Sunday, February 28, 2010

UCLA trying to hobble through tough season

Injuries typical of Bruins' season

Published: Feb. 27, 2010
Updated: 8:15 p.m.

LOS ANGELES - The epitome of UCLA's basketball season was written about two minutes before the start of Saturday's game against Oregon.

Senior Nikola Dragovic, who injured his left shoulder in Thursday's victory over Oregon State, had taken a cortisone injection and was finally starting to feel better.

He then stepped on a stray basketball and sprained his right ankle.

The result? Seven points, one rebound and one assist in 34 minutes. And a Sunday-morning appointment to have the ankle X-rayed.

"My parents came to Thursday's game and one of my shoulders popped out," said Dragovic, who surprisingly didn't have a rain cloud hanging a few inches above his head. "I came back, got a shot before the game and was feeling a little better. I could raise my arm above my shoulder. And then two minutes before the game starts I step on the ball happens."

Dragovic is not expected to practice until Wednesday at the earliest.

Sadly for the Bruins, things like this have been happening all season.

Reeves Nelson, who took 15 stitches above his right eye after crashing face-first to the floor in a game at Washington State on Feb. 18, missed his second game in a row. He's not sitting because of the injury to his right eye. He's out because a follow-up exam revealed a small tear in the retina of his left eye.

It's thought the second injury was the result of the impact when he hit his head.

Nelson was shooting baskets before Saturday's game but that doesn't necessarily mean that his return to action is imminent.

"He's going to be re-evaluated on Wednesday," UCLA coach Ben Howland said of Nelson. "He is only allowed right now to ride a bike. He can't do anything with too much exertion because of the blood pressure behind the eye. He can shoot. He can ride a bike. That's what he's been doing."

Freshman Brendan Lane sprained an ankle at practice last Friday (on the last play of the final drill of the day), missed Thursday's game against Oregon State but returned on Saturday.


Senior Michael Roll tied his career high with 25 points in Saturday's game, his final one at Pauley Pavilion.

In doing so, he made six 3-pointers, giving him 200 for his UCLA career. That pushed him into third place on the Bruins all-time list. He trails Jason Kapono (317) and Arron Afflalo (209).

"It's been a great run that I've had here," Roll said of his final home game. "It was a fun game. We fought. I was proud of that. We got down 14 and we fought back."


Players and coaches from UCLA's 1970 NCAA championship team were honored in a halftime ceremony on Saturday, with former coach John Wooden, 99, in attendance. ...

The Ducks, who came to Southern California this weekend packing a 2-7 road record, beat both USC and UCLA in Los Angeles for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A butt-ugly Senior Day at Pauley Pavilion

UCLA loses their last game at home this season. Seniors Spencer Soo, Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, James Keefe, Nikola Dragovic and Michael Roll end their playing days at Pauley on a sour note. On a positive note, Senior Michael Roll ties his career-high with 25 pts (with six 3's) for the game.

UCLA experiences too few senior moments in 70-68 loss to Oregon

Things go wrong from start to finish on 'senior day' as UCLA falls to last-place Ducks in its final home game of the season.

UCLA players huddle in the final minutes of the second half Saturday against Oregon, when the Bruins wiped out a 10-point deficit before losing, 70-68. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times / February 27, 2010)

By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 28, 2010

There are days you just can't win.

UCLA senior forward Nikola Dragovic, who was already dealing with a shoulder injury, stepped on a basketball during warmups and sprained his right ankle Saturday.

Jerime Anderson, the sophomore guard with the Bruins' senior day desires in his hands, tossed an errant pass for a turnover with just over a minute left and the score tied, then threw a no-look pass out of bounds with 30 seconds to go and UCLA down by three.

Dragovic's senior trip at the start and Anderson's sophomore slip at the end made Oregon's 70-68 victory at Pauley Pavilion seem almost predetermined.

Tajuan Porter, the Ducks' 5-foot-7 guard, followed Anderson's first turnover with a three-pointer with 49 seconds left, part of a 29-point performance. Another Anderson turnover and the Ducks needed only to make free throws. They made just enough, two of five, to beat UCLA in its last home game of the season.

"What's next?" said a battered Dragovic, who gutted out 34 minutes, finishing with seven points and one rebound. "My parents came [from Serbia] Tuesday and my shoulder pops out a little on Thursday. I get a shot before the game and can at least raise my arm above my shoulder. Then two minutes before the game, I step on a basketball."

Such are the pains and pratfalls that have the Bruins (13-15 overall, 8-8 in Pacific 10 Conference play) staring at their third losing season since 1947-48.

"You want to win your last game," said sophomore guard Malcolm Lee, whose 18 points helped UCLA rally from a 14-point deficit. "It's a legacy for your seniors"

It nearly was. Michael Roll pushed the Bruins toward a happy ending, tying his career high with 25 points. Eight came during a stretch in which they pulled even, 62-62, with five minutes left.

Then Anderson gave, and took away.

Anderson burst down the lane for a layup and hit a free throw to tie the score, 65-65. It was still tied when the Bruins got the ball back, but Anderson's first late turnover led to Porter's go-ahead three, and his second pretty much sealed the outcome.

"It's inexplicable," Coach Ben Howland said. "I don't know if it was fatigue. I have no answers for that."

The legend -- Former UCLA coach John Wooden takes in the UCLA game on Saturday, as he often does during Senior Day at Pauley Pavilion.(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times / February 27, 2010)

Few have been found in a season when UCLA has proved it can play with the Pac-10's best, and lose to its worst. The Bruins beat California, which has clinched at least a tie for the title, but lost to last-place Oregon twice.

The Ducks (14-14, 6-10) can at least claim the Los Angeles city title, having beaten both UCLA and USC twice this season.

"It's good to come here on [UCLA's] senior day and pay tribute to those guys who were on those Final Four teams," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent said.

While that was delivered with a straight face, it had to sting.

Roll had already framed his senior day memory, saying, "I'll remember all pre-game festivities, and the fans, and I will remember it was a great game. But it will always be a loss."

Porter made sure of that. He made 11 of 20 shots, including seven of nine from three-point range. The Ducks were 10 for 14 on three-point attempts.

"Porter can really shoot, we knew that coming in," Roll said. "Everybody knows that and he still gets the shot off because he's so quick."

The Bruins, meanwhile, made 20 of 25 shots from inside the three-point line, but were only eight for 26 beyond it. Eight of their first nine shots were three-point tries.

"That shows how much we were hurting for an inside presence," Howland said.

The Bruins were out-rebounded, 33-26. Whether that improves is a medical question. Forward Reeves Nelson (torn retina) may not return; he'll be re-evaluated Wednesday. Dragovic will have X-rays on his ankle today. Forward Brendan Lane, who had eight points and five rebounds despite a sprained left ankle, hobbled out of the building wearing a boot.

UCLA BASKETBALL: Oregon senior steals the show in Ducks' 70-68 victory
By Jon Gold, Staff Writer
The Sun, San Bernardino and the Inland Empire
Posted: 02/27/2010 10:04:38 PM PST

LOS ANGELES - It was Senior Day at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, and there were flashbulbs and smiles and banners all around.

There were handshakes and hugs, flowers for the moms, pats on the back for the dads.

Oh, it was Senior Day all right.

Except the senior who starred was Tajuan Porter, Oregon's point guard, and the Ducks held off a late UCLA charge to win 70-68 for their first season sweep of the Bruins since 2002-03.

Porter, who came into the game on a 14-for-57 cold streak, reached double digits for the first time in seven games with a 15-point performance in a 54-44 victory over USC on Thursday.

That was only a preview.

Oregon's diminutive guard had 29 points, including a 23-foot 3-pointer - one of seven on the day - with 49 seconds left to break a tie.

"We just offset their zone," Porter said. "(UCLA had) four up top - they played a 2-3 zone, so they had to bring the forwards up - so we ball-screened, Malcolm (Armstead) came off and made a couple plays, I made a couple plays.

"We had them on their heels. They didn't know what to do."

UCLA's confusion continued into the second half as the Ducks (14-14, 6-10) penetrated with ease in building their lead to 14 with just over 15 minutes remaining.

The Bruins pecked away and stayed within 10 until the eight-minute mark, when they made their move.

A 10-point hole became eight, seven, five, four and finally zero with just more than five minutes to play, a 13-3 run spurred by better perimeter defense and smarter offensive movement.

"We knew what they were doing ... in the second half, we were rotating well and picking up the open man," said Bruins freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt, who scored only four points but had 13 rebounds, nine assists and three steals. "Getting rebounds, contesting shots and coming back down on the other end and scoring."

After UCLA (13-15, 8-8) tied the score, though, the Bruins tightened up on offense rather than just working within the scheme.

The result? Three crucial turnovers, including two by point guard Jerime Anderson, and a hasty 3-point attempt by senior guard Michael Roll early in an important possession that rimmed out.

The shot could be forgiven. Roll was UCLA's best scorer on Saturday, finishing with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including six 3's.

The Bruins are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2003-04.

"In past years, when we've made comebacks like that, we always found a way to win," Abdul-Hamid said. "That's what makes great teams - little bounces your way. It's all a maturity thing.

"Hopefully, eventually, those are going to be the kind of games that will put us back where we belong."

UCLA basketball: Bruins get close, then throw game away
By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 27, 2010 | 4:15 pm

UCLA chased, and closed, and got there. Then the Bruins let it slip away.

After Oregon squandered 10-point lead in the second half, Tajuan Porter sank a three-pointer and the Bruins then proceeded to play giveaway in a 70-68 loss at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday.

The Bruins had a chance to take the lead with a little more than a minute left after Jerime Anderson’s layup and free throw tied the score, 65-65. But Anderson turned the ball over on the next possession and Porter sank his three-pointer. Anderson then committed a second turnover, and the Ducks needed only to sink free throws from then on. They made two of five in the last 24 seconds, but it was enough.

Porter scored 29 points, making 11 of 20 shots. He was seven for nine on three-point attempts. Oregon made 10 of 14 from three-point range. UCLA shot 55%, but the Bruins were eight for 26 on three-point shots. They shot 80% (20 for 25) from inside the arc.

Michael Roll had 25 points for UCLA, which trailed, 59-49, with nine minutes left. Malcolm Lee, who had 18 points, pushed an 11-3 run with six points to close the gap.

Oregon missed its first six shots, then made 15 of 27 to take a 41-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Porter, a 5-foot-7 guard, scored 11 of his team’s first 13 points as Oregon forged an early 13-7 lead. Oregon went on an 8-0 run, during which UCLA Coach Ben Howland used three timeouts in 1 minute 54 seconds, to push the lead to 24-13.

