Thursday, August 23
UCLA head coach Ben Howland (4:30 p.m.)
"The flight over here was great. Everything went really smooth with our departure. Air China was phenomenal. They treated us so well and offered such great hospitality. The flight went smoother and was shorter than I had expected a 13-hour flight to go. Maybe it was the time of the hour we left. I thought everybody did a great job handling the travel. And then to be here all of a sudden, `Boom' you are on the other side of the world. Just to think that 100 years ago this would be unimaginable to be stepping form one culture on the other side of the world 6,000 miles away to where we are here. It's amazing to think about that.
"I think it's awesome for our team and our players. These are things that most Americans never see in person. To actually be there and see it and feel it and realize the kind of work and how long it took to built that Great Wall and the history behind the Forbidden City, along with the culture and tradition here in China is amazing. Those will be wonderful things to see and great for our players to experience. Being right outside our hotel room, you are right there. We are getting a great feel for what the city of Beijing is like for the average person as you walk around. This is a huge city and is a really interesting place."
freshman guard Jordan Adams (5:15 p.m.)
"The last 24 hours have been a great experience. We left L.A. on a Tuesday night and arrived on Thursday morning in Beijing. We pretty much lost our Wednesday while we were on the plane. That's something different which you don't get to experience every day. The people have treated us really nice. They'll stop and want to take their picture with us. I'm looking forward to eating the different kind of foods and being able to sightsee as we get into our trip."
Friday, August 24
UCLA head coach Ben Howland (5:30 p.m.)
on visiting the Great Wall and the Forbidden City
"I thought the Great Wall was unbelievable. When you learn the history that it is over 4,000 miles long and it took over 500 years to build, that really gives you something to think about. And then you're standing on it and seeing the engineering and realizing how many bricks it took to build the wall, it's really incredible. And this was all done before Christ, over 2,000 years ago. It's truly an outstanding feat. I thought our team, everybody, was in awe of the opportunity to see that and be up there together. It was really a great experience. The Forbidden City was equally special, because of the history - learning about the 24 emperors who lived there and how the buildings are over 600 years old was amazing. I thought everybody had a fantastic day of sightseeing today, being able to see two of the great historical sites in Beijing and close to Beijing."
on playing basketball Saturday in addition to sightseeing
"It's a different pattern for us to be in, when you talk about going sightseeing in the morning before we play a game. Normally, we wouldn't do that on the day of game. We are going to go over and visit their university prior to the game and tour over there. The Federation in China has been very hospitable, and we are trying to be gracious guests and do whatever they ask us to do. So, it's not really a normal situation. We are going to have some of the players' families with us as we drive over there tomorrow. So this trip is very much more, or at least equal, about the cultural aspects than basketball.
"I think our team will be excited to get out there tomorrow. We're looking forward to the challenge. I know that the team that we are going to play has put a lot of preparation in to this game. I talked to their coach yesterday and he said that they've gone out of the city and played against four other teams in special competitions to prepare for us. The games will be televised on a local cable station in China. It should be a good experience for our players, and we hope that we play well, and even moreso, that we remain injury free."
senior guard Larry Drew II (7:30 am)
on UCLA's dinner Thursday evening and other activities
"Before we went to dinner, I went to this one nearby store to get some beats [headphones]. I brought them back, and only one side of my headphones worked which was pretty disappointing. But, I guess I should have known because they kept trying to worn me of buying items that are pretty much knock-offs.
"But after that our team and some of the family members on our trip went to this cool little spot with awesome dumplings. They served us at least seven different servings of dumplings, and we had all kinds - mushroom, vegetable, shrimp, pork you name it and they seemed to have it. I really liked the mushroom ones and the shrimp ones."
"After dinner, some of the players went back to the hotel and wanted to go shopping. I had seen some of the nearby stores and malls and stuff within the area early in the day. My mom, my brother and I, along with some of our coaching staff, took the subway one stop over to see Tiananmen Square. It was a really cool experience. Actually, that was my first time that I'd ever been on a subway. But Tiananmen Square was really cool and fun to see all lit up at night. They had a 30-foot portrait of Mao Zedong, so we took some pictures of that in front of the guards at the square. I'm glad that I got to witness that all."
freshman guard Kyle Anderson (11:30 am)
on UCLA's adventures at the Great Wall
"The morning was great. We got up early to get started on time, and we knew we were going to have a great day ahead of us. We arrived at the Great Wall and guys parted ways to walk around. It's one of the seven great wonders of the world, so we were definitely excited to see it. I walked the wall with my mom, going a long way up. It was just what I expected - I didn't know that it was this long, and I didn't even see half it, but it was great. The experience was awesome, and I was thrilled to have that experience with my teammates and my mother.
