Friday, February 28, 2014

Short-handed UCLA basketball falls to Oregon despite late-game heroics

Freshman guard Bryce Alford, who scored a career-high 31 points against the Ducks, walks off the court following an 87-83 loss to Oregon in double overtime. (Tim Bradbury/Daily Bruin senior staff)Freshman guard Bryce Alford, who scored a career-high 31 points against the Ducks, walks off the court following an 87-83 loss to Oregon in double overtime. (Tim Bradbury/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Oregon leads UCLA 37-25 at halftime


FEB 27 2014 9 pM

In the absence of “Slo-Mo,” or sophomore guard/forward Kyle Anderson, UCLA’s offensive strategy has been exactly that.
With Anderson and sophomore guard Jordan Adams out of the lineup on Thursday night against Oregon because of a violation of team rules, the Bruins lacked any post presence and relied primarily on the three-point shot, which very rarely went in.
The Bruins trail the Ducks 37-25 at the half, or exactly what’s expected when a team’s two superstars can’t play.
A 3-pointer from freshman guard Bryce Alford, who started his first game of the season alongside fellow freshman guard Zach LaVine, cut Oregon’s advantage to just one with 11:26 to play, but from there, the Bruins could hardly muster anything. It took almost five minutes for UCLA to record its next field goal, and the team’s field goal percentage dipped as low as 23.5 percent.
The Ducks made several deep jump shots, while the Bruins stalled their offensive motor. Worse than the score, the Bruins were left with nightmarish stats of just two points in the paint, four bench points and just eight made field goals in 26 tries.
Alford leads UCLA with nine points, while LaVine has five. Oregon’s Jason Calliste leads all scorers with 15 points, with guard Joseph Young adding 10.

Short-handed UCLA basketball falls to Oregon despite late-game heroics

daily bruin 
feb 28 2014 1:03 am 

Moments before UCLA basketball took the floor Thursday night, the biggest jeers facing the Bruins came neither from Oregon’s basketball players nor the Duck faithful scattered throughout Pauley Pavilion.
No, it was UCLA’s pregame DJ that pointed out the elephant in the room and practically pulled on its trunk, playing Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock’s “It Takes Two.”
“It takes two to make a thing go right,” the 1988 rap classic echoed throughout the building. “It takes two to make it outta sight.”
Things didn’t go right for an overwhelming majority of UCLA’s 87-83 loss to Oregon, and it was because of two: Sophomore guard Jordan Adams and sophomore guard/forward Kyle Anderson, suspended Thursday afternoon for a violation of team rules. The eight players who did play, however, scratched, clawed and fought for all 50 minutes of the double-overtime heartbreaker.
“I’ll just tell you what I told my team,” said coach Steve Alford. “Regardless of what the adversity is, whether it’s injury, sickness, today having two guys out, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of a basketball team just in a regular–season game.”
Though Adams and Anderson didn’t touch the floor, the duo was by no means out of sight. They sat in gray sweats and black UCLA polo shirts, attempting to clap their team through one of its worst early-shooting performances of the season.
In their place, two freshmen, guards Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford, notched their first career starts. Though the new two led the Bruins in first-half scoring, UCLA’s first-half offensive showing appeared to be sopping behind the ears. The Bruins shot just 30.8 percent and allowed the Ducks to convert six of their 12 three-point attempts.
Early in the second half, the Ducks nearly made the Bruins reach their quacking point. UCLA trailed by as many as 15 with 19:02 to play and struggled to keep things close right up until the final minutes of the game.
After all, the Bruins had had the heart of their scoring presence – a combined 32.1 points per game – ripped out of their starting lineup.
But by no means did UCLA lack heart.
The Bruins were counted out when their first-half shooting very much resembled that of an over-confident middle schooler’s. They were counted out when Jason Calliste nailed a 3-pointer to put Oregon up five with 1:42 to play. Many Pauley Pavilion patrons even counted themselves out, heading for the exits when UCLA called a timeout down seven with just 58 seconds to go.
The team’s saving grace was Alford, who scored 11 points in the closing 3:02, including a clutch three-point jumper with six seconds left. The freshman exploded for a career-high 31 points, 22 coming after the first half.
Alford’s miraculous showing, however, was upstaged by a miracle, a three-point buzzer beater from redshirt senior forward David Wear, who somehow managed to slip past the Oregon defense and line up his final prayer from the near edge of the half-court logo to send the Bruins into overtime, the game tied at 71.
“I just started running down the court and I realized no one was picking me up so I looked back at (redshirt senior forward Travis Wear) and we made eye contact,” Wear said. “He saw me wide open, so I knew it was coming.”
But after two overtimes, short-handed UCLA (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12) was short of breath. The Bruins ran out of gas and magic alike. Oregon (19-8, 7-8) sank its final six free-throw attempts, and all UCLA had for its efforts was spent energy.
“I think we were all tired,” said Alford, who logged 49 minutes. “You get into a double-overtime game in a seven-man rotation you’re going to be tired, but we fought through it and we did as much as we could to try to win the game.”
Several months into his UCLA career, cries of nepotism toward Bryce Alford became Thursday’s fan favoritism. Failed by two of his teammates, Alford nearly made things go right.
Email Erickson at