UCLA’s shot selection, both by the Bruins' own choosing and by the Ducks' defense, was questionable early on. Of the Bruins’ first eight shots, seven were three-point attempts.

Fab(ricated) five?

Photo credit (could someone educate me?)

Thanks to Puffdaddy for posting this story on Bruin Zone.

UCLA's 2008 recruiting class hasn't lived up to hype

Jrue Holiday left after one year, and those left behind have done little to help in a bad season in Westwood.

By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 27, 2010

J'mison Morgan trudged on, without going anywhere.

This was game day, hours before UCLA was to play Washington. Morgan, a sophomore center and part of the nation's best recruiting class two years ago, according to, was in a hotel fitness center, grinding away on the treadmill.

"I need this," Morgan said, as he pushed his 6-foot-10, 240-pound body.

The moment seemed symbolic for a UCLA season where the wheels have been spinning, yet with little progress. On that day the Bruins suffered a 29-point loss to the Huskies.

After five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, three Final Fours and three Pacific 10 Conference championships, the Bruins have hit the skids. UCLA, 13-14 overall, is tied for third in the Pacific 10 Conference heading into Saturday's game against Oregon, and something is amiss around Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA Coach Ben Howland said he's had tough seasons before and that this one "is typical of the first year of the three jobs I have had. That's what this feels like." Yet this his sixth year in Westwood and the Bruins are struggling to avoid having their third losing season since 1947-48.

No one saw this season coming at UCLA. Their 2008 recruiting class was expected to prevent such things. Jrue Holiday, Drew Gordon, Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson and Morgan were pre-approved for greatness before they hit campus.

Photo credit: UCLA Magazine Jan 2009

Holiday left for the NBA after one season. Gordon transferred to New Mexico in December when he and Howland had irreconcilable differences. Lee is playing out of position at point guard. Anderson has been slowed by injuries. Morgan showed up out of shape and remains an enigma.

"I think they are a victim of their own success," said former St. John's coach Fran Fraschilla, now an ESPN analyst. "They had a great run of players. They went four for four on guards, three of them left early. . . . They have guys in the rotation now that are at best role players on a great team, with [Kevin] Love, [Russell] Westbrook and Holiday. Throw in a little bad luck, some injuries, and this is a skeleton team compared to what they have been."

The difference is noticeable.

"Ben's teams were always physical," California Coach Mike Montgomery said. "On ball screens, you had to prepare for a mugging."

Now, the Bruins play zone and too often are the ones getting rolled. Howland has suffered the worst losses of his UCLA coaching career this season, a 27-point rout by Portland in December and the debacle in Seattle last week.

But whether that responsibility falls on his sophomores, Howland would say only, "I'm not going to disparage players here publicly." Still, a few weeks earlier, he teetered on an admonishment, saying, "We hoped we would be further ahead than we are right now."

Those in the sophomore class certainly expected more.

"When the five of us were here, we were pretty close," Morgan said. "We always figured, 'OK, we got to stick together.' " Morgan was the cherry on top of that recruiting class. But he showed up in Westwood hardly ready to play. "Just running up and down the court was an issue for him," Howland said.

As to whether Morgan will develop into a dominant player, Howland said last month that, "based on what he has done right now, that would be hard to say."

It is not Howland's only problem.

Holiday, the No. 1 point guard coming out of North Hollywood Campbell Hall, had a short shelf life at UCLA and is playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. Anderson, ranked the No. 7 point guard nationally by, was brought in from Anaheim Canyon as the safety net. But groin injuries have hampered Anderson's development. He played only nine minutes during a three-week stretch in January.

Lee, the fifth-ranked shooting guard nationally while at Riverside North according to, was moved to point guard. He is averaging 12 points and three assists while learning on the job.

"I get a chance to work with these kids at camps during the summer [and Anderson and Lee] were not on the same level as the [UCLA] guys who left," Fraschilla said. "Just being a McDonald's All American doesn't make you an impact basketball player."

Howland appears to have acknowledged that, at least at point guard. The Bruins are bringing in Lazeric Jones, a point guard from Logan Community College in Illinois. UCLA hasn't had a community college transfer play significant minutes since Jack Haley in 1986-87.

Jones, is part of the new recruiting class, along with high school players, center Josh Smith and shooting guard Tyler Lamb, who Howland hopes will help put the Bruins back in the game next season.

"There is no doubt that Ben is one of the best coaches in college basketball, but even [North Carolina's] Roy Williams and [Connecticut's] Jim Calhoun can get caught in these situations," Fraschilla said.

"Those programs can still recruit elite players. They just need to evaluate the type of players to get them back quickly."

Howland, it appears, has already evaluated what he has. "Usually you have a feel for what a kid's abilities are by the end of their sophomore year," he said.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Seniors hope to protect homecourt in the end

UCLA hopes to prevent a sweep by the Oregon Ducks this season.

A total of five senior student-athletes will be honored prior to the Bruins' final regular season home game tomorrow with the Ducks (approximately 1:50 p.m.): Spencer Soo, Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, James Keefe, Nikola Dragovic and Michael Roll will be honored before the tip-off.

The Bruins Host Oregon on Senior Day
from the Official UCLA Men's Basketball website
Feb. 26, 2010

UCLA leads the all-time series with Oregon 81-26 (.757) and has won the last six games against the Ducks at home by an average of 14 points.


DATE: Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010
SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
TIP-OFF: 2:07 p.m. (PT)
TELEVISION: Prime Ticket
TALENT: Bill Macdonald (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst) and Patrick O'Neal (sideline)
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Tracy Murray (analyst)

Senior James Keefe injured his left shoulder in practice on Feb. 12, 2010. He will have season-ending surgery next week. Freshman Reeves Nelson hit his head on the floor when he lost his balance after a dunk at Washington State (Feb. 18). He received 15 stitches and started two days later at Washington. He had laser retinopexy to repair a slight tear in his retina in his left eye on Feb. 22 and will miss the Oregon game (Feb. 27). Brendan Lane sprained his left ankle in practice on Feb. 23 and will be a game-time decision for the Oregon contest. Nikola Dragovic injured his shoulder in the Oregon State contest and is a game-time decision for the Oregon game.

This is the 108th meeting between UCLA and Oregon with the Bruins leading the series 81-26 (.757). The Bruins have won six straight games over the Ducks in Pauley Pavilion by an average of 14 points (77-63). The Bruins posted a 94-68 convincing victory over Oregon in Pauley Pavilion in last year's home finale (Mar. 7, 2009) as all three seniors scored in double figures (Josh Shipp career-high 28 pts., Darren Collison 19 pts., Alfred Aboya 10 pts.). Drew Wiley led the Ducks with 18 points. In this year's earlier meeting, Oregon won 71-66 in overtime on Jan. 28, 2010. UCLA got double-doubles from Nikola Dragovic (19 pts., 10 rbs.) and Tyler Honeycutt (13 pts., 10 rbs.). Head Coach Ben Howland is 10-3 against Oregon.

Senior guard Michael Roll is third in the Pacific-10 Conference in league play in three-point field goal percentage at 43.9 percent (36-for-82) and ranks fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.4). In overall games on the season, he ranks third in percentage (.430, 65-for-151) and fourth in treys per game (2.4). On the UCLA career charts, Roll sits at No. 5 in three-pointers made (194) and needs four to pass Tracy Murray for fourth. He also ranks sixth in three-pointers attempted (464) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.418).

A total of five senior student-athletes will be honored prior to the Bruins' final regular season home game tomorrow with the Oregon Ducks (approximately 1:50 p.m.). Spencer Soo, Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, James Keefe, Nikola Dragovic and Michael Roll will be honored before the tip-off with the Ducks. Three other Bruins seniors will be introduced as well, including Daniel Arevalo (student video coordinator), Frank Russo (student athletic trainer) and Andrew Nobe (student manager).

from the Official Oregon Men's Basketball website
Release: 02/26/2010

Ducks at UCLA for Saturday Afternoon Game

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The University of Oregon men’s basketball team (13-14, 5-10 Pac-10) plays at UCLA (13-14, 8-7 Pac-10) this Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. (PST) at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. The Ducks are coming off a 54-44 road win over USC on Thursday night.

The Bruins defeated Oregon State, 65-56 on Thursday night. Last week they split road games with the Washington schools, managing a 71-51 trouncing of the Cougars before getting crushed 97-68 by the Huskies. UCLA holds an 81-26 edge in the series history with Oregon. The Bruins fell at McArthur Court earlier this season in a 71-66 overtime decision. The Ducks’ last victory at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion was a 96-91 overtime outcome on Jan. 30, 2003.

• TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket; Bill Macdonald, play-by-play; Don MacLean, analyst; Patrick O’Neal, sideline
• Radio: Oregon Sports Network; Jerry Allen, play-by-play; KUGN 590-AM in Eugene/Springfield; Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m.
• Satellite radio: SIRIUS 216, XM 193
• Internet: Links to live streaming audio and statistics at Follow UO men’s basketball on twitter @duckbasketball for in-game updates and the latest news on the squad.

On the backs of senior guard Tajuan Porter and junior forward LeKendric Longmire, the Ducks completed a season-sweep of USC with a 54-44 win at the Galen Center on Thursday night. UO also defeated USC in late January at Mac Court, registering a 67-57 in the season’s first meeting.

Oregon’s last sweep of USC came in the 2004-05 season. UO recorded back-to-back sweeps, including the 2003-04 season, as part of a six-game winning streak against the Trojans which dated back to the 2002-03 season).

The Ducks came from behind to defeat the Trojans. UO took its first lead of the game with 12:01 remaining, 37-36. That was following an 14-4 run to open the half.

The Ducks shot just 36.7 percent from the floor (18-of-49), but held the Trojans to 19-of-58 on field goals for 32.8 percent. Oregon hit 16-of-24 on free throws, while USC managed to go just 1-of-5.

Oregon returns home next week to play its final Pac-10 games at McArthur Court. The Ducks host Washington on Thursday night with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. UO will then play Washington State on Saturday with tip-time slated for 5 p.m. The UO-WSU contest will mark the final home game for seniors Tajuan Porter and Joevan Catron. It will be televised by the Oregon Sports Network on Comcast SportsNet Northwest.

