Thursday, January 12, 2017

No. 4 UCLA Heads to Play at Colorado

The Bruins will play at Colorado on Thursday night in a game that will be televised by FS1.

jan 09, 2017 | ucla men's basketball page | ARTICLE LINK

LOS ANGELES – No. 4 UCLA (16-1, 3-1) returns to the road with a nationally-televised game against Colorado (10-6, 0-3) on Thursday evening. Game time is 8 p.m. PT (9 p.m. MT). UCLA downed Colorado in Pauley Pavilion, 77-53, last season (Feb. 20, 2016), in what was the Bruins' final victory of their 2015-16 campaign. The Bruins have opened their regular-season schedule with 16 wins in their first 17 games for the first time since 2007-08. UCLA's 2007-08 team opened the year 16-1, while the Bruins' 2006-07 squad began its season with 18 wins in its first 19 games.
Venue: Coors Events Center (11,064)
Tipoff Time: 8:07 p.m. PT/9:07 p.m. MT
Television: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
TV Talent: Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst)
Radio: AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
The Bruins went 2-0 last weekend, winning home games against California (81-71) on Thursday and Stanford (89-75) on Sunday. Playing before sold-out crowds in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA pushed its home winning streak to 10 games. Bryce Alford averaged 20.5 points, shooting 63.2 percent (12/19) from the field and 75.0 percent from 3-point range (9/12). Lonzo Ball scored 21 points and had eight assists and six rebounds in the team's win over Stanford. TJ Leaf had a double-double in each victory, averaging 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

