Jan. 14, 2013
UCLA's Game Notes | Ben Howland Press Conference
LOS ANGELES - The No. 24 UCLA basketball team returns home to face Oregon State (10-6, 0-3 Pac-12) on Thursday evening in New Pauley Pavilion. The game will be televised on ESPNU and is slated to begin at 6:05 p.m. Riding a nine-game winning streak, UCLA (14-3, 4-0 Pac-12) has opened Pac-12 play with a 4-0 mark for the first time since 2008-09.
Venue: New Pauley Pavilion (13,800)
Tip-Off Time: 6:05 p.m. PT
TV Talent: Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Bill Walton (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 128
SIRIUS XM Radio: Channel 192
UCLA RETURNS HOME
UCLA will host Oregon State in New Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night in this season's only regular-season meeting between the two conference foes. The Bruins have been ranked No. 24 in this week's Associated Press poll and No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches' poll. Last season, UCLA lost at Oregon State, 87-84, in the only meeting between the two schools. Under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland, the Bruins have compiled a 15-4 record against Oregon State.
STRONG PAC-12 START
UCLA has opened its Pac-12 schedule with a perfect 4-0 mark for the first time since 2008-09 and for the fourth time in 10 years under head coach Ben Howland (also in 2003-04, 2007-08, 2008-09). Howland's first team at UCLA (2003-04) won its first five conference games.
Former UCLA standout Jamaal Wilkes will have his jersey number 52 retired in a halftime ceremony on Thursday evening, marking the first of three jersey retirement ceremonies to occur at UCLA men's basketball games this season. Wilkes was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7, 2012. He was a three-year starter and two-time first-team All-America selection at UCLA, leading the Bruins to NCAA titles in 1972 and 1973.
WHO'S ON DECK
The Bruins conclude their week with a Saturday afternoon meeting against No. 21 Oregon (14-2, 3-0 Pac-12). UCLA and Oregon are slated to tip-off at 1:05 pm before a nationally televised audience (CBS) in New Pauley Pavilion. Last season, Oregon won the only meeting between the two schools, securing a 75-68 win over UCLA in Eugene, Ore. Last week, Oregon notched a pair of victories at home versus Arizona (70-66) and Arizona State (68-55).
WINS IN THE MOUNTAINS
UCLA improved its Pac-12 record to 4-0 last week, winning games at Utah (57-53) on Thursday night and at Colorado (78-75) on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins became the first Pac-12 team to win both games at the "mountain" schools since Utah and Colorado formally joined the conference in 2011-12 - no team had accomplished that feat in nine previous road trips to Utah/Colorado between eight schools last season and USC this month.
Junior forward Travis Wear averaged 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last week at Utah and Colorado. The resident of Huntington Beach, Calif., scored a career-high 23 points in UCLA's victory at Colorado, recording 15 points in the second half. Wear had a stretch of nine consecutive points for UCLA in the game's final 5:08. He has scored in double figures in each of UCLA's last five games, dating back to a 22-point effort against Missouri on Dec. 28.
Travis Wear has shot 50.9 percent (85-167) from the field this season, the highest percentage of any UCLA player and 11th-best in the Pac-12. Wear has also made 78.0 percent of his free throws (32-41). He has scored in double figures 11 times this season and in 31 of 47 career games at UCLA.
Freshman guard Kyle Anderson has registered five of UCLA's eight double-doubles this season and ranks in the top five in the Pac-12 in that category. The resident of Fairview, N.J., is the only Pac-12 player to rank in the top seven in the conference in rebounds per game (8.9) and assists per game (3.6) - he also ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in steals per game (1.6) and fourth in assist turnover ratio (1.8).
AT THE LINE
Kyle Anderson has made 39 of 45 free throws (.867) in UCLA's last 11 games since opening the season making 13 of 26 (.500) in the first six contests. Anderson made all six free throws in UCLA's 78-75 win at Colorado last Saturday, including four free throws in the game's final 1:01.
GIVING AN ASSIST
Through games played Sunday (Jan. 12), senior Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (4.89) and ranks fourth, nationally, in assists per game (8.06). Drew II has logged at least eight assists in 11 of UCLA's 17 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 14 of 17 contests. Overall, Drew II has totaled 137 assists and 28 turnovers in 17 games while averaging 5.9 points per game.
Freshman swingman Shabazz Muhammad leads UCLA with 18.2 points per game, the fourth-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 and the top scoring average for any Pac-12 freshman. Muhammad has scored in double figures in 13 of 14 games played and has tallied 20 or more points in six games. The resident of Las Vegas has logged two double-doubles. He scored a season-high 27 points in back-to-back wins over Fresno State (Dec. 22) and Missouri (Dec. 28).
Under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has recorded six winning streaks of nine games or longer. The Bruins last won nine or more games in 2008-09, posting a 10-game winning streak. In 19 seasons as a college head coach, Howland's teams have won 9+ straight games 12 times (includes five seasons at Northern Arizona, four seasons at Pittsburgh). Two of Howland's teams at UCLA logged 14-game winning streaks.
PROTECTING THE BALL
UCLA enters Thursday's game versus Oregon State having compiled a 1.57 assist turnover ratio, the highest ratio in 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland. UCLA's 2008-09 squad posted a 1.23 ratio and last year's team logged a 1.20 ratio. Senior guard Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (4.89). The Bruins have had just one game this season (Nov. 20, vs. Georgia in Brooklyn, N.Y.) with more turnovers than assists.
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.
FOUR IN A ROW
Freshmen Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad have each scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games this season. Regardless of class, that feat had not been accomplished by any UCLA player since the 2004-05 season, when Dijon Thompson had four straight games of 20+ points in January and February of 2005. Adams opened the 2012-13 season with four straight 20+ point performances and Muhammad achieved that feat in Dec. 2012.
The Bruins have gone 6-1 in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes to defeat Missouri, 97-94 in overtime (Dec. 28). Other victories have come against Colorado (78-75), Utah (57-53, Jan. 10), Texas (65-63, Dec. 8), Georgia (60-56, Nov. 20) and UC Irvine (80-79, overtime, Nov. 13). In 10 seasons as head coach, Ben Howland has led UCLA to a 54-32 record in games decided by five points or fewer.
Sophomore Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL and is expected to miss 1-2 more weeks. He sustained the injury during practice on Oct. 26, 2012.