Senior guard Tajuan Porter has made a school-record 327 career 3-pointers in 121 games played (327-of-857, .382). He ranks second in Pac-10 Conference history and needs 16 more 3-pointers to break the league record held by Arizona’s Salim Stoudamire (342, 2002-05). The 5-7 guard from Detroit, Mich., is also just 34 shy of matching the Pac-10’s 3-point field goals attempted record held by Arizona State’s Stevin Smith (891, 1991-94).

Porter set the school mark in the first half of Oregon’s 95-64 home win over UC Davis on Saturday, Nov. 14, passing Orlando Williams (1991-95) who held the previous mark with 282 made 3-pointers in 112 games.

Senior guard Tajuan Porter now ranks fifth in school history in career scoring with 1,686 points in 121 games. In Thursday’s win over USC he passed Orlando Williams who tallied 1,674 points from 1991-95. Porter also recently jumped over a trio of former Ducks - Stan Love, Fred Jones and Malik Hairston - who are now in a three-way tie for seventh place with 1,644 points.

Ronnie Lee (1972-76) is UO’s all-time leading scorer, recording 2,085 points in 112 career games. Porter is projected to hold in fifth all-time (behind Lee, Luke Jackson, Anthony Taylor and Greg Ballard). Complete top 10 list on page 6.

Last season Porter became the 29th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. In fact, Porter has now scored 1,117 career points in Pac-10 games alone (69 games played, 16.2 ppg). He reached the original 1,000-point milestone in the Ducks 84-77 road win over UC Irvine in November of 2008. He is the 10th player overall and the fifth player in the last four seasons (Aaron Brooks, Malik Hairston, Bryce Taylor, Maarty Leunen) to eclipse the figure under Ernie Kent’s direction.

Sophomore center Michael Dunigan’s 34 blocks this season ties him for fifth place (with Brett Coffey, 1988-89) on the single-season charts at UO. Dunigan is on pace to record 41 blocks this year which would put him in a tie for second place for rejections in a season. In addition, if Dunigan continues to shoot 55.0 percent from the floor, he will end up no worse than eighth place on UO’s single-season field goal percentage list.

Sophomore guard Malcolm Armstead has 55 steals in 27 games, which has him tied for sixth for the best single-season total (w/Kenya Wilkins, 55 steals in 28 games in1996-97). He is on pace to record 65 steals, which would be a new single-season school record (current leaders: Terrell Brandon, Fred Jones and Luke Ridnour with 63).

Armstead has 115 assists (to just 64 turnovers) in 27 games. He is projected to finish with 134 assists this year which put him just outside the top 10 (No. 10 – Chris Harper and Kenya Wilkins with 142). Armstead had 12 assists against UCLA, tying him for the most by a Pac-10 player this season (and the most of any player in a Pac-10 game).

Sophomore guard Malcolm Armstead is second in the league in steals (2.0 spg), while ranking third in assist to turnover ratio (1.8) and fourth in assists (4.3 apg). Sophomore center Michael Dunigan ranks third in the conference in blocked shots (1.5 bpg), while ranking fifth in field goal percentage (.550, 71-of-129). Senior guard Tajuan Porter’s 2.1 made 3-pointers per game ranks him seventh amongst conference performers. Porter is also hitting 87.5 percent of his free throws (35-of-40) which would have him in fourth, but he does not have the minimum number of attempts to qualify.

Senior guard Tajuan Porter has recorded 99 steals in 121 career games which ranks ninth all-time at Oregon. He’s projected to finish his career in ninth, behind Terrell Brandon who is No. 8 on the list with 114 career steals in 57 games (from 1989-91).

Porter ranks 10th in school history with 545 career field goals made (545-of-1406, .388). Porter passed Charlie Warren, who made 503 field goals in 80 career games, to move into the top 10. Next up on the list: No. 9 Fred Jones (1998-02) who made 554 baskets in 125 games. Porter (4.7 FG/g) is projected to finish eighth all-time with 569 (No. 8 Orlando Williams, 567 in 112 games from 1991-95).

Sophomore center Michael Dunigan ranks eighth in school history for blocked shots with 62 in just 52 career games. Next on the list: No. 7 Brett Coffey with 63. With a 1.1 blocks per game average, Dunigan is on pace (with an assumed 67 games remaining) to become the all-time leader in that category with a projected total of 136. Blair Rasmussen (1981-85) ranks first with 116 blocks in 114 career games.

Oregon has a 10-3 record this season when out-rebounding opponents (2-10 when out-rebounded, 1-1 with even number of rebounds). The Ducks have out-rebounded their opponent and lost on three occasions (at Missouri 43-35; vs. Arizona State 36-27; vs. Stanford 35-25). The Ducks have a 331-274 edge in offensive rebounds through 27 games, with that leading to UO’s 323-263 advantage over opponents in second-chance points this season.

UO Athletics has announced it will celebrate the final Pac-10 men’s basketball season at Mac Court with commemorative ticket giveaways, a pair of jersey retirement ceremonies and honorary captains for the final nine games at the venue. Complete list of the honorary captains: OSU (Jan. 10) - Terrell Brandon; ASU (Jan. 14) - Charlie Warren, Bill Frieder; ARIZ (Jan. 16) - John Dick, Lute Olson; UCLA (Jan 28.) - Larry Holliday, Bill Walton; USC (Jan. 30) - Greg Ballard; STAN (Feb. 18) - Ronnie Lee; CAL (Feb. 20) - Chuck Rask, Glenn Moore, Darrall Imhoff; WASH (March 4) - Dick Harter, Brandon Roy; WSU (March 6) - Kenya Wilkins, James Donaldson.

Oregon has produced a winning record following four of the program’s 20-loss seasons: 15-10 in 1922-23 (7-24 in 1921-22), 13-11 in 1957-58 (4-21 in 1956-57), 16-10 in 1972-73 (6-20 in 1971-72) and 15-14 in 1989-90 (8-21 in 1988-89). It didn’t happen in 1992-93 (10-20 after going 6-21 in 1991-92) and 1993-94 (10-17 after going 10-20 in 1992-93).

Additionally, the only three Ernie Kent teams to finish without a winning record also bounced back. A record of 13-14 in 1997-98 turned into 19-13 and a trip to the NIT Final Four in 1998-99. A mark of 14-14 in 2000-01 turned into 26-9, a Pac-10 championship and the NCAA Elite Eight in 2001-02. The Ducks’ 15-18 record in 2005-06 turned into 29-8, a Pac-10 Tournament championship and another NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2006-07 (GW, 2009).

Michael Roll, steady rudder to oft unsteady Bruin ship

Fifth-year UCLA guard, Michael Roll

article posted before the OSU game Thursday, but still a worthwhile read...

Michael Roll's legacy to UCLA will be steadiness

He goes into his last home games as a Bruin having made an impact on those who have followed him into the program.

By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 25, 2010

Michael Roll did all right by trading up in 2005.

Roll had committed to UC Santa Barbara early in his senior year at Aliso Niguel. But diverting to UCLA on signing day put him on the road to three Final Fours, two of which he played in, and a national title game.

Any regrets about his decision? "No way," Roll said, smiling.

Roll, a senior guard for the Bruins, will play his final home games at Pauley Pavilion this week, starting Thursday against Oregon State.

His final tour might not be a jaunt through another NCAA tournament, as the 12-14 Bruins are struggling to get to .500, but Roll's impact appears to be on those who are following him into the program.

Asked what part of Roll's game he would like to absorb into his own, freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt said, "His court awareness. When the ball is in his hands, everybody on the court feels safe. Nobody is worried whether he is going to take a bad shot, or turn the ball over."

Steadiness may be Roll's legacy. This season, his first as a full-time starter, he has scored in double figures 21 of 26 games. And while others were handing out turnovers against Washington on Saturday, Roll hung on to the ball, finishing without a turnover.

"Mike was a scorer in high school; he actually had a little side spin on his shot," Coach Ben Howland said. "He worked hard to make himself one of the best shooters. He has become a very good passer too. He has the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team."

Roll's passing skills were an important part of the Bruins' game plan against Oregon State in Corvallis last month. He was asked to bring the ball up against the Beavers, with the idea to get the ball to point guard Malcolm Lee in the middle of the 1-3-1 half-court trap.

While the Bruins had 20 turnovers in the game, Roll had one to go with five assists. "Mike has been our most consistent performer this season," Howland said. Roll is already thinking ahead to Saturday's game, his last in Pauley Pavilion, against Oregon.

"Coming out of high school, I didn't know what would happen with basketball and my future," said Roll, who has already graduated, with a degree in global studies. "Being able to come to a place like UCLA has been awesome, with the teammates and success we've had here, I couldn't have asked for more."

Injury update

Forward Reeves Nelson, who underwent laser surgery to repair a slightly torn retina in his left eye, will not play in the weekend's games. He will be re-examined early next week to determine whether he can play during the Bruins' trip to Arizona.

Nelson is believed to have suffered the injury when he landed face-first on the court following a dunk Thursday against Washington State. The fall opened a gash over his right eye that required 15 stitches.

The retina tear was discovered during an examination Monday.

When Nelson returns, he will wear goggles.

"Dr. [Steven] Schwartz contacted the Lakers and got some goggles for him, the James Worthy [style] goggles," Howland said.

Sophomore J'mison Morgan is expected to start with Nelson out. Meanwhile, freshman forward Brendan Lane (sprained ankle) remains a game-time decision.

Bad combination?

Oregon State leads the conference in steals, averaging 8.1 per game, while the Bruins have had 15 or more turnovers in their last four games. "A lot of times [with the turnovers] it's poor decision making on our own part," Howland said. "They are not being forced."

UCLA sweeps OSU with 65-56 win at Pauley as Tyler Honeycutt shines

post updated Feb 27 2010 6:46 am

Freshman Tyler Honeycutt has 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins. Photo credit: Daily Bruin

UCLA gets past Oregon State, 65-56
By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 26, 2010

UCLA's postseason destination, if any, this basketball season, still has fill-in-the-blank possibilities.

The Bruins still have high hopes -- the NCAA tournament -- with a low-rent possibility -- a first-round home game in the NIT -- as well as the unacceptable, as the $60,000 per home game guarantee the College Basketball Invitational demands is probably too steep of a price.

A 65-56 victory over Oregon State at Pauley Pavilion Thursday may not inspire many whimsical NCAA tournament daydreams, but in Westwood these days, a win is a win.

The Bruins teetered, and Tyler Honeycutt propped them up. The Beavers cut a 12-point Bruins lead to 50-49 with 4 minutes 42 seconds left. Honeycutt, who scored 18 points, sank a three-pointer and then had a steal that sent Malcolm Lee off for an uncontested layup.