"It's a pretty steep and treacherous walk, whether you're going up a steep incline or walking back down the wall. It's a really good workout and was a really fun adventure. You've gotta hold on pretty tight to the railings on certain points. You're up in the mountains pretty high, so you need to be aware of where you're moving, of where you're stepping, and hold onto those railings when you're going down."
junior center Joshua Smith (4:00 p.m.)
on receiving so much attention on UCLA's sightseeing excursions
"It was kind of awkward at first, but the people here are really nice. It's just one of those things where people recognize that you are from a different country and they don't typically see guys like me or my teammates. It was a lot of fun. I love interacting with people, and this is the first time that I've been to China.
"It was pretty funny when we were touring the Forbidden City. There were these three small kids sitting next to me, and I wasn't paying much attention to them. But each time that I'd look over at the kids, they would run back to their parents. The parents would motion to their children to go over and say, `go say hi to them.' I would show them that I was being friendly and nice, and the next thing you know, the kids are wrapped around my legs and their parents were taking pictures. It's refreshing to see how friendly these people are even though I'm not able to speak their language."
"Our trip to the Great Wall definitely met my expectations. Just knowing that we visited one of the seven wonders of the world is unreal. It didn't really hit me until I climbed to the third tower and I realized how high up we were and how massive the wall is. I was more than satisfied going to that third tower. It's an unbelievable structure, especially given the historical significance."
Saturday, August 25
junior forward David Wear (11:45 a.m.)
on Saturday morning's excursion to the Summer Palace
"We woke up this morning and had breakfast. Actually, the breakfasts have been really good. It's been eggs and bacon and not really what I expected it to be, so that's been nice. Then we drove over to the Summer Palace, which was a really good experience. It's a really old facility, it was super crowded. I think it throws me off how crowded these places can be. People aren't really aware of their spatial surroundings, so you get bumped into a lot. That's just how it is. They kind of run into you, but we're cool with it. It's really fun to see this area and understand how people live in the city. We saw a lot of the good architecture and the paintings. It was a really good display of the Chinese history and culture. We had a great time there. Then we got on a ferry boat and returned to our bus to come back to the hotel."
on Friday night's meet and greet event in Beijing
"That was really cool, just to see how many people affiliated with UCLA, as either fans or alumns, are living in Beijing right now. It's great to see that these people want to come out and support UCLA and our basketball team. We really appreciate the support of our fans here. It's fun to see other people who went to UCLA. We met a lot of cool, interesting people. I love seeing how excited that they are to see us here, to see us play in China. That was a cool experience, knowing that they're going to be able to come watch us play in Beijing."
on the opportunity to play basketball Saturday night
"We are all excited to play basketball. Up to this point it, really doesn't feel like we are here to play basketball at all. I'm still surprised that we are playing tonight, considering that we have been running around and sightseeing, doing a lot of walking along the way after having been on a long flight fighting off some jetlag. But we were able to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden City yesterday, and it was well worth it. We might be a little tired, but we can go get some rest right now before our game. We're looking forward to getting on the floor and playing some ball."
UCLA defeated Tsinghua University, 116-68, in an exhibition game on Saturday. Below are postgame comments from Ben Howland, Kyle Anderson and David Wear.
UCLA head coach Ben Howland (9:40 p.m.)
on UCLA's first exhibition game in China
"A lot of guys stood out offensively. Tyler Lamb was fantastic and ended up with 10 assists. Kyle [Anderson] and Larry [Drew II] both made some very good passes. I thought Norman Powell played well today. His dunk early in the game was electrifying on that fast break, and I thought the Wears played well. He had some foul trouble, but when Josh [Smith] was in there, he was very hard to matchup with. We are hoping to play better defensively the next time we go out."
on freshman Kyle Anderson
"I thought that Kyle did a great job. He made some nice passes. I think he had six rebounds by halftime, so he rebounds the ball very well. He's a very smart player."
