dec 19, 2016 | ucla men's basketball page | ARTICLE LINK
Venue: Pauley Pavilion (13,800)
Tipoff Time: 8:06 p.m. (PT)
Television: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (analyst)
Radio: AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channels: Ch. 84/Ch. 84
SIRIUS App. Channel: Ch. 84
Former UCLA standout Larry Farmer returns to Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday as an assistant coach for Western Michigan. Farmer was a forward on UCLA's national title teams in 1971, 1972 and 1973, helping the Bruins compile an 89-1 record in three varsity seasons. He was an assistant coach at UCLA in 1973-74 and from 1975-81 before serving as the program's head coach from 1982-84.
- Aaron Holiday and Bryce Alford each scored 20 points to lead UCLA past Ohio State, 86-73, in Las Vegas (T-Mobile Arena) last Saturday in the third annual CBS Sports Classic. The Bruins led at halftime, 40-37, before opening a double-digit lead midway through the second half. Isaac Hamilton finished with 17 points and TJ Leaf had 13.
- Freshmen TJ Leaf (25 pts, 10 rbs, 8 ast) and Lonzo Ball (13 pts, 10 rbs, 7 ast) each came close to registering triple-doubles in UCLA's 102-62 win against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 14. Leaf had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists by halftime, scoring 14 of his 17 first-half point during UCLA's 17-0 scoring run.
- Leaf secured Pac-12 Player of the Week honors on Monday, after having averaged 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the Bruins' wins over UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 14) and Ohio State (Dec. 17). Leaf has scored in double figures in all 12 games and has recorded five double-doubles midway through his freshman year.
- With a 102-84 win over Michigan on Dec. 10, the Bruins improved their all-time record against the Wolverines to 12-5. In fact, UCLA became the first team since Duke on Dec. 8, 2001, to have eclipsed the 100-point mark against the Wolverines. UCLA has compiled a 3-0 record this season against teams from the Big Ten Conference.
- The Bruins shot 67.2 percent against Michigan (39/58), the highest mark by any UCLA team since Dec. 23, 2005, when the team shot 67.3% (37/55) against Sacramento State. UCLA's 62.5 three-point percentage against Michigan was its highest since Nov. 29, 2013, when the team shot 76.5% from downtown (13/17) against Northwestern.
OTHER KEY NOTES
- After defeating Kentucky (then ranked No. 1) on Saturday, Dec. 3, the Bruins climbed to the No. 2 spot in each of that week's AP and USA Today Coaches polls. UCLA had not been ranked as high as No. 2 since Nov. 26, 2007, when the Bruins were tabbed No. 2 in the AP poll and No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
- UCLA has opened 12-0 for the first time since 2006-07, when the Bruins began the season with 14 consecutive wins. UCLA's 2006-07 team advanced to the Final Four. With a victory on Wednesday night, the Bruins can extend their win streak to 13 games, UCLA's longest such streak since taking 14 straight in February and March of 2008.
- This marks the second straight year UCLA has defeated Kentucky when the Wildcats were ranked No. 1. UCLA downed Kentucky in Pauley Pavilion, 87-77, on Dec. 3, 2015. One year to the day (Dec. 3, 2016), the Bruins earned a 97-92 win at Kentucky's Rupp Arena, UCLA's first-ever game in that venue.
- UCLA has played the nation's No. 1-ranked team (AP poll) five times during head coach Steve Alford's four seasons in Westwood. The Bruins have played Kentucky each of the last three years (each time in December), with the Wildcats having been ranked No. 1 in both major polls at the time of all three games.
- The Bruins' 97-92 win at Kentucky on Dec. 3 marked UCLA's first win on the road at the nation's No. 1-ranked team since defeating Stanford, 79-73, at Maples Pavilion on Feb. 3, 2001. In fact, UCLA had not played a true road game at the country's No. 1-ranked team since Feb. 13, 2003 (lost at No. 1 Arizona, 106-70).
- UCLA's victory at Kentucky snapped the Wildcats' 42-game win streak in Rupp Arena. Kentucky had not lost at home since a 71-67 overtime setback to Arkansas on Feb. 27, 2014. In addition, the Bruins' 97 points were the most surrendered by any Kentucky team under eighth-year head coach John Calipari (his first season at UK was 2009-10).