All of which meant the Bruins (13-14 overall, 8-7 in Pacific 10 Conference play) will wake up tied for third in the conference standings Friday morning.

"This definitely helps us as we get closer to the [conference] tournament," said Honeycutt, who made seven of 10 shots. "Maybe we can get a couple more wins and get into second place."

More performances from Honeycutt like Thursday's could help that along. He had 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and five blocks.

"When was the last time we had someone with five blocks?" UCLA Coach Ben Howland said. "Not this season."

Said Honeycutt: "We just have come out and do it again Saturday [against Oregon]."

That would fit nicely into the Bruins' plan.

"We're looking at the Pac-10 and the NCAA tournament," Honeycutt said. "If the NIT happens, it happens, but that was not one of our goals heading into the season."

Or any season, as senior guard Michael Roll sees it.

"I don't even know anything about the NIT," Roll said. "I heard rumors, maybe that the girls got invited couple years ago and UCLA turned it down. I don't know if we've even played in the NIT here, just because of the success we've had in the [NCAA]."

The Bruins have played in the NIT . . . twice.

"There's no proof about that," Roll said.

There could be. The Bruins had what could be called a banner season in 1985, winning the NIT, if they would only hang the banner.

"Our goal is to try to win the Pac-10 tournament," Howland said this week.

The Bruins' only hope of extending their NCAA tournament run to six consecutive seasons is by winning the conference tournament. But pulling off three victories in three nights seemed an iffy proposition even before injuries set in.

The Bruins have lost forward James Keefe (shoulder surgery) for the remainder of the season, and could be without forward Reeves Nelson (torn retina) as well, leaving them thin on the inside. Brendan Lane sat out Thursday because of a sprained ankle. Nikola Dragovic injured his left shoulder Thursday but still scored 14 points.

Howland went with a three-guard lineup at the start of Thursday's game, and Oregon State (12-15, 6-9) had a 40-24 rebounding edge.

But the Beavers shot 35% and made only three of 20 three-pointers.

"I'd like to take credit for it, but they missed a lot of wide-open shots that went our way, thank God," Howland said.

UCLA basketball: Honeycutt sharp in Bruins victory
By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 25, 2010 | 10:11 pm

UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt was the standout player in a game that had few standout moments.

Honeycutt scored 18 points to push the Bruins to a 65-56 victory over Oregon State at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday. The victory left UCLA (13-14 overall, 8-7 in Pacific 10 Conference play) tied for third-place in the conference standings.

The Beavers (12-15, 6-9) cut a onetime 12-point UCLA lead to 50-49 with 4 minutes 42 seconds left. But Honeycutt sank a three-pointer, then had a steal that ended in a Malcolm Lee layup. Oregon State never got closer than five points the remainder of the game.

Honeycutt made seven of 10 shots. He also had 10 rebounds and four assists.

UCLA shot 52% from the field, playing with a smaller lineup. Forward James Keefe (shoulder surgery) is out for the season and forward Reeves Nelson (torn retina) is also out.

As a result, UCLA was out-rebounded, 40-24. But the Beavers shot only 35% and were three for 20 on three-pointers.

Nikola Dragovic finished with 14 points and Lee 13 for UCLA.

The Tyler Honeycutt Show

by Blair Angulo

Blair Angulo is a student at UCLA and a writer for the Daily Bruin. Follow him on Twitter at

UCLA blog on
February, 25, 2010

Reeves Nelson and Brendan Lane were in street clothes on Thursday night, meaning coach Ben Howland would be without two of his big men against Oregon State.

Due to the injuries, senior Nikola Dragovic shifted to the center spot -- though the term is used loosely since the 6-foot-9 forward hovered around the three-point line anyway. Without an inside presence, UCLA allowed 21 offensive rebounds, yet still found a way to win 65-56 at Pauley Pavilion.

Freshman Tyler Honeycutt, the best rebounder on the team, was a big part of that. The lanky 6-foot-7 forward stepped up in Nelson's absence, posting his third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The 18 points were a career-high (previous was 14) for Honeycutt, who also had a career-high five blocked shots.

"I knew I was going to have to rebound a lot more, especially because we were smaller," Honeycutt said afterward.

No other UCLA player had more than three rebounds. Dragovic grabbed two in 35 minutes and sophomore J'mison Morgan, who stands at 6-foot-10, did not have any in 12 minutes.

"They have a freshman [Honeycutt] who stood up and played like a senior tonight," Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said.

Morgan got an opportunity just three minutes in when Howland called on him after Dragovic injured his shoulder while diving for a loose ball. He received a nice response after blocking a shot, but then missed a dunk shortly after to balance his book. With Honeycutt playing the way he was, Morgan took a seat next to Nelson for much of the second half.

When Howland interrupted the course of his press conference to ask Honeycutt how many double-doubles he had this season, Honeycutt answered correctly.

"That’s great, see, he knows," Howland said with a wide grin. "It’s a good thing to know. We want him to know. There’s no such thing as a selfish rebounder."

Having lost three of four heading into Thursday, UCLA sure needed one.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Darren Collison shows off UCLA to co-worker

DC gives fellow Hornet Marcus Thornton a tour of UCLA and Westwood.

video credit: BruinAthletics on youtube via Bruins Nation

UCLA hosts Oregon State Thursday Feb 25

UCLA Returns Home to Host Oregon State on Feb. 25

The Bruins have won the last 10 meetings against Oregon State and lead the all-time series 86-33 (.723).

from the Official UCLA Men's Basketball website
Feb. 24, 2010


DATE: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010
SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
TIP-OFF: 8:07 p.m. (PT)
TELEVISION: FSN and Prime Ticket
TALENT: Steve Physioc (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst) and Michael Eaves (sideline)
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Tracy Murray (analyst)

Senior James Keefe injured his left shoulder in practice on Feb. 12, 2010. He will have season-ending surgery next week. Freshman Reeves Nelson hit his head on the floor when he lost his balance after a dunk at Washington State (Feb. 18). He received 15 stitches and started two days later at Washington. He had laser retinopexy to repair a slight tear in his retina in his left eye on Feb. 22 and will miss both games this week. Brendan Lane sprained his left ankle in practice on Feb. 23 and will be a game-time decision for the OSU contest on Feb. 25.

This is the 120th meeting between UCLA and Oregon State with the Bruins leading the series 86-33 (.723). The Bruins have won the last 10 meetings, including a 62-52 win earlier this year in Corvallis, Ore., on Jan. 30. The Bruins led 24-18 at halftime and shot 75.0 percent (15-for-20) from the field in the second half and a then-season best 65.7 percent (23-for-35) for the game. UCLA was led by Reeves Nelson's double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds. Nikola Dragovic added 13 points while Michael Roll scored 11 points. Calvin Haynes scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Beavers. Led by Josh Shipp's 27 points, UCLA beat OSU in Pauley Pavilion last year 79-54. Head Coach Ben Howland is 12-3 against Oregon State.

Senior guard Michael Roll leads the Pacific-10 Conference in league play in three-point field goal percentage at 46.1 percent (35-for-76) and ranks fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.5). In overall games on the season, he ranks second in percentage (.442, 64-for-145) and fifth in treys per game (2.5). On the UCLA career charts, Roll sits at No. 5 in three-pointers made (193) and needs five to pass Tracy Murray for fourth. He also ranks sixth in three-pointers attempted (458) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.421).

Men's Hoops Travels to Los Angeles to Face UCLA on Thursday

from the Official Oregon State Men's Basketball website
Feb. 23, 2010



Oregon State (12-14, 6-8) at UCLA (12-14, 7-7), 8:00 PM


Radio: Beaver Sports Radio Network; Mike Parker (play-by-play)

Live Video: None

Live Audio:

Live Stats:

Television: FSN; Steve Physioc (play-by-play); Don MacLean (color)


Oregon State vs. UCLA: UCLA leads 85-34

Corvallis, Ore.: UCLA leads 36-25

Los Angeles, Calif.: UCLA leads 47-7

Neutral: Series tied 2-2

Winners of three-of-five, Oregon State returns to action this week as the Beavers travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to face UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8:00 p.m. The game will be nationally-televised by FSN and can be heard on the Beaver Sports Radio Network with Mike Parker providing the call.

Oregon State enters the contest with a mark of 12-14 overall, 6-8 in the Pac-10 Conference, after the Beavers split a pair of games last week. The Beavers cruised to an 80-64 win over first-place Cal before falling to Stanford, 65-55. Calvin Haynes led Oregon State in the loss to the Cardinal with 21 points as Seth Tarver added 10 for the Beavers.

Haynes continues to lead the Oregon State attack, averaging 13.2 points per contest. The junior guard has scored in double digits in each of the last eight games, averaging 17.0 points over that span. In Pac-10 play, he ranks 10th, averaging 15.1 ppg.

Defense continues to be the trademark for Oregon State as the Beavers are near the lead league in several categories. Oregon State leads the league in steals (8.1) and three-point percentage defense (29.9) and ranks third in scoring defense (61.1) and field goal percentage defense (42.5).

UCLA enters the week with an identical 12-14 mark and is one-game ahead of the Beavers in the standings with a 7-7 league record. Michael Roll leads five UCLA players at 13.6 points per game while Malcolm Lee ranks second on the squad at 12.1 points per contest.

UCLA has won nine straight in the series and leads the all-time meetings, 85-34, after the Bruins captured a 62-52 victory in Corvallis earlier this year.


UCLA, led by seventh-year head coach Ben Howland, enters the weekend with a mark of 9-11 overall, 4-4 in league play, after the Bruins fell in overtime to Oregon on Thursday.

The Bruins, which feature four players in double figures, are led by Michael Roll, who leads the team at 13.6 points per game. Malcolm Lee ranks second on the squad at 12.1 points per game while Nikola Dragovic ranks third on the squad at 11.47points per contest.

UCLA is averaging 66.9 points per game while holding opponents to 68.5 points per contest. The Bruins are currently hitting 47.0 percent of their shots from the field and are shooting 33.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Opponents are hitting 44.8 percent of their shots from the field and 37.3 percent from beyond the three-point line.


The Oregon State defense has been among the nation’s best as the Beavers have been forcing turnovers and keeping opponents field-goal percentage down through 26 games. Specifically, Oregon State’s 1-3-1 zone defense has received the share of the attention as the guard at the top of the zone, Seth Tarver, is a big reason why.

Tarver leads the way for the Oregon State defense as the senior leads the Pac-10 Conference and ranks No. 20 in the NCAA at 2.4 steals per game. The effort has allowed Oregon State to lead the league at 8.1 steals per game, a mark that currently ranks No. 46 in the nation. Last season, Tarver became the first Oregon State player since Gary Payton in 1989-1990 to lead the league in steals during conference play as the forward averaged 2.0 per game.

When opponents do get shots off against Tarver and the 1-3-1, they have not been able to hit them with consistency. Oregon State ranks third in the league in field goal percentage defense at 42.5 percent and ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring defense (No. 28 NCAA) at 61.1 points per game. The Beavers also rank high in three-point field goal percentage defense as Oregon State leads the league (No. 25 NCAA) at 29.9 percent.


Senior forward Seth Tarver has been one of the leaders of the Oregon State attack since the start of season, averaging 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds through 26 games. Tarver has reached double figures in 16-of-26 games this season with a season-high of 18 points while recording three assists and three steals in a win over George Washington.

The senior led the Oregon State attack at the “Duel in the Desert” tournament and was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 11.7 points and 5.3 rebounds through the three games.

Tarver currently leads the Pac-10 with 2.4 steals per game and is among the active career leaders in several categories, ranking 12th in career points (933), fourth in rebounds (510) and first in steals (169). The forward also established a single-game career-high with eight assists in a win over Mississippi Valley State and tied a school record with a Pac-10 season high of eight steals against Cal State Bakersfield.


With a victory over Fresno State, Oregon State became just the 15th program to reach 1,600 wins as the Beavers now own a 1,606-1,193 record in its 109-year history. During the course to 1,600 wins, Oregon State has captured 21 conference titles, including five Pac-10 Conference crowns, and has made 16 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship appearances.

Heading into this weekend, 17 programs have reached the historic milestone. In addition to Pac-10 squads Oregon State, Washington and UCLA, the following programs have reached 1,600 victories: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John’s, Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, Indiana, Utah, Illinois, Louisville and Western Kentucky.

In addition to the historic program total, head coach Craig Robinson has reached the 50-win plateau as the second-year head coach picked up his 50th career win at George Washington. Robinson owns a 60-60 career mark in three-plus seasons.


The leading scorer for Oregon State last season, junior guard Calvin Haynes has shown in recent games why he was a key member of last year’s College Basketball Invitational championship squad. Three times this season (vs. Fresno State, Cal and USC), Haynes has tied his career-high with 25 points. The mark is the most points by an Oregon State player this season.

Haynes has reached double figures in 14-of-18 games, including eight straight, and now leads the team in scoring at 13.2 points per contest. The junior guard has been able to consistently hit the outside shot as he ranks No. 10 in the league in three-point field goal percentage at 39.8 percent (45-of-113).

Haynes has been especially effective in Pac-10 Conference games as the junior guard leads the team and ranks 10th in the league at 15.1 points per game. The junior guard has averaged 17.0 points per game over the last eight contests.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The eye of the tiger taking a serious pounding

UCLA forward Reeves Nelson is helped by a referee and a trainer after he sustained a gash in his head when falling after making a dunk against Washington State on Thursday. (Dean Hare / Associated Press / February 18, 2010)

UCLA basketball: Reeves Nelson has laser eye surgery
By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 22, 2010 | 8:24 pm

UCLA’s basketball team received more bad news Monday, as freshman forward Reeves Nelson underwent laser surgery on his left eye to repair a slight tear in his retina.

Nelson will be re-evaluated Wednesday to determine whether he will be able to play against Oregon State on Thursday.

“The retinal tear was very far from his central and meaningful peripheral vision and not affect his ability to see the court,” Dr. Steven Schwartz said in a statement. Schwartz performed the surgery at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute.

This is not the first eye issue Nelson has had this season. Just last Thursday he suffered an injury to his right eye when he landed face-first on the court at Washington State, opening a gash that required 15 stitches. Nelson said that he was having difficulty seeing from the eye Saturday during UCLA’s 97-68 loss to Washington.

Nelson, who is averaging 11 points and five rebounds per game, also took a finger in the right eye against Kansas in December, suffering a corneal abrasion. He was elbowed in the same eye during the next game against New Mexico State. Nelson was also elbowed in the eye early in the game against Washington.

If Nelson is unable to play Thursday, the Bruins would be vulnerable on the inside. The team is already playing without senior forward James Keefe, who is out for the remainder of the season and awaiting shoulder surgery.

Monday, February 22, 2010

NBA action: Darren Collison vs Trevor Ariza

video credit: bballfansite on youtube

Shorthanded Hornets outlast uncertain Rockets

By Larry Holder, for
Posted Sunday February 21, 2010 11:27PM
NEW ORLEANS ( exclusive) -- The New Orleans Hornets are stuck with what they've got.

The Houston Rockets are trying to figure out what they've got.

Although the Hornets are limited in actual bodies they're playing with, they were the team with a plan in place as they knocked off the Rockets 102-94 on Sunday night at the New Orleans Arena.

With injuries to Chris Paul and Darius Songaila and a lack of confidence in much of their bench, the Hornets basically played a seven-man rotation against the Rockets, using their starting five along with Marcus Thornton and James Posey playing lengthy minutes off the bench.

The strategy paid off Sunday as the Hornets led by as many as 17 points and Houston only briefly held a lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter. The Rockets did make a push in the fourth quarter as New Orleans tends to allow teams to hang around, but there were no signs of tired legs on this night.

The short rotation may not be a solid game plan long term, but the Hornets' David West said there isn't much the team can do about it.

"That's it, you've just got to deal with it," West said. "You've got to play through it. This is the time of the year where you're not practicing anyone. It's just walking through and the mental stuff and every thing. You just use what you've got.

"But I think the guys are doing a good job in terms of staying together. Even when we are making mistakes out there, no one is pointing the finger at one another. We're really trying to come together as a unit. That's what's going to carry us down the stretch."

West, who scored a game-high 27 points and pulled down nine rebounds, understood the Rockets' current lineup flux and figured the Hornets could take advantage.

"I thought we got what we wanted in terms of positioning and good ball movement," West said. "They're a good offensive team. They have a lot of guys that are pretty talented and can move the ball. Coach (Rick) Adelman is trying to get his system in place, and we knew they were going to make a run in the second half."

Hornets rookie Darren Collison keeps making strides as he scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter. Collison also dished out nine assists and scaled back his turnover tendencies by giving the ball away five times against Houston.

"It's going to be tough from here on out so we need to stay consistent and continue to put pressure on teams we play against every day, especially on the home court," Collison said. "We've just got to stay consistent."

Morris Peterson added 15 points for the Hornets, while Peja Stojakovic had 14 points and Thornton scored 12.

Houston is 0-2 since the blockbuster three-team trade that sent Tracy McGrady to the Knicks and key contributor Carl Landry to the Kings, allowing the Rockets to acquire Kevin Martin, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill and Hilton Armstrong.

Adelman said before Sunday's game that he's still working with the new and at times unknown parts acquired in the trade. It looked that way. Martin and Jeffries are the only two players Adelman is working into the rotation at this point.

Martin came back solid Sunday, scoring 13 points after a dreadful 3-for-16 performance in his first game with Houston on Saturday. Jeffries also added 11 points off the bench, but it's fairly apparent the tinkered roster remains a work in progress.

"It's like starting over," said Chase Budinger, who led the Rockets with 18 points. "We have new faces in the team and we are just trying to get used to one another. We haven't really had any practices yet. The next few days are going to be very important for us to run through our stuff, to get used to one another and start learning each other. That's all you can do."

(Former Bruin) Houston's Trevor Ariza added: "We are learning on the fly. You can definitely say that."

Ariza had 5 pts, 6 rbds, and 8 assists for the game.

NBA action: Russell Westbrook has triple-double vs Kevin Love, Ryan Hollins

video credit: bballfansite on youtube

Thunder extend league-best win streak with win over Wolves
By Phil Miller, for
Posted Sunday February 21, 2010 11:58PM

MINNEAPOLIS ( exclusive) -- It's easy to forget, when watching the Timberwolves take on the Thunder, that the teams wobbled their way to virtually identical records a season ago. As Sunday made clear, the Northwest Division franchises are headed in opposite directions.

Russell Westbrook collected his second career triple-double and Kevin Durant carved out another niche in NBA history on Sunday, carrying Oklahoma City to its ninth consecutive victory, 109-107 -- the last-place Wolves' sixth straight loss.

Durant nailed a critical four-point play with 2:17 to play to put away Minnesota and become the first player since Michael Jordan, 23 seasons ago, to score 25 or more points in 28 consecutive games. "He's as consistent a worker as we have on the team," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Durant, who finished with 32 points and six rebounds. "He's going to get even better."

So are the 33-21 Thunder, who have ridden the NBA's longest current winning streak to fifth place in the Western Conference. Five of the victories have come on the road, and Sunday's win in Target Center came less than 24 hours after an emotional overtime victory in New York -- another sign of the Thunder's maturation.

"We showed some composure to fight this way," Brooks said. "But the truth of the matter is, even with the back-to-back, it's only our third game in 12 nights. These guys play twice a day in the summer; they're gym rats. So we weren't interested in any excuses."

Neither was Jeff Green, torched by Wolves scoring leader Al Jefferson for 20 points when the teams met a month ago. This time, Green smothered Jefferson into a 10-point night by fronting him on defense, forcing the Timberwolves to look elsewhere for offense. Jefferson even sat out the game's final four minutes as coach Kurt Rambis tried a more athletic lineup.

"Jeff is a great help-side defender, and he was really physical on Jefferson," Brooks said. "He made some key shots when we needed him, too."

The Thunder, now 23-2 when scoring 100 points, made plenty of them. Good thing, too, because the Wolves -- perhaps inspired by the remarkably efficient play of newcomer Darko Milicic -- played with intensity all night. Oklahoma City ran off scoring streaks of 10, eight and 11 straight points, but Minnesota responded with runs of 10 and 13 consecutive points of its own. "Kurt Rambis really has them playing hard" despite their 13-44 record, Brooks said.

That's why Oklahoma City couldn't simply run out the clock when it built a 17-point lead late in the first half. The Wolves kept competing, finally taking an 88-86 lead with 8:18 remaining in the game.

"Last year, we let so many close games slip out of our hands," said Westbrook, who piled up 22 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. "This year, we know how to close them out: With defense."