The Bruins will play their first game at Colorado since the 2014-15 school year. Since Colorado joined the Pac-12 Conference prior to the 2011-12 season, UCLA has posted a 6-1 record against the Buffaloes, including a 2-1 mark against Colorado at the Coors Events Center.
Through 17 games, the Bruins have six players who have averaged in double-figure scoring (Leaf, Alford, Ball, Hamilton, Holiday and Welsh). TJ Leaf (17.4), Bryce Alford (16.8), Lonzo Ball (14.7) and Isaac Hamilton (14.1) all rank among the top 20 in the Pac-12 in scoring (through Jan. 8). Seven of UCLA's eight regular contributors have recorded more assists than turnovers, with the only exception being freshman forward/center Ike Anigbogu. Four of those seven Bruins have assist-turnover ratios of 1.7 or higher (Lonzo Ball's 3.5 ratio leads all Pac-12 players).
Freshmen TJ Leaf (17.4 ppg 9.1 rpg, 2.9 apg) and Lonzo Ball (14.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 8.0 apg) rank among the top 10 in multiple categories in the Pac-12. Leaf has twice been named the conference's player of the Week (Dec. 5, Dec. 19). He ranks first among all Pac-12 players in overall field goal percentage (65.4%) and fourth in scoring. 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. He has scored at least 20 points in three games and dished at least 10 assists in five games.
Senior Bryce Alford ranks No. 13, nationally, among all active players in career points (1,650), through Jan. 8. In fact, Alford is the only player on that list's "top 20" who competes in a Power 5 conference. Alford, who has scored at least 10 points in all but one game, ranks No. 16 on UCLA's career scoring list. As a senior in 2016-17, he has averaged 16.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, shooting 81.4 percent from the free throw line and 48.9 percent from the field. He has averaged 19.0 points per game, shooting 56.4 percent, in the team's last five games.
Sophomore Aaron Holiday has established himself as the conference's premier "sixth man," having averaged 13.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 17 games. Holiday has scored in double figures in 12 of 17 games, scoring 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. He ranks second in the Pac-12 Conference in three-point field goal percentage (49.2%, 30/61) and ranks fourth in assists per game (4.5 apg).
UCLA has teamed with the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in this season's Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge. Coaches vs. Cancer has joined forces with the online fundraising vendor PLEDGE IT, bringing back the 3-Point Attack. This 3-Point Challenge is spreading from coast to coast during the 2016-17 college basketball season, looking to help raise funds in the fight against our ultimate rival – cancer. Support UCLA's team by pledging for every 3-point shot the Bruins make this season. Join our program to help in the ongoing fight against cancer by donating here:
• Bryce Alford ranks No. 16 on UCLA's all-time scoring list. He enters Thursday's game at Colorado having scored 1,650 career points – just nine points behind four-year standout Marques Johnson (1,659). Alford has scored in double figures in 16 of 17 games, having registered at least 20 points in four of the Bruins' last six contests.
• Isaac Hamilton has averaged at least 10 points per game in each of his three seasons on the court with UCLA. Currently averaging 14.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists, Hamilton has shot 44.8 percent from the field and is third on the team with 35 made 3-pointers. He has scored in double figures in 43 of the Bruins' last 49 games.
• Lonzo Ball, who has emerged as a national player of the year candidate, ranks second in the nation in assists per game (8.0), averaging 14.7 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Ball's current total of 136 assists is the fourth-highest single-season total by any UCLA freshman (Pooh Richardson established UCLA's freshman record with 179 assists in 1985-86).
• TJ Leaf has scored at least 20 points in a team-best six games and ranks first on the squad fourth in the conference in scoring (17.4 ppg). The freshman has eight double-doubles, including an 18-point, 11-rebound game against California last Thursday (Jan. 5). Leaf leads all Pac-12 players in field goal percentage (65.4%, 123/188).
• Thomas Welsh has made 54.1 percent of his total shot attempts (59/109) and currently ranks seventh on UCLA's career blocks list (98). Welsh has registered six double-doubles this season and has made all 20 of his free throw attempts. He missed four games from Dec. 10-21 while recovering from a bruised right knee.
• Aaron Holiday ranks second in the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage (49.2, 30/61), through Jan. 8. He ranks fourth in assists per game (4.5) and has scored in double figures in 12 of 17 games. Last month, he became UCLA's first player since Jordan Adams (Nov. 2012) to score at least 20+ points off the bench in back-to-back games.
Through games played on Jan. 8, UCLA led the nation in assists per game (22.8) and total assists (387). In addition, the Bruins ranked second in assist-turnover ratio (1.84), overall field goal percentage (53.4) and three-point field goal percentage (42.8). UCLA also ranked third in points per game (92.8) and total blocks (110) and was eighth in scoring margin (18.7 ppg). UCLA's 102 points scored against Michigan (Dec. 10) and 81 points versus California (Jan. 5) were the most scored by any team against those respective programs this season.
Colorado enters this Thursday night's game playing at home for the first time since Dec. 22, when the Buffaloes defeated Eastern Washington, 76-68, at the Coors Events Center. Since that game, Colorado has dropped three consecutive Pac-12 games, all on the road, including an 82-73 decision at Arizona on Saturday, Jan. 7. Senior guard Derrick White leads the Buffaloes with 15.8 points per game, having shot 51.2 percent from the field and 82.9 percent from the free throw line. Senior forward Wesley Gordon (7.6 ppg) leads Colorado with 8.0 rebounds per game.
UCLA's current 10-game win streak in Pauley Pavilion marks the team's longest home 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 68-12 overall record in Pauley Pavilion since the arena reopened Nov. 9, 2012, after an 18-month renovation.
UCLA ranked third in the nation in scoring (92.8 ppg), through Jan. 8. The Bruins have averaged just under their program record of 94.6 points per game, established in 1971-72 (also a Pac-12 record). UCLA has not registered 85.0 ppg since 1994-95 (87.5 ppg) and has not averaged 90.0 or more points per game since 1990-91 (92.3 ppg). In addition, the Bruins lead the nation in assists per game (22.8), just a shade above the school record of 22.4 assists per game, set in 1973-74. The assist was not an official NCAA stat until 1983-84.

No comments: