pauley Pavilion with an 86-59 victory over Indiana State before a sellout crowd of 13,513. Jordan Adams scored a game-high 21 points in his collegiate debut against the Sycamores.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion (13,800)
Tipoff Time: 9:06 p.m. (PT)
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Rich Burk (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst)
Radio: AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 91
SIRIUS XM Radio: Channel 91
ON THE RADIO
UCLA's game can be heard at 570AM (KLAC) or listen free via the TuneIn Radio app (LINK HERE).
The Bruins won each of their two exhibition contests by 30 points. UCLA downed Cal State San Bernardino, 96-66, on Oct. 30 and cruised past Cal State San Marcos, 109-79, on Nov. 4. Kyle Anderson had a triple-double (22 pts, 12 rbs, 10 ast) against Cal State San Marcos after having logged a double-double in the win over Cal State San Bernardino (10 pts, 10 rbs). Jordan Adams averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals between both games.
POINTS IN THE PAINT
Tony Parker registered 17 points and 16 rebounds in the Bruins’ second exhibition game, a 109-79 win over Cal State San Marcos. In fact, UCLA outscored the visiting Cougars in that contest by a 62-22 margin in the paint. Between both exhibition games, Parker averaged 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds, while David Wear logged 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while making 13 of 15 free throws.
Backed by a bevy of scoring options, UCLA averaged 102.5 points per game in both exhibition contests and shot 51.8 percent from the field. The Bruins made 60.7 percent of their two-point field goal attempts and were led by Tony Parker’s 81.8 percent field goal percentage (9-for-11). Three UCLA players averaged over 10.0 rebounds per game, with Parker averaging 5.0 offensive boards per contest.
UCLA head coach Steve Alford won each of his six regular-season openers at New Mexico. In fact, the Bruins’ new head coach has led his team to wins in each of his last 15 season-opening games. Alford’s teams have not lost a season opener since Nov. 16, 1997, when Missouri State dropped a 78-67 decision at TCU. He has guided his teams to season-opening wins in 17 of 18 seasons at the NCAA Division I level.
Ranked No. 22 in the preseason Associated Press poll, UCLA returns to the court with six of its primary eight contributors from last season’s team. Steve Alford enters his first season as the Bruins’ head coach and his 23rd overall as a collegiate head coach. Three of UCLA’s five starters return from last season’s team – sophomores Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson and senior Travis Wear – along with senior David Wear, junior Norman Powell and sophomore Tony Parker, who each played at least 33 of 35 games for UCLA last season.
UCLA’s 16-man roster includes five freshmen, five sophomores, two juniors and four seniors. Senior twin brothers Travis and David Wear enter their final collegiate seasons having played in 94 and 93 games, respectively, during two seasons at UCLA and one year at North Carolina. Junior Norman Powell (68 career games) is UCLA’s only other player who has competed in at least 40 collegiate contests.
OUR HEAD COACH
Steve Alford was named the 13th head coach in UCLA men’s basketball program history on March 30, 2013, after six highly-successful seasons as head coach at the University of New Mexico. A former NCAA Champion at Indiana University (1984-87) and starter on the United States’ gold medal-winning 1984 Olympic Team, Alford has served as head coach at Manchester College (1992-95), Missouri State (1996-99), Iowa (2000-07) and New Mexico (2008-13).
In six seasons at New Mexico, Alford guided the Lobos to four Mountain West Conference regular-season titles (four in the last five seasons) and back-to-back Mountain West Conference Tournament crowns in 2012 and 2013. The native of New Castle, Ind., inherits a UCLA program that went 25-10 last season, winning the Pac-12 regular-season title with a 13-5 conference mark.
Alford helped New Mexico secure its two highest single-season win totals. The Lobos went 30-5 in 2009-10, setting the school’s single-season record, before logging 29 wins in 2012-13. While at Iowa, he led the Hawkeyes to the their only trips to the Big Ten Tournament’s title game (tournament began in 1999). Iowa won the Big Ten Tournament crown in 2001 and 2006 and finished as the runner-up in 2002.
BY THE NUMBERS
UCLA returns 10 players from last season’s roster, a group that accounted for 66.5 percent of UCLA’s scoring production in 2012-13 and 78.0 percent of the team’s rebounding. Returning players accounted for 67.2 percent of the team’s total minutes last season. In addition, UCLA welcomes back 89.0 percent of its shot blocking production. UCLA’s returning players shot 75.2 percent at the free throw line and 29.8 percent from three-point territory last year.
UCLA was tabbed second out of 12 teams in the annual Pac-12 preseason media poll, as announced at Pac-12 Media Day in San Francisco on Oct. 17. Arizona was picked to finish first in the conference and collected 21 of 23 first-place votes. UCLA and Colorado each secured one first-place vote, finishing second and third, respectively, in the preseason poll. Last season, UCLA was picked to finish second (behind Arizona) and won the conference’s regular-season crown. The Bruins have won the Pac-12 regular-season title in four of the last eight seasons and last won the Pac-12 Tournament in March 2008.