Guess so. Minnesota's next six possessions included two turnovers, an offensive foul and five missed shots, all of them from 15 feet or farther. And when Durant ignored Damien Wilkins' foul to hit a three-pointer, then make the free throw, the Thunder owned an insurmountable eight-point lead.

"We are constantly forced to dig ourselves out of holes, because we don't play with intensity for the entire game," grumbled Rambis, who watched his starting forwards, Jefferson and Ryan Gomes (0 points on 0-for-9 shooting) get outscored 49-10 by Oklahoma City's. "We have to have aggression and commitment every minute, not let ourselves fall behind and then scramble to get back in it."

The Timberwolves, whose 24 victories last season were one more than the Thunder's 23, hope to follow Oklahoma City's blueprint for rebuilding through talented young players. They may have discovered another one Sunday -- but in snake-bit Wolves fashion, his breakthrough came just hours after he all but guaranteed he wouldn't be here next season.

Milicic, acquired from the Knicks in a Wednesday trade, was greeted warmly by Target Center fans, and their enthusiasm grew exponentially as the 24-year-old Serbian center, best known as a the 2003 draft's most disastrous flop, made one contribution after another to his new team. The obviously out-of-shape Milicic, who had not played since being benched in mid-November, huffed and puffed his way to eight points, eight rebounds and two assists.

His effect on the game was so huge -- Minnesota outscored the Thunder by 35 points when Milicic was on the floor -- that fans chanted "We want Darko!" when he sat down to rest.

Trouble is, Milicic said before the game that "it would be awfully hard" for him to remain in the NBA when his contract expires in June. "My plan all season has been to return to Europe" next year, said Milicic.

That's the sort of eventuality that figures to keep the Thunder and Timberwolves moving in opposite directions.

For the Wolves, former Bruin Kevin Love had a double-double with 19 points and 14 boards. Former Bruin Ryan Hollins had 8 points and 3 boards.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

UCLA basketball: "We can do ugly all by ourselves"

Washington powers past UCLA, 97-68

By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
Feb 21 2010

The nation, for some reason, needed to see this.

UCLA has had enough black eyes this season, though that has nothing to do with the shiner forward Reeves Nelson is sporting. The Bruins have been kicked around by the Big West Conference, with losses to Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton, and beaten up by USC.

But those were regional missteps. What made a 97-68 loss to Washington at Bank of America Arena on Saturday night even more painful was that it went out to a country that is used to associating "UCLA" with "quality basketball."

ESPN "Game Day" rolled into Seattle, giving the Pacific 10 Conference a spotlight dance. Instead, what was on display to a national audience was the fact that the conference's brand-name team isn't quite up to its reputation.

"ESPN, national television, the bright lights, and they came out with intensity," Nelson said.


"That was more than embarrassing," said Nelson, who had a team-high 14 points despite a swollen right eye from a fall against Washington State on Thursday. "We didn't even put up a fight."

The Bruins (12-14 overall, 7-7 in conference play) were mere fodder for the Huskies, who kicked sand in their face from the start.

"We really got shellacked," Coach Ben Howland said.

Things were so bad that Howland used four of his five timeouts in a first half that ended with Washington leading, 49-26. Howland used his last when Quincy Pondexter finished off a steal with a sweep dunk for a 57-30 lead with 17 minutes 41 seconds to play.

"I was just trying to stop the bleeding," Howland said.

But nothing Howland diagramed in the huddle slowed the Huskies, or kick-started his team. What the Bruins received as parting gifts was their worst loss to Washington and the worst loss in Howland's UCLA coaching career.

The lesson from the loss being, "learn from it and forget about it," forward Nikola Dragovic said standing in hall outside the Bruins' locker room.

Inside, there had been long postgame coaches meeting, followed by a few more minutes with players, punctuated by a loud bang against the wall as it broke up.

The time alone didn't result in any clear-cut answers.

What happened on the court?

"I don't know," senior guard Michael Roll said. "Washington came out and did a good job."

Why couldn't the Bruins counter?

"I don't know," Roll said.

What Roll could accurately gauge the Bruins' mood.

"It's [lousy], real [lousy]," Roll said.

The Huskies were in better spirits, though the victory will likely not help their national reputation

Normally a victory over UCLA would be a big bounce to a team's NCAA tournament hopes. But Washington (18-9, 8-7) remains a middle-of-the-pack team in a mediocre conference.

Still, on TV the Huskies had to look like a team with national juice. This went downhill fast for the Bruins. Pondexter made a three-point basket on the first possession and scored 12 of the Huskies' first 14 points. He finished with 20 points.

Dragovic bricked a shot on UCLA's first possession.

And so it went.

Washington shot 68% in the first half and 59% for the game. The Huskies made 11 of 21 three-point shots.

UCLA's numbers didn't add up, most noticeably their 18 turnovers.

"Each of our turnovers in the first half led to an easy basket, or so it seemed," Howland said. "We couldn't handle their pressure. We couldn't even get a catch."

The solution?

"This is going to hurt for a while," Howland said. "But we have to come back Monday and concentrate."

UCLA flustered early, blown out by Washington
Published: Feb. 20, 2010
Updated: 11:27 p.m.

SEATTLE - You could blame it on Bank of America Arena, where the Washington Huskies were 16-2 before Saturday night's game.

You could blame it on Quincy Pondexter, the Huskies' senior guard who wanted to make a good showing in his final home game.

Or you could simply blame Washington's 97-68 victory over UCLA on the Bruins.

The onus for the 29-point loss, the worst since Ben Howland took over as Bruins coach, rests squarely with UCLA.

"It's frustrating because we thought we were ready for the game," said freshman forward Reeves Nelson, who led the Bruins with 14 points. "Obviously we weren't."

Unfortunately for the Bruins, it didn't take them long to figure that out.

Pondexter scored 10 of the Huskies' first 12 points while the Bruins made just one of their first 10 field-goal attempts.

By the time Nelson scored the Bruins' second field goal of the game, the Huskies were ahead, 14-7.

"Pondexter made a big shot to get them started," Howland said of a 3-pointer with time running out on the shot clock. "He's a great player.

"I thought early in the game we had a couple of bad shots that got us off to a bad start."

Brendan Lane's 3-point basket with 9:26 left in the first half cut the Huskies' lead to 22-16.

Washington responded with a 17-2 run that opened up a 39-18 lead and essentially ended the Bruins' chances of a weekend sweep in the state.

UCLA (12-14, 7-7) trailed by a 49-26 margin at halftime and was hoping to get to 12 points back early in the second half. The Huskies had their own ideas.

"Our team just came out and played the way we were supposed to play," Pondexter said.

"We did a great job of taking them out of their sets, something we couldn't do against USC (in Thursday's loss).

"We knew it was going to be a battle but we had to come out and throw the first punch, the second punch and the third punch so we could win this war."

The knockout punch came in the second half when they stretched their lead to 71-41. The Bruins couldn't get any closer than 25 points after that.

Pondexter finished with 20 points while Isaiah Thomas, who was held to 11 points in a loss to the Bruins last month, scored 17.

Thomas and Scott Suggs scored three 3-pointers each, as part of an 11-for-21 night for the Huskies. Thomas was 0 for 5 from beyond the 3-point line when the Huskies played at UCLA.

"Washington, at home, is a lot better team than on the road," said senior Michael Roll, who finished with six points, snapping his streak of seven consecutive games in double figures.

"It seems like they stretched us out a lot, and the middle of the zone was wide open because we had to get out to their shooters."

The Bruins were 3 of 17 from 3-point range on the way to their worst defeat ever on the Huskies' home court.

"We just played poorly," Roll added. "Very poorly."

Pondexter's final night at home included plenty of chants from fans, a highlight reel, a two-handed windmill dunk on a second-half breakaway and a long final ovation when Pondexter exited for the final time with 4:25 left.

"There is a lot of joy because you know, right now, Quincy Pondexter is ready to move on," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "After this season is over, he'll be ready to move on and he is going to do just fine. He took advantage of his four years in school."

UCLA gets trapped in Dawg pound

Washington hands Howland his worst loss as Bruins coach

By Jon Gold, Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Daily News
Updated: 02/20/2010 11:01:16 PM PST

SEATTLE - It was one of those days, and it started early.

An awkward 3-point attempt by Nikola Dragovic on the first possession.

Two missed free throws by Reeves Nelson.

A six-point deficit turning into a 10-point deficit, then 11, 12, 13 ...

By the time UCLA coach Ben Howland called a timeout with 5 minutes, 23 seconds left in the first half of the Bruins' matchup with Washington on Saturday night on national television, the Bruins were down 20.

By the time the timeout was over, it's a surprise UCLA wasn't down 200.

And too bad the refs couldn't call the fight, as the Huskies continued to put on a show in front of the nationally television audience and buried the Bruins 97-68 at Bank of America Arena, UCLA's worst loss of the Howland era and worst loss ever at Washington.

"The lights were bright tonight and they just came out with a level of intensity that was a lot bigger than our own," said Nelson, who led the Bruins with 14 points. "It was (the Huskies') senior night, and (Washington forward Quincy Pondexter) just made a lot of plays. He's a great player and he put on a show tonight, especially in the first half."

Pondexter killed UCLA from the Huskies' opening possession.

The Bruins opened in a 2-3 zone and seemed to have Washington solved early in the possession, but Pondexter moved around the perimeter and hit a contested 3-pointer with time running out.

That was only the beginning.

The Huskies senior had 14 first-half points on 5-of-7 shooting and finished with 20 for the game, after scoring 23 points in the teams' first matchup, a 62-61, last-second Bruins win.

"Looks like they were just shooting all night last night," said UCLA senior guard Michael Roll, who struggled in the first half with 0-for-5 shooting and finished with six points, his lowest in Pac-10 play. "They were just making shots. It started the first possession - we played good defense, got down the shot clock and Quincy just hit a three."

Pondexter wasn't the only one.

Washington sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas had 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, after hitting just 4-of-11 shots for 11 points in the first matchup. Thomas, who entered the game shooting below 30 percent from behind the 3-point line in Pac-10 play, hit three of his first four for 13 first-half points.

"He had a lot of confidence today, and once he hit that first shot, I think he fed off the crowd and all the intensity everybody else on his team had," Nelson said. "Once you have a confidence as a shooter, it's a lot easier to hit shots, especially at home."

Meanwhile, UCLA (12-14, 7-7) struggled to even take shots at times.