UCLA Comeback Falls Short in Double Overtime Against Oregon

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Thursday 02/27/2014
Article Link

LOS ANGELES - David Wear hit a long three-pointer to beat the buzzer and send the game into overtime, but after two extra periods, Oregon outlasted a short-handed UCLA, 87-83, on Thursday evening.
Bryce Alford led all players with a career-high 31 points for UCLA (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12), connecting on 7 of 17 shots, while adding six assists in a career-high 49 minutes.
Joseph Young scored 26 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in the second overtime, for the Ducks (19-8, 7-8), who registered their fourth consecutive victory.
The Bruins made an impressive comeback late in the game, playing without sophomores Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, who were both serving team-issued one-game suspensions. UCLA trailed by as many as 15 points early in the second half and by seven points, 65-58, with 1:01 to play in regulation. Alford scored five straight points on a pair of free throw and a 3-pointer to trim Oregon’s lead to 65-63 with 33 seconds remaining.
A pair of free throws each by Young and Mike Moser pushed Oregon’s cushion to six points with 23 ticks left on the clock. Zach LaVine, who finished with 18 points, hit a quick layup, and Alford hit another 3-pointer with six seconds left to pull to within one, 69-68.
A turnover by Oregon gave UCLA possession, but LaVine missed a deep jump shot. After being fouled with 1.3 seconds remaining, Young hit two foul shots to increase the Ducks’ lead to 71-68.
Travis Wear inbounded the ball after the last free throw, throwing the length of the court to twin brother David Wear, who nailed a long 3-point basket at the buzzer to force overtime.
Each team scored just two points in the first overtime session, sending a 73-73 tie to the second overtime period.
UCLA scored the first two points of the second overtime, but fell behind on a 3-pointer by Young with 2:31 to play. The Bruins were never able to tie the game from that point.
Alford (31 points), LaVine (18 points) and Norman Powell (14 points) each scored in double figures for UCLA. Alford became UCLA's first freshman to score at least 30 points in a game since Don MacLean tallied 41 points against North Texas on Dec. 30, 1988.
Four UCLA players each logged at least 40 minutes, with Alford and LaVine each playing 49 and 48 minutes, respectively.
Zee Box

Thursday, February 27, 2014

All-American Kevon Looney helps Milwaukee Hamilton earn share of conference title

Milwaukee Hamilton’s Kevon Looney blocks the shot by Milwaukee King’s Diamantae Freeman Tuesday night.

Rick Wood

Milwaukee Hamilton’s Kevon Looney blocks the shot by Milwaukee King’s Diamantae Freeman Tuesday night.

