Wednesday, March 13, 2013


No. 21 UCLA Looks Ahead to Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas
Jordan Adams

Jordan Adams
March 11, 2013

UCLA Men's Basketball website

LOS ANGELES - No. 21 UCLA enters the Pac-12 Tournament as the conference's No. 1 seed, having won its fourth Pac-12 regular-season title in the last eight years. The Bruins will play either No. 8-seed Stanford or No. 9-seed Arizona State in a quarterfinal contest on Thursday at 12 p.m. (PT). UCLA's quarterfinal game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.

Overall Record: 23-8 (.742)
Pac-12 Record: 13-5 (.722)
Pac-12 Finish: 1st
Top-25 Ranking (AP/Coaches): No. 21/No. 25
Head Coach: Ben Howland
Record at UCLA: 231-105 (10 seasons)
Career Record: 399-204 (19 seasons)
Top Scorer: Shabazz Muhammad (18.3 ppg)
Top Rebounder: Kyle Anderson (8.9 rpg)
Assists Leader: Larry Drew II (7.7 apg)

- UCLA won its 31st conference championship with a 61-54 victory at Washington on March 9 ... the Bruins entered the day tied for first place with Oregon, which dropped a 72-62 decision at Utah shortly after UCLA's game ended.
- The Bruins have won four Pac-12 regular-season titles in the last eight seasons, all under the guidance of 10th year head coach Ben Howland ... UCLA also won the Pac-10 regular-season crown in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
- UCLA's program has won at least 20 games in one season 47 times, including 39 times in the last 47 years (1967-2013) ... under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has won 20 or more games in six seasons.
- In 10 seasons as UCLA's head coach, Ben Howland has led the Bruins to more wins (231), a higher winning percentage (.688), more conference wins (121) and the highest conference win percentage (.672) than any other Pac-12 program during that tenure (2003-04 through 2012-13).
- Senior guard Larry Drew II has totaled a school single-season record 239 assists, having started all 31 games ... Drew II has ranked in the top five in the nation all season in assists per game (7.7) and assist turnover ratio (3.3).
- UCLA's three freshman starters (Jordan AdamsKyle AndersonShabazz Muhammad) have accounted for 55.4 percent of UCLA's total points, 47.3 percent of the total rebounds and 43.1 percent of the total minutes.

UCLA will face either No. 8-seed Stanford or No. 9-seed Arizona State in a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday at 12 p.m. The Bruins won both regular-season meetings against Stanford, most recently defeating the Cardinal on the road by an 88-80 margin (Feb. 16, 2013). UCLA and Arizona State split a pair of regular-season games, with the Bruins posting a 79-74 overtime victory at home over the Sun Devils in both schools' most recent contest (Feb. 27, 2013). UCLA has not advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals since 2010.

UCLA defeated Stanford, 68-60, in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 5, before closing its trip to the Bay Area with an 88-80 win at Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 16. Shabazz Muhammad averaged 24.0 points in the two wins over Stanford, logging a double-double (23 pts, 10 rbs) in the Jan. 5 contest at UCLA.

The Bruins suffered their largest margin of defeat at Arizona State (78-60) on Saturday, Jan. 26, two days after securing an 83-74 win at then-No. 6 Arizona. UCLA evened the season series against ASU with a 79-74 overtime win over the Sun Devils in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Interactive Bracket

The Pac-12 Tournament will feature 11 games over four days, from March 13-16, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A limited supply of single-session tickets are still available by The tournament will also feature some of Las Vegas' top entertainment acts, with a line-up including the iconic R&B group Boyz II Men and performers from Las Vegas shows Rock of Ages, FANTASY, Jersey Boys and Absinthe. For the championship game on Saturday, the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino's resident production of KÀ by Cirque du Soleil will perform the national anthem and deliver a special performance at halftime.

Shabazz Muhammad ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.3 ppg), having logged the highest scoring average at UCLA since 2004-05 (Dijon Thompson, 18.4 ppg). Muhammad's 18.3 ppg ranks eighth all-time on the Pac-12's freshman scoring list. The resident of Las Vegas, Nev., has been named as one of eight finalists for the Integris Walter Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award (USBWA). Muhammad has scored in double figures in 27 of 28 games played.

UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad is a candidate for the USBWA's Freshman of the Year Award with Anthony Bennett (UNLV), Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Gary Harris (Michigan State), Ben McLemore (Kansas), Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) and Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke).

Larry Drew II and Shabazz Muhammad earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors, and Kyle Andersonsecured second-team All-Pac-12 acclaim. Muhammad was named Co-Freshman of the Year along with Arizona State's Jahii Carson. Muhammad, who ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.3 ppg), has become the eighth player at UCLA to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Year accolades. Muhammad and Anderson were named to the All-Pac-12 Freshmen Team, while Jordan Adams was chosen as an honorable mention All-Freshmen Team selection.

Shabazz Muhammad and Arizona State's Jahii Carson were named Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year. UCLA's past recipients include Pooh Richardson (1986), Don MacLean (1989), Baron Davis (1998), Jason Kapono (2000), Jordan Farmar (2005), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2006) and Kevin Love (2008).