Washington (18-9, 8-7) put on a devastating half-court press that befuddled the Bruins backcourt, forcing 18 turnovers, including seven by UCLA point guards Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson. With the Huskies overplaying the backcourt, the Bruins couldn't settle into a half-court offense and seemed lost offensively when things broke down.

"We really did a poor job handling their defensive pressure," Howland said. "That was the biggest thing in the first half, when they got the lead. We could not handle the pressure defense. We were having a hard time getting catches and running anything."

Running wasn't just a problem offensively.

As Washington's lead got bigger and bigger, UCLA's defensive tenacity dwindled and dwindled, the Huskies able to put on a clinic in their last home game this season.

Roll was visibly frustrated at times with the effort of some of his teammates, who failed to execute simple passes, were seconds late on defensive rotations and put little emphasis on the glass, where the Bruins were outrebounded 33-23.

"I saw it a lot and it's frustrating," Roll said. "We were down a lot, yeah, but if we come out in the second half and we punch them in the mouth right away, we could've got back in there real easy. But we just kinda folded."

Others shared the sentiment.

"People were watching and they can decide for themselves if we gave up," Nelson said. "You know how I have to answer that."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Who put that damn floor there?!?"

Bruins freshman forward Reeves Nelson fell face-first during a dunk against Washington State on Thursday but will be in Saturday's lineup against Washington. Photo credit: Daily Bruin

Black eye won't keep UCLA's Reeves Nelson down

By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 20, 2010

Reporting from Seattle - Reeves Nelson, UCLA's 6-foot-8 freshman forward and amateur stuntman, loped through the hotel lobby Friday fielding jokes about his purple-and-black right eye, which was swollen nearly shut.

"You look like a boxer," radio analyst Tracy Murray said.

Nelson laughed and replied, "Got the hands of one too."

And maybe the head of one. Nelson will be back in the lineup against Washington on Saturday, gruesome looks and all.

His Frankenstein appearance was the result of his dunk late in the first half Thursday against Washington State. One minute he was airborne, the next he was hitting the floor face-first, and gushing blood.

After getting 15 stitches, and being checked for a possible concussion, Nelson returned to the bench with seven minutes left in the game and asked to go back in. The request was denied, but it showed the face-first nature of his game.

"I slept well, no problems," Nelson said. "We're just trying to keep the swelling down with ice. But I'm ready to play."

This is the third time this season that Nelson's right eye has been battered. He took a finger in it against Kansas and suffered a corneal abrasion. He took an elbow in the eye the next game against Mississippi State. Against California he suffered a concussion when he butted heads with Markhuri Sanders-Frison, the Bears' 6-7, 275-pound center.

"Thank God he has a hard head, because it looked like he hit (it) pretty good" in the Washington State game, Coach Ben Howland said. "He's going to look pretty scary with all the eye injuries."

Howland said he didn't anticipate reducing Nelson's minutes Saturday because of the injury. Nelson, meanwhile, laughs about the jokes -- "He looks like Rocky Balboa," Howland said -- and the suggestions about how thick his head must be.

"It's how I play," Nelson said. "I can't change that." Even the suggestion that he might consider wearing goggles is scoffed at, as Nelson said, "Nah, that's not my style."

As for Thursday's incident, he said, "I dunked on the guy and someone took my legs out from under me, so I kind of changed how I was going to land. I landed on my face, which is never good."

Playing time?

Sophomore center J'mison Morgan -- "Bobo" to those who know him -- was sentenced to the end of the Bruins' bench, but may have received a reprieve with James Keefe out for the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury.

With Howland short on big men, Morgan logged 21 minutes Thursday, six more than he had played the entire Pacific 10 Conference season.

The 6-10, 240-pound Morgan had only two points, but blocked three shots and had three assists.

"That was the first time I have played a lot of basketball since high school, so it was kind of a breathtaking experience," said Morgan, who missed three weeks because of an injured quadriceps in January.

"I could feel as the game went on that I was getting more comfortable, it just kind of flows. I feel next game I can help the team a little more. I did pretty good defending the lane. I can probably get points and rebounds, and assists too."

Morgan's performance was solid enough that Howland has elevated him to Nelson's backup. Freshman Brendan Lane had that role the last two games.

"His three blocks and three assists were big," Howland said. "There is still a conditioning issue from the three weeks he was out, but we're going with Bobo the rest of the way."

UCLA hopes to sweep Washington, too

Senior guard Michael Roll leads the assault with his 13.9 per average. UCLA has four players averaging double digits per. Along with top dog Roll, the others are Malcolm Lee (12.2 ppg), Nikola Dragovic (11.6 ppg) and Nelson Reeves (10.2 ppg). Reeves, Dragovic, Lee and freshman Tyler Honeycutt handle the boards for UCLA, all averaging around five rebounds a game. UCLA has grown to employ both the man-to-man and the 2-3zone on defense to great success. UCLA's length has made their 2-3 zone defense quite formidable and stifling.

UCLA at Washington on ESPN on Saturday

The Bruins are 91-36 all-time against Washington and 2-0 in previous College GameDay contests on ESPN.

from the Official UCLA Men's Basketball website
Feb. 19, 2010


DATE: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010
SITE: Bank of America Arena (10,000)
TIP-OFF: 6:05 p.m. (PT)
TALENT: Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst), Bob Knight (analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline)
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Tracy Murray (analyst)

Senior James Keefe injured his left shoulder in practice on Feb. 12, 2010. He will have season-ending surgery next week when the Bruins return to Los Angeles. Freshman Reeves Nelson hit his head on the floor when he lost his balance in traffic after a one-handed dunk on a fastbreak. He received 15 stitches to close the two-inch gash above his right eye and missed the entire second half at Washington State.

This is the 128th meeting between UCLA and Washington with the Bruins leading the series 91-36. UCLA leads the all-time matchups in Seattle 31-29, but the Bruins have lost the last five at Bank of America Arena. UCLA won this year's earlier matchup in Los Angeles 62-61 on Jan. 21, 2010. Reserve guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid hit the game winning 18-foot jumper from the top of the key as time expired. Last year in Seattle, Josh Shipp scored a game-high 25 points, but UW used a 19-9 run in the final six minutes to win 86-75. Isaiah Thomas led five Huskies in double figures with 24 points. UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland is 7-7 against Washington.

Senior guard Michael Roll leads the Pacific-10 Conference in league play in three-point field goal percentage at 47.9 percent (35-for-73) and ranks fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.7). In overall games on the season, he also ranks first in percentage (.451, 64-for-142) and third in treys per game (2.6). On the UCLA career charts, Roll sits at No. 5 in three-pointers made (193) and needs five to pass Tracy Murray for fourth. He also ranks sixth in three-pointers attempted (455) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.424).

from the Official Washington Huskies Men's Basketball website

UW-UCLA Battle In Front of National Audience

Quincy Pondexter is playing in his last regular season game ever at Bank of America Arena on Saturday.

Feb. 19, 2010

SEATTLE - Husky fans have long believed that the atmosphere in Bank of America Arena is one of the best in the nation. On Saturday, they'll have he chance to prove it. For the first time in its five-year history, ESPN's weekly College GameDay Driven by State Farm college basketball series will originate from the UW athletic campus, with co-hosts Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Bob Knight and Hubert Davis broadcasting the popular national program from Bank of America Arena. Doors open at 6:30 a.m. and the show starts at 8:00 a.m. Admission is free to fans for the morning event.

College GameDay, featuring two, one-hour shows airing live at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, will serve as the lead-in for ESPN's Saturday Primetime Game of the Week, featuring the Huskies against UCLA at 6 p.m. PT. Dan Shulman will call play-by-play with Knight and Bilas providing color analysis. The ISP Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game with Bob Rondeau supplying the play-by-play and Jason Hamilton providing color commentary. Live Gamertracker is available for free and audio is available by paid subscription on the Dawg Channel All-Access on

About Washington...
The Huskies (17-9, 7-7 Pac-10) suffered just its second loss of the season at home on Thursday as USC beat them 67-64 in front of a sellout crowd of 10,000 at Bank of America Arena. USC led by 16 with 9:50 remaining before Washington whittled their lead down to one point with 1:27 left on the clock. Mike Gerrity would ice the game when he hit a driving jumper with :18-seconds left to give USC an insurmountable four-point lead, sending the Huskies' into their game against UCLA as the sixth-place conference team. Saturday's contest is the home finale for senior Quincy Pondexter, who will be joined on the court in a pre-game ceremony by his parents Roscoe and Dorothy, brother Jason, and sister, Myiasha. In addition, Eldridge Recasner will be recognized at the second timeout of the first half as the Husky Legend. He joins Todd MacCulloch as the two ex-players honored this season. Washington is 16-2 at home this season and is averaging 14.5 more points (85.1) at BOA than they are on the road (70.6). If Washington can win on Saturday, they will go 17-2 or better at home for the fourth time in the last five years AND they were 15-0 before that in 2004-05.

About UCLA...
The Bruins (12-13, 7-6 Pac-10) are coming off a convincing 71-51 win at Washington State on Thursday to move into a tie for fourth place in the conference. UCLA had five players score in double figures and improved to 3-4 away from Pauley Pavilion - 3-3 in Pac-10. The Bruins have won five of its last eight games overall. On the offensive end, UCLA has four players in double figures, including leading scorer Michael Roll (13.9 ppg). The others are Malcolm Lee (12.2 ppg), Nikola Dragovic (11.6 ppg) and Nelson Reeves (10.2 ppg). Reeves, Dragovic, Lee and freshman Tyler Honeycutt handle the boards for UCLA, all averaging around five rebounds a game. Howland is in his seventh season at UCLA, and has a record of 154-67 at Westwood, including 7-7 all-time against Washington. He is 1-5 all-time at Bank of America Arena, only winning his first game in Seattle in 2004.

UW And UCLA History...
UCLA owns a 91-36 overall record in the all-time series with Washington since they first met in 1937. Despite UCLA historical dominance in basketball, Washington won the first six games of the series, and seven of the first nine. The Huskies have won five straight at home and are 5-2 vs. UCLA in Seattle under coach Lorenzo Romar. Coach Romar, who was an assistant at UCLA when they won the 1995 NCAA Tournament, holds a 7-9 record at Washington against the Bruins. UCLA's last win at Bank of America Arena was an 86-84 victory on Jan. 10, 2004.

