dec 25 2017 | jeff miller |o.c. register | ARTICLE LINK
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
JAN 25, 2017 | clay fowler | inland valley daily bulletin-LA Daily news | ARTICLE LINK
Before it even took the court Wednesday night, USC made clear that it wasn’t afraid to run with UCLA.
The Trojans started four guards against a team with a fast break led by a future lottery pick and 3-point shooting prowess that has made it one of the most entertaining tickets in college basketball.
USC beat UCLA at its own game, handing the No. 8 team in the country an 84-76 loss. It was USC capitalizing on turnovers and raining 3-pointers, not the team that entered with the most efficient offense in the country.
UCLA shot a respectable 48 percent from the field, but the team that entered with the second-best 3-point percentage in the nation (43.4) shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc.
The extended zone defense USC employed after UCLA took an 8-0 lead limited a UCLA team that set a school record with 19 3-pointers Jan. 12 in Colorado to just 20 attempts from 3-point range.
It’s hard to know what’s more concerning, the percentage or the number of attempts.
“Once they went zone, we hard a hard time finding anyone because there was no 1-on-1 matchup anymore,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “We didn’t get the open shots I thought we would get if we got the ball to the middle or the baseline. That’s something we’re going to really have to look at and work on our zone offense because we do have the shooters.”
While USC made nine of its season-high 14 3-pointers in the first half, UCLA made just two. Equally surprising were the Bruins’ five attempts from beyond the arc in the game’s first 20 minutes.
Trailing USC late, it needed a flurry of desperate 3-point attempts in the final minutes to reach 20 attempts, lowing what was a decent percentage to 30 in the process.
Aaron Holiday made the Bruins second 3-pointer of the night at the 13:37 mark of the first half, but UCLA didn’t make another until 23 minutes later when Bryce Alford made his only shot of the game.
Alford finished 1 of 7 from the field with three points.
The quarterback of the most explosive offense in the country, point guard Lonzo Ball, committed a season-high seven turnovers and had a season-low four assists. The freshman had 15 points on 4 of 9 shooting with 10 rebounds.
“This loss was my fault,” Ball said. “I had a hundred turnovers. So we’ll get back in the lab and work on it.”
UCLA finished with a season-high 17 turnovers, limiting its volume on offense.
The Bruins’ other obvious strength, its transition game, was limited to six points. Meanwhile plenty of USC’s 3-pointers were the product of a transition game jump-started by UCLA’s turnovers.
“Transition off of our turnovers was huge,” Steve Alford said. “We just gave up too many things off our own mistakes. Hopefully the bye week comes at a pretty good time for us.”
Sunday, January 29, 2017
|UCLA guard Aaron Holiday scrambles to control the ball as USC's De'Anthony Melton, left, Nick Rakocevic and Jordan McGlaughlin, right, try to take it from him during second half action at the Galen Center. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)|
jan 25, 2017 | THE L.A. TIMES | ARTICLE LINK
He knelt along the sideline, his back against a videoboard advertising a resort destination. UCLA Coach Steve Alford looked at the floor slats, put his hand on his temple and massaged.
It had taken 38 minutes against rival USC, but his Bruins had finally found their speed. Trailing and needing quick scores, point guard Lonzo Ball pushed the pace. He whipped a pass to Aaron Holiday in the paint. Holiday pushed forward, then whirled the ball behind his back — right to USC’s Jordan McLaughlin. Every UCLA step Wednesday evening, USC matched. Every play, the Trojans were there. Alford shook his head.
Soon, he was shaking USC Coach Andy Enfield’s hand at the Galen Center after a loss for the fourth straight time. USC won, 84-76, extending its longest streak over its rival since a span from 2009 to 2011.
USC guard Shaqquan Aaron strode into a postgame news conference cradling a basketball. Asked if it was the game ball, he said no.
“I was going to go shoot after,” he said.
He did not appear to need the extra practice. Off the bench, he tormented No. 8 UCLA, scoring 23 points and powering USC to a first-half lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
A season ago, USC had done the same, trampling UCLA three times with superior athleticism. Its defense smothered. Its offense zoomed past the Bruins in transition. An encore was not widely expected.
UCLA had appeared to shift the paradigm. Behind point guard Ball, UCLA owned the best offense in the nation. After Wednesday’s game, Enfield called it “as talented an offensive team as I’ve ever seen in college basketball.”