Larry Drew II became UCLA's single-season assists leader during the Bruins' 61-54 victory at Washington on March 9 in the team's regular-season finale. Drew II now has 239 assists during his senior campaign, three ahead of Pooh Richardson's total of 236, a record previously established in 1989. He has logged at least eight assists in 18 of 31 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 21 of 31 games.
Larry Drew II has moved into sixth place on the Pac-12's single-season assist list after having dished six assists during UCLA's 61-54 win at Washington last Saturday afternoon. Drew II moved past former UCLA standout Pooh Richardson on the Pac-12 list (Richardson held UCLA's previous record for most single-season assists).

Freshman Kyle Anderson has logged eight of UCLA's 13 double-doubles. The 6-foot-9 product of Fairview, N.J., is the Pac-12's only player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (6th, 8.9 rpg) and assists (6th, 3.6). Anderson has averaged 9.9 points per game and has compiled a 17 assist turnover ratio, the fifth-best mark among Pac-12 players. Anderson enters the week ranking fifth in the conference in steals per game (1.8 spg). Anderson's total of 277 rebounds is the fifth-highest single-season total in 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland. His 8.9 rpg average is the third-highest mark in the Howland Era.

UCLA has won four conference regular-season crowns under head coach Ben Howland (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013) and has won the Pac-12 Tournament twice (2006, 2008) during the Howland Era. With UCLA's 74-69 win over Arizona on March 2, the Bruins clinched a first-round by in the Pac-12 Tournament (top four teams). The Bruins locked up the tournament's No. 1 seed by winning the conference title in outright fashion last weekend.

UCLA's trio of freshman starters - Jordan AdamsKyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad - have accounted for 55.0 percent of the Bruins' total points (1288 of 2326) and for 47.3 percent of the team's total rebounds (537 of 1136). These freshmen account for three of UCLA's top four scorers.Kyle Anderson's team-leading 277 rebounds are the most by any UCLA freshman since Kevin Lovefinished with 415 boards in 2007-08.

Freshman Kyle Anderson finished three assists shy of a triple-double against Fresno State (Dec. 22), posting season-highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds that night. UCLA's only previous triple-doubles took place in Dec. 1995. Toby Bailey finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 18, 1995. Jelani McCoy tallied 15 points, 11 blocks and 10 rebounds against Maryland on Dec. 9, 1995.

Freshman Jordan Adams ranks second on the team with 15.2 ppg, the eighth-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 (third-best mark among Pac-12 freshmen). The native of Atlanta has scored in double figures in 23 games and has recorded at least 20 points in 10 contests. Adams became the first freshman at UCLA to have scored 20+ points in each of his first four games (freshmen could not play varsity until 1972-73). He became UCLA's first player in any class to have opened a season with four straight games of 20+ points since 1990-91 (Don MacLean, six straight).
The Bruins have gone 9-2 in games decided by five points or fewer this season. In 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has logged a 57-33 record in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA's two greatest comeback wins this season took place against Texas (Dec. 8) and Missouri (Dec. 28). The Bruins trailed Texas (in Houston) by eight points (59-51) with 3:43 to play in regulation and took a 62-61 lead with 47 seconds left. UCLA was losing to Missouri by nine points (86-77) with 5:34 remaining in the second half before winning the game in overtime.

UCLA has gone 3-2 against teams ranked in the top-25 this season (team must be ranked during week of game) and has posted a 2-0 mark against top-10 ranked opponents. This marks the fourth season in Ben Howland's 10-year tenure as UCLA's head coach that the Bruins have earned two wins against top-10 teams - UCLA downed No. 7 Missouri (97-94, overtime) on Dec. 28 and knocked off No. 6 Arizona (84-73) on Jan. 24.

UCLA has gone 8-5 in games played away from Pauley Pavilion, including a 6-3 mark in Pac-12 road games. Jordan Adams leads UCLA with 17.0 ppg and scored in double figures in each of the Bruins' nine Pac-12 road games. Shabazz Muhammad has scored 16.4 ppg and added 3.9 rpg on the road.Larry Drew II has recorded a team-leading 46 assists on the road (5.92 apg) while compiling a 2.2 assist turnover ratio in 13 road/neutral site games.

UCLA leads the Pac-12 in scoring average, having registered 75.0 points per game. The Bruins rank third among Pac-12 teams in conference contests with 70.8 points per game. UCLA has compiled the third-best scoring margin in the Pac-12 (all games), outscoring the opposition by 6.4 points per game. The Bruins are first in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (45.8 pct) and are first in assists per game (17.0 apg).

Junior forward Travis Wear missed two games (Feb. 23, Feb. 27) with a sprained right foot and returned against Arizona (March 2). He reinjured the foot with 15:11 to play in the second half at Washington State (March 6), missed the remainder of that game and returned to the starting lineup at Washington (March 9). Sophomore guard Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL (sustained the injury on Oct. 26, 2012).

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