on the 90-minute long pregame ceremony
"Well, that's part of being in a foreign country and doing an exhibition like this. It ran a little longer than we expected. But when you talk about what our conference is trying to do with China, it's far-reaching. We had some high dignitaries there. We had a bunch of fans from UCLA come out to the game. It's really important, the relationship between these two countries." `
junior forward David Wear (10:00 p.m.)
on the chance play the first of three exhibition games in China
"It was really exciting. Even the two weeks leading up to this trip, we knew that we have a special team. We have meshed together really well and now we are able to see how well we can off of each other. It is so exciting to see how we played the way we did. Everyone was having a great time. Everyone was making the extra pass. I don't recall anybody forcing a shot throughout the entire game."
on playing before an enthusiastic crowd
"That was really something that we're not used to. The whole hour leading up the game, the whole festivities was really unique. It was fun, and I'm really just trying to take this all in because I know I'll never be able to experience something like this again."
on what to take heading into the next two games
"There are a lot of things that we can take away from this game. We really want to push the ball, and I thought we did that well tonight. That's exactly how we want to play. I thought that we did a great job finishing around the rim. We stayed aggressive. Defensively, we would like to stay out of foul trouble so that we can play more man-to-man, but the foul situation is largely out of our control."
on throwing down some exciting dunks
"When we come off the bench and somebody has an exciting dunk, we'll talk about who is getting the next one, kind of like `You haven't got one yet, so you're getting the next one.' It's fun to be a part of and we like to look for each other. We know that if somebody hasn't gotten a dunk yet, then we will look for them. It's a good thing. We are such a tight-knit family and we get along so well together, it's great to be a part of a team like this."
freshman guard Kyle Anderson (10:10 p.m.)
on playing his first game wearing a UCLA uniform
on what stood out the most in UCLA's first game
It was my teammates play, the way we got out in transition early. We were stronger on defense earlier in the game. The way we scored in transition was great. Everybody was knocking down shots and everybody played well."
on the strong performances by David and Travis Wear
"They were very active on the glass. David and Travis were great tonight. I was able to hit them a few times running the floor - great put-backs, great second-chance opportunities and great job on the defensive end."
Sunday, August 26
junior guard Tyler Lamb
on his initial perception of Shanghai
"The look of this city reminds me a lot of Las Vegas, when you talk about the bright lights and buildings. It's the perfect place to go if you're a tourist. You look around, and you've got all these beautiful buildings. The whole setting is surreal, it's crazy. Everything, from the tall buildings, the bright lights, the views, the shopping districts, this city seems to have it all."
on UCLA's team dinner at the restaurant New Heights
"We went to a beautiful restaurant for dinner tonight, as a team. We had a view of the river, with many boats going by all lit up. The view of the skyline was unbelievable. We were there as the sun had already gone down, so all the buildings were really lit up. The restaurant had a great patio up above which showed really good views of the city. We were up there just taking photos with each other, trying to take in the whole scene. We had a great dinner, with the choice of getting chicken or steak. It was a great time."
Monday, August 27
freshman guard Jordan Adams (1:00 p.m.)
on UCLA's shopping excursion at Yu Yuan Gardens
"This place was just crazy. There are millions of people living here in this city, even in this district. And it feels like you've got hundreds, if not thousands, of people selling stuff who just come up to you trying to make a deal. They'll sell you watches, caps, calendars, belts, all sorts of things. We'll play around with them and try and alter the prices or just mingle with them and talk to them. It's a different community, but it's fun.
on the local flavor and presence of American fast food chains
"I didn't expect for them to have as many places like McDonald's or Starbucks. And then to see some of the same foods on their menus that you have on your menus back home. I tried a double cheeseburger from McDonald's and it tasted pretty much the same. It was a little different, but not so much that I didn't like it. There's also a lot of regional type of food at these markets. There are a ton of different things on skewers. I didn't want to try that stuff - some of it looked like it might have been too alive for me to want to eat."