However, UCLA ended the game with its second-worst offensive performance of the season.
USC (18-4, 5-4 in the Pac-12 Conference) was playing without arguably its best player, forward Bennie Boatwright. That obliged the Trojans to use four guards for much of the game.
But they could still run. And so they did.
UCLA’s fearsome transition game never found space. It took the Bruins more than 15 minutes to generate their first fastbreak. They scored only six fastbreak points all game.
Among the Lilliputian defense, UCLA’s big men, Thomas Welsh and TJ Leaf, found clearer airspace inside, and Welsh exploited it early with 10 points in the game’s first six minutes. But a zone hounded UCLA’s perimeter and prevented easy entry passes. Welsh finished with just 13. Leaf scored eight.
UCLA (19-3, 6-3) committed 17 turnovers. Ball alone had seven. UCLA scored the game’s first eight points, but USC punched back with three-pointers.
Aaron led all scorers. “Just spectacular tonight,” Enfield said. “This was his best game.”
UCLA had torched teams from behind the arc, but USC dominated Wednesday, with 14 three-pointers to UCLA’s six. UCLA shooting guard Bryce Alford, averaging 17.2 points going in, was limited to three points.
Enfield said he knew USC, short-handed in the frontcourt, would have to win on the perimeter to hang with UCLA.
“When your power forward’s 6-foot-3, you better spread the floor and shoot the ball,” Enfield said, laughing.
Early in the second half, UCLA had to demur to USC’s speed, and Alford leaned heavily on his own four-guard set. The USC student section began chanting “over-rated.” Meanwhile, Chimezie Metu slammed a one-handed alley-oop. Soon after, Metu blocked a jump shot from Welsh, the 7-footer. It is the second season in a row the sophomore, who wanted to attend UCLA, terrorized the Bruins with his length. Metu scored 13 points with seven rebounds.
Meetings when both teams are serious contenders is rare. This season each breezed through the nonconference schedule unblemished. The last time each had started so well was the 1970-71 season, when Bob Boyd's USC team briefly challenged John Wooden’s UCLA for supremacy; UCLA prevailed. USC retired Boyd’s number posthumously during a halftime ceremony Wednesday.
Such matchups don’t happen often. The teams have made the NCAA tournament in the same year only 11 times.
Sensing the opportunity, the city turned out. The game sold out a month in advance. One student wearing a Speedo found seats directly behind the basket. USC football Coach Clay Helton and former quarterback Matt Leinart attended.
The atmosphere, Enfield said “was the best I’ve ever seen since we’ve been here as a staff.”
Wednesday at Washington, 8 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena, ESPNU — Washington has one of the nation’s best players in Markelle Fultz, who averages 23.4 points per game. He could use some help, however.
Wednesday at Washington State, 6 p.m., Beasley Coliseum, Pac-12 Networks — The Bruins have lost three consecutive games on the road against the Cougars after having gone undefeated there from 1994 to 2012.
— Ben Bolch
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017
The top post in MUCLAH history so far is this one from Oct 13 2010 on George Dohrmann's book "Play Their Hearts Out." In his book, Dohrmann chronicles the life of high-school phenom Demetrius Walker and his AAU coach, Joe Keller.
to continue reading the 2010 post, go here.
But where is Demetrius Walker now? Here was an update that came out in Nov 2016 from SLAM. (Click to article enlarge). Or read the article online here.
But where is Demetrius Walker now? Here was an update that came out in Nov 2016 from SLAM. (Click to article enlarge). Or read the article online here.
Way to go, Demetrius. But how about Coach Keller? Where's that dude?
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
JAN 24, 2017 | UCLA MEN'S BASKETBALL PAGE | POST LINKLOS ANGELES – No. 7 UCLA (19-2, 6-2) returns to action at USC (17-4, 4-4) on Wednesday evening. Game time at the Galen Center is 8 p.m. (PT). The crosstown showdown featuring UCLA and USC will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with Joe Davis and Jim Jackson calling the action.
Venue: Galen Center (10,258)
Tipoff Time: 8:01 p.m. (PT)
Television: FOX Sports 1 (FS1)
TV Talent: Joe Davis (play-by-play), Jim Jackson (analyst)
Radio: AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channel: Ch. 84/Ch. 84
SIRIUS App. Channel: Ch. 84
IN THE POLLS
UCLA has been ranked No. 7 in this week's USA Today Coaches poll and No. 8 in the Associated Press (AP) poll.