This is really what Kevon Looney wanted.
Milwaukee Hamilton's McDonald's All-American has won just about every individual accolade there is, but when it came to being a champion he'd fallen short. As a freshman he helped the Wildcats get to the state tournament, but that team finished third in the City Conference. They were fourth his sophomore year and third last season.
In his senior year, Looney and the Wildcats have gone on a magical ride that, thanks to a 76-72 victory at Milwaukee King on Tuesday night, will give the school a share of its first conference title since 2010.
"I told myself I couldn't lose this game," the 6-foot-9 forward said. "I've been waiting for this opportunity my whole career."
Looney finished with a game-high 26 points for Hamilton, which is ranked eighth in the area by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and received votes in this week's Associated Press Division 1 state poll. And midway through the fourth quarter he became one of about two dozen players in state history to score 2,000 points.
What has made Hamilton (15-5 overall, 10-0 City) a dangerous team since the turn of the new year, however, has been the play of Looney's teammates, and they delivered against King, which is ranked second in the area and second in Division 1.
Sophomore point guard Danya Kingsby finished with 18 points and helped seal the victory by hitting four straight free throws in the final 19 seconds. Jalen Addison, a junior guard, hit 5 three-pointers and scored 15 of his season-high 17 points in the first half. Senior forward Jhamad Norwood added 13 points and did his usual stellar work on the boards.
The Wildcats needed all those efforts to win a game in which they led by 15 in the first half only to have King (19-2, 9-1) storm back and take the lead with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. From there the lead changed nine times.
"It was tough....I'm speechless right now," Kingsby said. "I just feels great to beat King and be City champs. It's a big accomplishment."
The Generals' comeback was led by a smashing performance by senior guard Jemell Posey, who finished with 24 points and shook his team out of its early doldrums with eight second-quarter points.
Down the stretch Looney played inspired ball, though. After the game was stopped briefly to recognize his 2,000th point, he hit his only three of the game to give Hamilton a 60-59 lead with 4 minutes 48 seconds left
Junior guard Joe Binyoti's jumper 34 seconds later allowed King to regain the lead, but Looney tipped in a teammate's miss to give Hamilton the edge again and then got to the free throw line, where he sank both ends of a bonus to make it 65-61 with 3:04 left.
The Generals responded with two free throws each from Posey and senior forward Chris Howell and a bucket by junior forward Diamantae Freeman to give King a 67-65 lead with 2:23 left.
The game was 69-67 in favor of King when Looney found Norwood for a layup to tie the game with 1:17 remaining and then took advantage of back-to-back turnovers to take the lead for good. Looney's two free throws with 33.3 left gave his team a 71-69 lead, and Kingsby's two made it a four-point game with 18.2 to play.
King freshman Jordan Poole buried a three from the corner to cut that lead to a point, but Kingsby sealed the win with two more free throws with 9.9 seconds to go.
"We just couldn't finish it. We were in a position to get it done and came up empty," King coach Jim Gosz said. "Credit Hamilton. They didn't miss any free throws down the stretch. We banged ours."
The Generals were 3 for 10 from the line in the fourth quarter. Hamilton, a team that's had its struggles at the line this season, was 12 for 14 and finished the game 25 for 30.
The victory was the team's 12th straight. A victory at Milwaukee Vincent on Friday will give the Wildcats the crown outright.
"We've still got games left. I'm just overwhelmed now," Hamilton first-year coach Randy Williams said. "Hell of a job by Hamilton High School."

MPS’ Kevon Looney named McDonald’s All-American

Posted on: 3:18 pm, February 4, 2014, by , updated on: 08:20pm, February 4, 2014
Fox6 Milwaukee
Article Link

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — You can’t help but notice senior Kevon Looney at Alexander Milwaukee’s Hamilton High School. Standing just shy of seven feet tall, this basketball superstar is catching the eye of more than just his peers and teachers.
“I am very excited to go out there and play, just put on a performance for my family and represent my state,” said Looney.
Last week, Looney got the news he was waiting for, he had been named a McDonald’s All-American.
“It was very emotional because you’ve been dreaming about this your life so it was a great moment for me,” said Looney.
Only 48 students across the country are selected as a McDonald’s All-American. Looney is only the second player to win this honor in MPS history, and the 6th ever in Wisconsin.
“I believe this young man has a great future ahead of him,” said Alexander Hamilton High School Principal Rosana Mateo.
There’s no doubt Looney knows his way around the basketball court.
“He’s very easy to coach. I’ll just tell him something and he’ll say I got this coach,” said Alexander Hamilton High School Basketball Coach Randy Williams.
But All American students are also judged on how they perform in the classroom.
“He takes advanced placement classes and the students here highly respect him. He’s a role model here for students at Hamilton High School,” said Mateo.
And what they do for their community. This humble athlete spends much of his free time volunteering for the mentor program Running Rebels.
“I tutor kids, I help play basketball with the kids outside, help them with little leagues,” said Looney.
Looney will play in the McDonald’s All-American game April 2nd in Chicago. Then he’ll move on to hit the basketball court at UCLA this fall.
Looney’s dream is to play for the Lakers. But first, he wants to graduate from UCLA with a degree in Sports Medicine.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