UCLA head coach Ben Howland (9:40 p.m.)
on UCLA's win against Shanghai Jiao Tong
"I thought we played really well in the first half at both ends. I was really pleased with how we shared the ball. One thing that has come out of these two games is our great unselfishness by everybody. We even got to the point where we were over passing, which is a good problem to have. We had guys doing a great job sharing the ball and giving themselves up for the team. Everybody wants to make the good pass. I'm pleased about that. We did a better job staying in front of the ball tonight. In the second half, we weren't as good. We had too many turnovers there in the second half. Part of it is that we had a 30-point lead. But this will be a much better challenge for us tomorrow with an opponent that will really have a chance to beat us."
on freshman guard Jordan Adams
"He played great. I changed the starting lineup and tomorrow we'll change it again. But he was really fired up because he felt bad about just not shooting well in the last game. He did other things well. But today, he played very good basketball. You'll see that he's going to be a very good basketball player."
on freshman guard Kyle Anderson
"Kyle has a great feel for the game. His challenge is going to be defensively, being able to guard people. Tomorrow is going to be a good challenge. Offensively, he's just so good with the ball. He makes all the easy passes that you just take for granted, but they're so important. He's a very good facilitator of the basketball."
on Tuesday night's game against the Shanghai Sharks
"I don't know anything about them. They were here scouting us tonight. I primarily expect man-to-man because that's they've shown in the past, but we'll see there. They are a good team and they've got size. They have length and they are going to execute. They are well coached.
freshman guard Jordan Adams (9:55 p.m.)
on sitting for over 60 minutes during a pregame ceremony
"Yeah, that's tough because normally we just come to the gym, warm up and play. We were warming up, waiting for an hour, and then coming out and warming up before actually playing. That takes a mental focus. We just couldn't wait to get the game on."
on UCLA's strong ball distribution
"It's actually been pretty good. People were passing up open shots. We had some open shots, but the unselfishness that we've shown so far this season has been pretty good."
on his effectiveness early in the game
"It felt great to knock down my first shot, because in my last game I struggled, going 4 for 14. So, I wanted to get that out of my mind and prove myself again. I felt that I could keep going. Since I was hot, my teammates just kept trying to keep feeding me. We wanted to see where that went."
on the loud crowds in Beijing and Shanghai
"I recognize it, but I try not to feed into the crowd. One minute they'll cheer for you and the next minute they're cheering for the other team. It can be pretty funny. They love us and when they see our team, our players, they act starstruck. I actually was the first person to walk out on the court tonight, from our team, and they all started to clap and get really hyped."
on Tuesday's game against the Shanghai Sharks
"Honestly, I think it will be a tough game. We've had two games that weren't very close, so it will be good to have a tough game playing the hometown team in their arena with their fans. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
junior forward Travis Wear (10:15 p.m.)
on UCLA's ability to distribute the ball
"It feels awesome, playing on a team where all of our guys are looking to pass first and shoot second. And it's not even to make the superstar pass, but the easy pass. Hitting an open guy, it's really nice to play all these guys right now."
on the loud crowds in Beijing and Shanghai
"It's awesome. They really love basketball out here, and they've been embracing our team. They're just so excited for us to be out here and to watch us play their team. It's an awesome experience, and we're just loving all the love that we get from the fans and the people out here."
on Tuesday's game against the Shanghai Sharks
"I'm excited to play a professional team out here. The competition is going to be very good, so I'm excited to get out there and play against that team."
sophomore guard Norman Powell (10:20 p.m.)
on the experience of playing in China
"It feels great, the chemistry both on and off the court this year. You can tell that it feels like a closer unit, more of a family and more of a brotherhood. We look out for each other on the court. And off the court, we're hanging out and really getting to enjoy each other, especially since we're here in China. This is a new environment, being here in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It's a great feeling to play basketball with these guys and get to know them off the court on a more personal level as well as a basketball level."
on his familiarity with UCLA's program as a sophomore
"I feel very experienced and within myself. I felt like I came into my own at the end of last season. I feel much more confident, just playing my game and playing with these guys. They help bring my confidence up. We're an unselfish team, so the ball will find you. All we have to do is play the game the right way, and we're going to have a good year."
on his excitement at returning to Pauley Pavilion in November
"We're very excited to open up Pauley. That's the talk that comes up almost every day with our guys. We can't wait to get back in there. As a sophomore, it's going to be my first chance to play in there, to practice in there. Other guys like Tyler [Lamb] and Josh [Smith] and the Wear brothers know that it's going to be a great place for us. It'll basically be like my first game at home. It's going to be great to have all our fans and our alumni back in there to support the team."