The Bruins have won 10 of their last 14 meetings against USC, who swept all three games against the Bruins in 2015-16. UCLA has compiled a 7-3 record against the Trojans at the Galen Center since the Trojans' home arena opened in October 2006. A victory by UCLA at USC can help the Bruins secure their 20th victory of the season, allowing UCLA to reach the 20-win plateau for the 42nd time in its last 51 seasons (1967-2017).
LAST TIME OUT
Lonzo Ball scored a season-high 24 points, adding eight assists and six rebounds, as UCLA dropped a 96-85 decision at home to No. 14 Arizona on Saturday afternoon. The loss snapped UCLA's 11-game home win streak and marked the team's second loss in 21 games this season. UCLA had not opened any season with 19 wins in 20 games since beginning its 1991-92 campaign with a 21-2 overall record. Ball finished the week having registered 17.0 points, 10.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds in a pair of games against Arizona State (Jan. 19) and Arizona (Jan. 21).
Senior guards Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton have each reached the 30-point plateau in a Pac-12 game this month. Alford scored a career-high 37 points at Colorado (Jan. 12), making 9 of 14 three-pointers. Hamilton recorded a season-high 33 points in UCLA's 102-80 win over Arizona State (Jan. 19) in Pauley Pavilion, connecting on 9 of 14 three-point shots. Both players tied the school record for most made three-pointers in a game (9), previous accomplished by Alford versus SMU in March 2015 and by Jason Kapono at Washington State in January 2003.
AWAY FROM PAULEY
Two weeks ago, the Bruins recorded their first Pac-12 "road sweep" since Jan. 2013, earning wins at Colorado (Jan. 12) and Utah (Jan. 19). In six seasons that the Pac-12 has included Colorado and Utah, the Rocky Mountain road sweep has only been accomplished four times – by UCLA in 2013 and 2017 and by Arizona in 2014 and 2015. Against Utah that Saturday, the Bruins overcame a nine-point deficit (51-42) with 16:13 to play in the second half. Aaron Holiday's three-pointer with 1:52 to play gave UCLA an 81-80 cushion (the Bruins never trailed after that point).
NO ORDINARY FRESHMEN
Freshmen TJ Leaf (16.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.7 apg) and Lonzo Ball (14.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 8.0 apg) rank among the top 10 in multiple categories in the Pac-12. Leaf, who was named Pac-12 player of the Week on Dec. 5 and Dec. 19, ranks second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (63.6%) and three-point percentage (48.8%). Ball, named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Nov. 28, is the nation's only player averaging at least 10 points, four rebounds and seven assists per game. Through the last four games, he has averaged 15.5 points, 9.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.
Lonzo Ball is currently averaging 8.2 assists per game, the highest single-season average in UCLA history. His 172 assists are the most in one season since Kyle Anderson had 233 in 2013-14 (sophomore). In addition, Ball's 172 assists this season rank as the second-highest total ever by a UCLA freshman. Pooh Richardson dished a school-record 179 assists in 29 games as a freshman in 1985-86.
Sophomore Aaron Holiday has established himself as the conference's premier "sixth man," having averaged 13.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 21 games. He has scored in double figures in 16 of 21 games, totaling a career-high 20 points in consecutive wins over UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 14) and Ohio State (Dec. 17). No other player in the Pac-12 has averaged as many points as Holiday has, coming off the bench. Through Jan. 22, Holiday ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage (45.7%, 37/81) and in assists per game (4.5 apg).
UCLA'S ROTATION, AT A GLANCE
- Bryce Alford ranks No. 13 on UCLA's all-time scoring list (1,726 career points). He scored a career-high 37 points, connecting on nine three-pointers, in UCLA's win at Colorado (Jan. 12). The senior guard has scored in double figures in 19 of 21 games and has registered at least 20 points in five of UCLA's last 10 contests.
- Isaac Hamilton scored a season-high 33 points, connecting on 9 of 14 three-pointers, in UCLA's 102-80 win over Arizona State (Jan. 19). Hamilton had 25 points in the first half in that victory. He has averaged 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Hamilton ranks third on the team with 50 three-pointers.