Last Time They Met...
Seldom-used Mustafa Abdul-Hamid hit a jumper from the top of the key as time expired to lift UCLA to a 62-61 victory over Washington. Venoy Overton's basket with 3.2 seconds to play gave the Huskies a 61-60 lead before the Bruins hurried downcourt and Abdul-Hamid, a junior who entered Thursday with only 24 points in 10 games, became a hero. The officials watched the replay to confirm that Abdul-Hamid's shot came before the buzzer. Freshman Reeves Nelson led the Bruins with 16 points and six rebounds, and Malcolm Lee added 13 points. Abdul-Hamid scored four points. Quincy Pondexter had 23 points and Isaiah Thomas 11 for the Huskies, who led by as many as seven points. The Huskies shot just 29.6% and scored 20 points in the second half, while UCLA shot 52.9% in the half.

Last Time Out For Washington
Dwight Lewis scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half, Mike Gerrity added six key points in the closing minutes and Southern California held off a furious rally by Washington in the final 10 minutes for a 67-64 win on Thursday night. The Trojans (16-9, 8-5 Pac-10) handed Washington just its second home loss of the season and more importantly likely ended the Huskies (17-9, 7-7) hopes of repeating as Pac-10 regular season champs. Down by 16 with nine minutes left, Washington suddenly awakened, closing within 61-60 on Venoy Overton's driving basket with 1:25 left. But Gerrity answered with a layup of his own, then clinched the victory with a fallaway 12-footer with 15 seconds left. Gerrity finished with 12 points, all in the second half. Quincy Pondexter led Washington with 18 points.

Thomas Almost At 1,000
Isaiah Thomas is averaging 17.0 ppg (6th best in Pac-10) and has scored in double figures in 21 of 25 games this season. Thomas eclipsed the 900 point mark against Arizona, just his 56th career game, and needed just 50 games to eclipse the 800 point plateau, doing so at Arizona on Jan. 10. Thomas enters Saturday's game with 967 career points, the second highest total ever by a UW player in their first two seasons. He just surpassed Steve Hawes (952) and now has Doug Smart (1,021) in his sights. Smart accomplished his feat in 1957 & 1958 and needed just 52 games to do so. Thomas has played in 60 games. He will become the 35th Husky to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.

Husky Legend
Eldridge Recasner will be honored during the Feb. 20 game vs. UCLA as the basketball Husky Legend. Todd MacCulloch was honored during the Feb. 4 game versus Arizona as the inaugural basketball Husky Legend. Following in the footsteps of the football Husky Legend, Washington will start recognizing some of its all-time great players throughout the season. Recasner ended his career among the school's leaders in scoring (1,700 points), three-point field goals, free throw percentage, assists and steals. Recasner is the only three-time captain in program history and earned All-Pac-10 Conference honors three times (1988, 89, 90) and was named the team's Most Valuable Player in each of those years.

Q-Pon Climbs Scoring Ladder
Quincy Pondexter is just the sixth player to reach the 1,600 point plateau, doing so on Feb. 13 after scoring 18 points at Stanford. He reached the 1,500 point plateau five games earlier on Jan. 30. Next on the list is Eldridge Recasner, who has 82 points more than Pondexter. If he keeps scoring at a clip of 20.3 ppg and plays 31 games, he will score 629 points and end his career No. 5 all-time in scoring (1,720). Pondexter started the season 27th on the all-time UW scoring list with 1,091 points.

Scouting UCLA

Posted by Percy Allen
Husky Men's Basketball Blog
The Seattle Times
February 19, 2010 at 11:58 PM

Scouting report: UCLA

Game info: 6 p.m. Saturday at Edmundson Pavilion.
TV/Radio: ESPN/KJR-950 AM

Record: 12-13 (7-6 Pac-10, t-5th). RPI rank: 134th.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Coach: Ben Howland 164-67 in his seventh year with the Bruins,332-166 overall in his 16th season.
Last season: 26-9,13-5 (2nd)
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2009 (Lost 89-69 to Villanova in the second round.)
Prediction: Picked to finish third in the Pac-10 in a media poll.
Series: UCLA leads 91-36 in a series that began in 1937. Washington has won five straight against the Bruins at home.
Last meeting: UCLA won this year's earlier matchup in Los Angeles 62-61 on Jan. 21. Reserve guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid hit the game winning 18-foot jumper from the top of the key as time expired. Before Abdul-Hamid's game-winner, junior guard Venoy Overton raced the full length of the court and sank a layup with 3.2 seconds left. Quincy Pondexter scored a game-high 23 points and freshman Reeves Nelson came off the bench and led UCLA with 16.


--- Senior guard Michael Roll leads the Pac-10 in league play in three-point field goal
percentage at 47.9 percent (35-for-73) and ranks fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.7). In overall games, he ranks first with a .451 percentage (64-for-142) and third in treys per game (2.6). On the UCLA career charts, Roll sits at No. 5 in three-pointers made (193) and needs five to pass Tracy Murray for fourth. Roll has also played more games (140) than any other active Pac-10 player.

--- Nelson hit his head on the floor when he lost his balance in traffic after a one-handed dunk on a fast break in Thursday's game at Washington State. He received 15 stitches to close the two-inch gash above his right eye and missed the entire second half. He's been medically cleared and is expected to start.

--- Coach Lorenzo Romar called Tyler Honeycutt an "excellent shot blocker." He has 19 blocks, which ties him with Nelson for team-high honors. At 6-7, with a long wingspan, Honeycutt plays similar to UW's Justin Holiday.

--- Nikola Dragovic (above) is a versatile player who can shoot three-pointers and rebound.


--- UCLA switched to a zone defense midway through the season and the results have been spotty. The Bruins are fifth in the conference in Pac-10 play allowing 68.2 points per game. They're seventh in field goal percentage (.450) and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.363).

--- There are 14 former Bruins currently on NBA rosters, including Jrue Holiday and Darren Collison were both selected in the first round of the 2009 draft. Bruins has had at least one player drafted in the NBA Draft in each of the last 13 years (since 1997). That is the longest active streak in the country.

--- Senior James Keefe injured his left shoulder in practice on Feb. 12, 2010. He will have season-ending surgery next week when the Bruins return to Los Angeles.


F - Nelson, 6-8, 228, Fr., 11.5 ppg., 5.5 rpg.
F - Tyler Honeycutt, 6-7, 178, So., 4.5, 5.7.
F - Dragovic, 6-9, 225, Sr., 13.5, 3.9,
G - Lee, 6-4, 191, So., 10.1, 4.1.
G - Roll, 6-5, 200, Sr., 14.6., 2.9.


--- Romar decided to play Matthew Bryan-Amaning a season-low four minutes in the first game at UCLA and the junior forward had the worst outing of his career. He failed to register a statistic in any category. Expect Bryan-Amaning, who has scored in double figures in each of the past four games, to see plenty of action tonight against Nelson. He had six rebounds in the first game. Nelson also went to the free throw line seven times, converting four.


Huskies face another desperation game against UCLA
Posted by Todd Dybas at February 20, 2010 12:11 a.m.
Huskies Blog

With four games to go, the hype brought by ESPN's trucks, producers and famous faces is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things on Saturday.

Bank of America Arena will become the home for ESPN GameDay's national broadcast. For the Huskies, it will become another game of desperation.

Washington (17-9, 7-7) hosts UCLA (12-13, 7-6) at 6 p.m. on ESPN on Senior Day during the last home game of the season. After a brutal loss Thursday night to USC, Washington will try to avoid a letdown against UCLA. If not, it will be a repeat of the lost weekend in Los Angeles when Washington was devastated by a last-second shot at UCLA then slept-walk through the game at USC two days later.

"For us it's a huge game," Washington coach Lorenzro Romar said. "If you've watched UCLA lately they're playing very good basketball. Right now we're barely hanging on. Again, as I mentioned before our last home game, it's a pretty big game for us and I know with them in this Pac-10 race it is a big game as well."

The arching three-pointer by former Bruins walk-on Mustafa Abdul-Hamid to end the last get together upped his scoring average which is just 2.5 points per game. Romar referred to the UCLA and Texas Tech games as two Washington would like to have back this year.

But it's too late for that. The concern now is UCLA's much-improved zone and the status of bruising power forward Reeves Nelson.

Nelson scored 16 points in the first meeting when he pushed around the softer Huskies in the paint. Thursday night, he was accidentally undercut while dunking against Washington State. He landed on his face. His right eye, which received a scratched cornea earlier in the season, was swollen shut on Friday. He had 15 stitches Thursday night following the face plant.

"He looks like Rocky Balboa," UCLA coach Ben Howland said.

Despite the damage, Howland said he planned to play Nelson his normal 20-25 minutes on Saturday.

Nelson will be along the bottom of UCLA's zone, a defense the Bruins first went all-in with when they played Washington. In the weeks since, Romar feels UCLA has become more proficient in the defense that is counter to Howland's career-long preference of man-to-man.

"I think their zone has definitely helped them defensively," Romar said. "They're playing that zone (and) they have 6-4, 6-5 right there in the front. They have 6-9, 6-9, 6-7 and the 6-7 guy, Tyler Honeycutt, is probably their best shot blocker. I think Tyler Honeycutt has made a big difference in their team with his play."

The Huskies will have recruits on hand to enjoy the hoopla. Quincy Pondexter will play what he and the rest of the team hopes is his final game in Bank of America Arena. If he makes another appearance on the court, that means Washington will be playing in a postseason tournament it never wanted to be in. So, there is no time to lament the USC loss from Thursday night.

"We do have to still understand we have four games left," Romar said. "We are still trying to finish as high as we can in this conference. Hopefully our guys after 24 hours (Friday) will feel a little like we have to turn the page and then by the game (Saturday) hopefully we can come out and be ready to go."


Up next for UCLA: Saturday at Washington

The Bruins face a tough test at Washington, where they've lost five consecutive games. The Huskies, however, are having trouble with consistency.

By Chris Foster
The Los Angeles Times
February 20, 2010

UCLA tonight
When: 6:05 p.m. (PT)
Where: Bank of America Arena.

On the air TV: ESPN; Radio: 570. Records: UCLA 12-13 overall, 7-6 Pac-10; Washington 17-9, 6-6.

Update: The Bruins, coming off a slick-looking victory over Washington State, have been this route before. Season-altering victories have been followed by pratfalls this season. "Our guys know the record," Coach Ben Howland said. "We have to come back and have a good performance." The Bruins had 15 turnovers against Washington State, which concerns Howland. "It is really going to be difficult against [Washington's] pressure in that little gym," Howland said. "That's a tough place to play." UCLA has lost five consecutive games at Washington. The Huskies, picked to finish second, are having their own troubles with consistency, as they have lost two of their last three after winning four straight.