UCLA Basketball to Host Oregon on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Zach LaVine has shot 47.5 percent from the field this season (photo by Scott Chandler)
Zach LaVine has shot 47.5 percent from the field this season (photo by Scott Chandler)

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Monday 02/24/2014
Article Link

LOS ANGELES – UCLA returns home this week to host Oregon on Thursday (8 p.m.) and Oregon State on Sunday (6 p.m.) to close its regular-season home schedule in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA edged Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore., by a 70-68 margin on Thursday, Jan. 30. Travis Wear scored the game-winning basket for UCLA with 5.8 seconds remaining, snapping a 68-68 tie. Jordan Adams led UCLA with 19 points in that victory.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion (13,800)
Tipoff Time: 8:05 pm (PT)
TV Talent: Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Bill Walton (analyst)
Radio: AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 91
SIRIUS XM Radio: Channel 91
ESPN Radio Talent: Dave Flemming (play-by-play), Miles Simon (analyst)
The Bruins have recorded the conference’s second-best home record (15-1, .938 winning percentage) behind Arizona’s 16-0 home mark. UCLA has averaged 86.6 points per game in 16 home contests. The Bruins have averaged 86.9 points per game in seven Pac-12 home games (50.2 field goal percentage, 47.6 three-point percentage). Kyle Anderson has averaged 17.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists in the seven home conference games.
Kyle Anderson, a 6-foot-9 guard from Fairview, N.J., is one of six players in the nation who has been named to “watch lists” for the John R. Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy and the Bob Cousy Award (top point guard). Anderson is among 30 players listed on the John R. Wooden Award midseason list and is one of 23 point guards who has been selected to the latest Bob Cousy Award midseason list. Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 6.9 apg) was among five players to be named a “midseason” first-team All-America selection by The Sporting News.
UCLA ranked eighth, nationally, in scoring and was first among Pac-12 teams (82.9 ppg), through Feb. 23 … the Bruins have won 20 games or more for the 31st time in the last 39 years (since John Wooden retired in 1975).
Currently in his first season as UCLA’s head coach, Steve Alford has guided his teams to at least 21 wins in each of the last seven seasons (this year at UCLA and in each of his six seasons at New Mexico, 2007-08 through 2012-13).
Kyle Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 6.9 apg) has become UCLA’s first player to average at least 10.0/5.0/5.0 since Bill Walton finished his senior season (1973-74) with 19.3 ppg, 14.7 rpg and 5.5 apg.
UCLA’s roster features seven players who have scored at least 20 points in one career game, with six of those seven players having registered at least 20 points in one game during the 2013-14 season.
No player in the country has averaged as close to a triple-double as has Kyle Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 6.9 apg). Through games played Feb. 23, Anderson was the nation’s only player averaging at least 10.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 6.0 apg. In addition, Anderson is the only player to rank in the top five (in his conference, BCS conferences only) in rebounds, assists and steals and be among the top 15 scorers (includes AAC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC).
Sophomore guard Jordan Adams leads UCLA with 17.2 points per game, the seventh-highest scoring average among Pac-12 players (through Feb. 23). Adams scored a career-high 30 points against Morehead State (Nov. 22, 2013) and registered his third double-double of the season at Colorado with 14 points and 13 rebounds (Jan. 16). He finished second in scoring for UCLA last season, averaging 15.3 points per game as a freshman. Adams has scored in double figures in 24 of UCLA’s 27 games and has registered at least 20 points in 10 games during his sophomore campaign.
UCLA leads all Pac-12 teams in assists per game (17.6), steals per game (10.0), assist turnover ratio (1.65) and turnover margin (+4.4), through games played on Feb. 23. The Bruins have committed the second fewest turnovers per game (10.67) of any Pac-12 team. UCLA’s defense has forced the highest average of turnovers among Pac-12 teams (15.0). Kyle Anderson (185 assists, 87 turnovers) has accounted for 39.0 percent of UCLA’s total assists.
UCLA has three players that rank among the Pac-12’s top 10 leaders in steals (through Feb. 23). Jordan Adams (79 steals, 2.9 spg) leads all Pac-12 players, having logged at least two steals in 21 of 27 games. He had a career-high eight steals against Sacramento State on Nov. 12. Kyle Anderson (46 steals, 1.7 spg) ranks fourth in the conference, while Norman Powell (36 steals, 1.3 spg) is tied for 10th. UCLA leads all Pac-12 teams with 10.0 steals per game.
Kyle Anderson has made 22 of 44 three-point attempts (50.0 percent), a strong increase over his freshman year totals (8-for-28, 21.1 percent). Anderson shot a perfect 5-for-5 from long range in UCLA’s 74-69 loss to Utah on Jan. 18. That marked UCLA’s first “perfect” effort from three-point range with a minimum of five attempts since Ray Young went 5-for-5 from downtown on Feb. 22, 2003, in UCLA’s 93-84 loss to Stanford.
Norman Powell enters UCLA’s game against Oregon as the Bruins’ third-leading scorer, averaging 11.1 points per game. Powell’s 55.0 overall field goal percentage ranks seventh among Pac-12 players (through Feb. 23). The junior guard from San Diego, Calif., has scored in double figures in 17 games this season, leading UCLA to a 15-2 record in those contests. Powell has played in more games in a UCLA uniform (95) than any other current Bruins’ player.
Kyle Anderson has become UCLA’s first player since 1994-95 (Charles O’Bannon) to register at least 200 rebounds and 100 assists in one season. A sophomore in 1994-95, O’Bannon finished the year with 201 rebounds and 110 assists (Anderson has 232 rebounds and 185 assists). Since UCLA officially recorded assists (1973-74), Anderson, O’Bannon and Bill Walton are UCLA’s only players to have logged 200+ rebounds and 100+ assists in one season.
The Bruins have averaged 82.9 points through 27 games, the program’s highest per game offensive output through the first 23 games in any season since averaging 87.8 ppg after 27 games in 1994-95, the last year in which UCLA won the NCAA Championship. Earlier this season, UCLA compiled a seven-game streak of at least 80 points scored in victories. That feat had not been accomplished since the 1994-95 campaign (streak from Feb. 22-March 17, 1995).
UCLA’s Zach LaVine, Bryce Alford and Tony Parker have played major roles off the bench. The Bruins’ bench has accounted for 29.3 percent of UCLA’s scoring (656/2238). LaVine ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg) and is fourth among Pac-12 players with a 43.3 three-point field goal percentage (42/97). Both LaVine and Alford rank in UCLA’s freshman top-5 list for three-point field goal percentage (miminum 0.75 three-pointers made per games played). LaVine’s 42 three-point field goals is the fourth-highest total in school history for any freshman.
UCLA does not currently have any major injuries. Noah Allen missed 12 games after suffering multiple fractures to his face in a collision sustained with a player from Oakland (Nov. 12) in the game’s final minutes. Wanaah Bail missed UCLA’s first five games recovering from left knee surgery which was performed on June 28, 2013. Travis Wear missed UCLA’s first three games after having underwent an appendectomy on Oct. 28, 2013.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No. 23 UCLA Basketball Loses at Stanford, 83-74