- Lonzo Ball, who has emerged as a national player of the year candidate, ranks second in the nation in assists per game (8.2). He has shot 54.2 percent overall from the field and has averaged 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. His total of 172 assists is just two shy of the single-season mark (174) at UCLA for any freshman.
- TJ Leaf has scored at least 20 points in six games. He ranks second on the team and sixth in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.7 ppg). The freshman has nine double-doubles, including four in Pac-12 action. Through games played Sunday, Jan. 22, Leaf was one of three players in the Pac-12 to rank in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding.
- Thomas Welsh (10.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.8 bpg) has made all 28 of his free throw attempts this season. Most recently, Travis Wear made his first 22 free throw attempts to start the 2013-14 (Wear's senior season). Welsh has recorded 101 career blocks, currently tied for fifth place on UCLA's all-time list with Ryan Hollins (2003-06).
- Aaron Holiday has averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 assists, appearing in all 21 games off the bench. Holiday ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage (45.7%, 37/81), through Sunday, Jan. 22. Holiday also ranks fourth in the conference in assists per game (4.5) and is ninth in assist-turnover ratio (1.8).
- Ike Anigbogu, a 6-foot-10 forward/center from Corona, Calif., has averaged 4.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 13.1 minutes per game off the bench. Anigbogu has twice scored a season-high nine points and has twice registered a season-high four blocks. He has shot 61.5 percent from the field midway through his freshman season.
- G.G. Goloman has registered 3.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, averaging 11.5 minutes off the bench for the Bruins. A 6-foot-10 forward from Körmend, Hungary, Goloman has totaled 16 blocks in 20 games (0.8 bpg). He has shot 60.8 percent from the field and scored a career-high 12 points in UCLA's win over CSUN on Nov. 13.
HIGH MARKS ...
Through games played on Jan. 21, UCLA led the nation in assists per game (22.3), total assists (468), field goal percentage (53.1), three-point field goal percentage (43.4) and assist-turnover ratio (1.9). In addition, UCLA ranked second in scoring (93.0 ppg) and was fifth in scoring margin (16.4), three-pointers made per game (11.0) and defensive rebounds per game (29.9). UCLA's 102 points against Michigan (Dec. 10), 81 versus California (Jan. 5) and 104 at Colorado (Jan. 12) were the most scored by any team against those respective programs this season.
GLANCING AT THE TROJANS
Midway through his fourth season as USC's head coach, Andy Enfield has helped USC post a 17-4 record this season, including a 4-4 mark in Pac-12 play. Junior Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart have each averaged 14.1 points per game. Stewart scored 29 points on Sunday in USC's win over Arizona State, connecting on 7 of 13 shots from three-point range. Sophomore Chimezie Metu has registered 13.6 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game. Metu has averaged a team-high 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the Trojans' eight Pac-12 contests.
HOME SWEET HOME
UCLA has gone 11-1 in Pauley Pavilion this season. The Bruins' 11-game home win streak was snapped last Saturday with a 96-85 loss to No. 14 Arizona. That had been the Bruins' longest home win streak since securing 15 consecutive home wins in 2013-14, head coach Steve Alford's first season in Westwood. UCLA last had an undefeated home record in 2006-07, going 16-0 in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins have compiled a 69-13 overall record in Pauley Pavilion since the arena reopened the evening of Nov. 9, 2012, after an 18-month renovation.
SHARING THE BALL
UCLA totaled 30 assists in last Thursday's 102-80 win against Arizona State. That marked the Bruins' first game with at least 30 assists since Feb. 23, 1995, when UCLA totaled 32 assists in a 104-88 win over California. The Bruins have also recorded 29 assists in three games this season. Prior to the game against California in 1995, the Bruins also had 32 assists on Nov. 27, 1993 (against Loyola Marymount) and on Feb. 23, 1989 (versus Washington). UCLA totaled 38 assists on Dec. 2, 1990 in the team's 149-98 win over Loyola Marymount.
Bryce Alford ranks first in school history in single-season 3-pointers made and is second in career three-pointers. He made a school-record 93 treys in 2014-15 (sophomore) and has now made 284 career three-pointers, second-most at UCLA behind Jason Kapono (317, played from 2000-03). Alford has made at least 70 three-pointers in three consecutive seasons, only the second player in school history (along with Jason Kapono), to have accomplished that feat.