LOS ANGELES – UCLA (22-7, 11-5 Pac-12) will conclude its regular season on the road this week, playing at Washington on Thursday and at Washington State on Saturday (8 p.m.). UCLA has not faced either school this season. Last year, UCLA closed its schedule with a 61-54 victory at Washington (March 9, 2013), securing its 31st regular-season conference title. In his 12th season as head coach, Lorenzo Romar has guided Washington to a 16-13 record this season (and a 13-3 home mark). Senior C.J. Wilcox has led the Huskies, averaging 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
Venue: Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000)
Tipoff Time: 6:05 pm (PT)
TV Talent: Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Bill Walton (analyst)
Radio: AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
Westwood One Radio Talent: Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Marques Johnson (analyst)
Thursday night’s game at Washington will mark a homecoming of sorts for freshman guard Zach LaVine, who starred the last four seasons at Bothell High School, a 20-minute drive from the University of Washington campus. LaVine has averaged 10.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a freshman.
- UCLA enters the week in sole possession of second place in the Pac-12 standings (11-5 conference mark).
- The Bruins have secured, at the minimum, a No. 4-seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Conference Tournament. UCLA can assure itself of the tournament’s No. 2 seed with two wins on the road this week.
- UCLA ranked ninth, nationally, in scoring and was second among Pac-12 teams (82.6 ppg), through March 2.
- Steve Alford has led his teams to at least 22 wins in each of the last seven seasons. This year, the Bruins have gone 22-7 overall. In each of Coach Alford’s six seasons at New Mexico, the Lobos won at least 22 contests.
- Kyle Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 6.8 apg) has become UCLA’s first player to average at least 10.0/5.0/5.0 since Bill Walton finished his senior season (1973-74) with 19.3 ppg, 14.7 rpg and 5.5 apg.
- UCLA’s roster features seven players who have scored at least 20 points in one career game, with six of those seven players having registered at least 20 points in one game during the 2013-14 season.
LAST TIME OUT
UCLA overcame an 11-point second-half deficit last Sunday, outscoring Oregon State by a 45-31 margin in the second half to win, 74-69. Jordan Adams scored 20 of his team-leading 24 points in the second half. The sophomore from Atlanta connected on 8 of 13 field goals, pushing his career point total to 993. The Bruins used a 19-6 scoring run midway through the second half to lead, 52-48, at the 10:31 mark. UCLA led by as many as nine points (67-58) with 59 seconds to play. UCLA hit 11 of 12 free throw shots in the final 1:13 to seal the win.
Bryce Alford scored a career-high 31 points in UCLA’s 87-83 double overtime loss to Oregon in Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 27. The Bruins erased a 65-59 deficit with 49 seconds left, with Alford scoring eight of the Bruins’ final 16 points in the last 49 seconds of regulation. His 31-point total is the second-highest among any UCLA freshman in program history (Don MacLean had 41 against North Texas on Dec. 30, 1988). Making his first career start that night, Alford established the school’s freshman record for most points scored in a conference game.
Kyle Anderson, a 6-foot-9 guard from Fairview, N.J., is among 30 players listed on the midseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award and is one of 15 finalists for the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Trophy. In addition, he’s listed as one of 23 players on the midseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Award (point guard of the year). Anderson was among five players to be named a “midseason” first-team All-America selection by The Sporting News.
No player in the country has averaged as close to a triple-double as has Kyle Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 6.9 apg). Through games played Sunday, March 2, Anderson was the nation’s only player averaging at least 10.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 6.0 apg. In addition, he is the only player to rank in the top five (in his conference, BCS conferences only) in rebounds, assists and steals and be among the top 15 scorers (includes AAC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC).
Sophomore guard Jordan Adams leads UCLA with 17.4 points per game, the sixth-highest scoring average among Pac-12 players (through March 2). Adams scored a career-high 30 points against Morehead State (Nov. 22, 2013) and registered his third double-double of the season at Colorado with 14 points and 13 rebounds (Jan. 16). He finished second in scoring for UCLA last season, averaging 15.3 points per game as a freshman. Adams has scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games played, having registered at least 20 points in 11 games.
PROTECTING THE BALL
UCLA leads all Pac-12 teams in assists per game (17.5), steals per game (9.7), assist turnover ratio (1.66) and turnover margin (+4.4), through games played on March 2. The Bruins have committed the second-fewest turnovers per game (10.5) of any Pac-12 team. UCLA’s defense has forced the highest average of turnovers among Pac-12 teams (15.0). Kyle Anderson (190 assists, 90 turnovers) has accounted for 37.4 percent of UCLA’s total assists.
Six of UCLA’s eight regular contributors have more assists than turovers. Bryce Alford leads the team with a 2.34 assist turnover ratio, but Kyle Anderson, Travis Wear, Norman Powell, Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine have each compiled assist turnover ratios of 1.6 or better.
Kyle Anderson became the fourth player on record in UCLA history to register a triple-double (13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists) in UCLA’s 81-70 win over Morehead State on Nov. 22, 2013. 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. Since UCLA consistently tracked assists as a statistic beginning in 1971-72, the Bruins have had four triple-doubles (including one point-rebound-block effort from Jelani McCoy).
Kyle Anderson has made 22 of 45 three-point attempts (48.9 percent), a strong increase over his freshman year totals (8-for-28, 21.1 percent). Anderson shot a perfect 5-for-5 from long range in UCLA’s 74-69 loss to Utah on Jan. 18. That marked UCLA’s first “perfect” effort from three-point range with a minimum of five attempts since Ray Young went 5-for-5 from downtown on Feb. 22, 2003, in UCLA’s 93-84 loss to Stanford.
Norman Powell enters UCLA’s game at Washington as the Bruins’ third-leading scorer, averaging 11.2 points per game. Powell’s 54.0 overall field goal percentage ranks seventh among Pac-12 players (through March 2). The junior guard from San Diego, Calif., has scored in double figures in 18 games this season, leading UCLA to a 15-3 record in those contests. Powell has played in more games in a UCLA uniform (97) than any other current Bruins’ player.
Kyle Anderson has become UCLA’s first player since 1994-95 (Charles O’Bannon) to register at least 200 rebounds and 100 assists in one season. A sophomore in 1994-95, O’Bannon finished the year with 201 rebounds and 110 assists (Anderson has 241 rebounds and 190 assists). Since UCLA officially recorded assists (1973-74), Anderson, O’Bannon and Bill Walton are UCLA’s only players to have logged 200+ rebounds and 100+ assists in one season.
The Bruins have averaged 82.6 points through 29 games, the program’s highest per game offensive output through the first 29 games in any season since averaging 87.5 ppg after 29 games 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).
UCLA’s Zach LaVine, Bryce Alford and Tony Parker have played major roles off the bench. The Bruins’ bench has accounted for 28.3 percent of UCLA’s scoring (677/2395). LaVine ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.7 ppg) and is fifth among Pac-12 players with a 42.3 three-point percentage (44/104). Both LaVine and Alford rank in UCLA’s freshman top-5 list for three-point field goal percentage (miminum 0.75 three-pointers made per games played).
UCLA does not currently have any major injuries. Noah Allen missed 12 games after suffering multiple fractures to his face in a collision sustained with a player from Oakland (Nov. 12) in the game’s final minutes. Wanaah Bail missed UCLA’s first five games recovering from left knee surgery which was performed on June 28, 2013. Travis Wear missed UCLA’s first three games after having underwent an appendectomy on Oct. 28, 2013.