- Through Dec. 19, UCLA ranked first in the nation in field goal percentage (55.4), total assists (285) and assists per game (23.8) and second in points per game (96.9), 3-point percentage (43.9) and assist-turnover ratio (1.95). In addition the Bruins were fifth in defensive rebounds per game (31.9) and 11th in blocks per game (6.2).
- Freshman guard Lonzo Ball ranks second, nationally, in assists per game (8.7), behind Creighton's Maurice Watson Jr. (9.2 apg). Ball has five double-doubles in 12 games, four of the point-assist variety. He was two rebounds shy of a triple-double in the season opener (Nov. 11) and was three assists from a triple-double against UCSB (Dec. 14).
- Freshman Lonzo Ball set UCLA's single-game freshman assists record (13) against UC Riverside on Nov. 30, surpassing Pooh Richardson's 12-assist total set on Jan. 11, 1986, in a double-overtime win at Washington State.
- Ball has nearly as many assists (104) as he does shot attempts (109). He is the only player in the nation to be averaging at least 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game.
- Ball and Oregon guard Payton Pritchard are the only freshmen in the nation with at least 13 assists in one game this season. Ball had 13 against UC Riverside (Nov. 30) and Pritchard had 13 versus Savannah State (Dec. 3).
- Ball is currently averaging 8.7 assists per game. No other player in the Pac-12 has averaged as many as 6.5 assists per game. Pooh Richardson owns the school's single-season assists per game record (7.6 apg as a senior, 1988-89).
The Bruins (12-0) are off to their best start since opening the 2006-07 campaign with 14 consecutive wins. This marks the 14th time in school history in which UCLA has opened with at least 12 consecutive wins (nine of those previous 13 seasons culminated with a national title). Since head coach John Wooden retired following the 1974-75 season, the Bruins have been 12-0 (or better) four times – 2016-17, 2006-07, 1993-94 and 1991-92.
STARTING FIVE, PLUS ONE
- Bryce Alford ranks No. 19 on UCLA's all-time scoring list. He enters this Wednesday's game having scored 1,555 points in 117 career games (13.3 ppg). Alford has scored in double figures in 11 of 12 games this season and ranks third on the team with 15.9 points per game. He ranks second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (88.2, 45/51).
- Isaac Hamilton ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.3 ppg) and tied for 11th in assists per game (3.3). He has scored at least 12 points in all 12 games this year. Dating back to the start of 2015-16, he has scored in double figures in 41 of UCLA's last 44 contests. He crossed the school's career 1,100-point plateau one week ago.
- Lonzo Ball, regarded as a prolific passer, ranks first in the Pac-12 in assists per game (8.7) and assist-turnover ratio (3.5), sixth in three-point field goal percentage (45.3), sixth in made three-pointers per game (2.4) and 13th in field goal percentage (54.1). Ball ranks No. 20, nationally, in assist-turnover ratio (3.5).
- TJ Leaf has scored at least 20 points in a team-best five games and ranks first on the squad and third in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.3 ppg). The freshman has five double-doubles, including a 17-point, 13-rebound game against Kentucky (Dec. 3) and, more recently, a 25-point, 10-rebound effort against UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 14).
- Thomas Welsh ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (57.3) and is just one block shy of cracking UCLA's top-10 career blocks list (currently at 91 blocked shots). Welsh has registered five double-doubles this season and has made all 14 free throw attempts. He missed UCLA's last three games nursing a bruised right knee.
- Aaron Holiday leads all Pac-12 players in three-point field goal percentage (53.3, 24/45) and ranks fifth in assists per game (4.1). Holiday, who has scored in double figures in 10 of 12 games, has become UCLA's first player since Jordan Adams in Nov. 2012 to score at least 20 or more points off the bench in back-to-back games.
Seven UCLA players scored in double figures against Pacific (Nov. 11). In addition, six Bruins scored in double figures against San Diego (Nov. 17), Long Beach State (Nov. 20), Portland (Nov. 24) and Kentucky (Dec. 3). Prior to this season, UCLA had not seen seven of its players score in double figures in the same game since Dec. 19, 1998 (UCLA def. CSUN, 114-97). UCLA's previous games with at least six double-figure scorers took place in wins over Montana State (Nov. 14, 2014 – Pauley Pavilion) and against Stanford in overtime (March 4, 2000 – Maples Pavilion, at Stanford).
The Western Michigan Broncos are 3-7 so far this season (from ESPN.com link)