Tuesday, August 28
UCLA head coach Ben Howland (10:10 pm)
on the level and style of basketball in China, versus the United States
"Our system is set up to where players who are developing for the professional level go to school. They are learning and they are student-athletes. A lot is demanded of them, both educationally and basketball-wise. I think that it helps them in many ways. I know that here [in China], kids join professional teams at a very young age and probably don't have as much education as they would have if they went to the university system like we do. I think it's very helpful for our players. I think it's good for developing basketball players and people that will be successful beyond basketball."
on UCLA's expectations for the coming season
"I think that we have a very good recruiting class that's coming into our program - three of the players were here with us in China. We have a very good group of returning players who learned a lot from last year. We have very high expectations to be successful going into this season. Our number one expectation is to try and win the Pac-12. Winning the Pac-12 automatically gets you a berth to the NCAA Tournament."
junior forward Travis Wear (10:15 pm)
overall impressions on the team's weeklong trip to China
"This whole trip has been a great experience. I have never been to China, but to come out here and experience the culture - the way that we have been embraced has been awesome. The hospitality that we have been shown has been excellent. I would really enjoy to see one of these teams come out to UCLA, and we could show them the same kind of hospitality that you showed us. As far as this game goes, the Shanghai Sharks are a good team. We know that they are missing some players. But, they gave us a fight and it was an awesome experience being able to enjoy this camaraderie and the way that this community embraced us.
freshman guard Kyle Anderson (10:15 pm)
on his performance Tuesday night
"I thought that I had a pretty good and complete all-around game. It just came along with the team game. It was about getting guys involved and defensive rebounds and doing things to allow the team to win."
on playing a more competitive team in China
"It was pretty cool. They had a different style of play, kind of an NBA style of play. They were very well-disciplined and well-coached, you could tell. They were staying on their feet, not falling for shot fakes, coming into jump stops, just the fundamentals and the basics. They cut it to 10 points, and that's when we got it together. We kept our composure and went on a great run. Basketball is a game of runs."
on what he has learned in his first three college games (all exhibitions)
"I definitely learned that you have to play hard. There are no possessions off in college. Every time you are out there, you have to give your all. It all comes with being well-conditioned. You've just got to play hard every second that you're out there."
on how the games in China will help going forward this season
"I think this helped me out a lot. I had no clue that this is how it was. I had a clue, but I guess I wasn't that well-prepared for it. But I think this got me pretty well-prepared."
junior guard Tyler Lamb (10:30 pm)
on fighting through a closer third quarter and getting the victory
"Our guys pulled it together and everybody kept their composure. I think that is really great for what is to come. They brought it back down to eight or 10 early in the second half. They were kind of sticking around. For us to have brought that lead back up is really good for us.
on responding to Shanghai trimming UCLA's lead in the third quarter
"Every team goes through adversity during a game. I mean, their crowd was into it and they started knocking down some shots. But we know how we are capable of playing so we went out there and executed. We just focused on making defensive stops and getting some easy baskets. We went in there and got a couple stops and that led to easy layups and open threes."
on what this team gained from its trip to China
"I think we know a little bit more of how we can play together and what we are capable of when we play a whole team effort on defense. We have multiple weapons - we can go inside and we have really good guard play. I think we are just trying to become a complete team. These three games helped us to see where we stand. I think we can go into practice for the real season and we'll be all right.
on the advantage of playing these exhibition games
"[During practice at UCLA] We practice against the same guys each day, so you know their moves and their go-to moves. But when you come out and play against teams like this, they don't know what to expect and you don't know what to expect. We just have to execute. I think we did a pretty good job of executing."
on looking ahead to the season and returning to Pauley Pavilion
"We can't wait to get back into Pauley. It's on everybody's mind. It's a really big deal for us to get back in Pauley and play in front of our UCLA fans and in front of our classmates. A lot of people couldn't make it to the games last year, but just to be able to come back and be able to play in Pauley, which is a historic place, is just great."
Wednesday, August 29
sophomore guard Norman Powell (7 p.m., after arriving in Los Angeles)
on what UCLA can take going forward from this trip
"It was great to see how this team just got closer, both on and off the court. We are really close-knit. We went to the Great Wall of China and had a great time there. We were taking pictures everywhere we went and had a great time with the people in China. I thought we really embraced the Chinese culture. We all know that this is a once in a lifetime trip, so we just wanted to make the best of it.
on the most memorable moment or adventure from this trip
"The highlight of the trip was the visit to the Great Wall of China, hands down. Everybody was excited to see it when we came out here. That's something that you're not sure you'll be able to see in your lifetime. And for our guys to be able to say that they've already been there is great. We had such a great experience being able to see and then walk the Great Wall of China.