Norman Powell finished with 14 points against Stanford.
Norman Powell finished with 14 points against Stanford.

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Saturday 02/22/2014
Article Link
STANFORD, Calif. - Norman Powell and Zach LaVine each scored 14 points as UCLA dropped an 83-74 decision at Stanford on Saturday afternoon, snapping the Bruins’ four-game winning streak.
Chasson Randle scored a game-high 26 points on 8 of 13 shooting from the field, making 7 of 10 three-point attempts for Stanford (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12).
Josh Huestis added 22 points and five blocks for the Cardinal, who earned their fourth victory against UCLA (21-6, 10-4 Pac-12) in the last 19 meetings between the two Pac-12 programs.
Stanford led UCLA throughout the contest, opening a 38-30 lead by halftime and pushing its advantage to as many as 14 points with 13:23 left in the game. UCLA trailed 58-44 before using a 13-2 scoring run to reduce Stanford’s cushion to 60-57 at the 9:53 mark.
The Cardinal answered with consecutive three-pointers from Anthony Brown and Randle, pushing Stanford’s lead to 66-57 at the 8:15 mark. An ensuing layup from Brown gave the Cardinal a 68-57 cushion.
UCLA did not back down, cutting Stanford’s 11-point advantage to just four points – 72-68 – with 2:50 left in the game. LaVine made a three-pointer at the 3:44 mark and was fouled on a three-point attempt at the 2:50 mark, sinking all three free throw attempts.
The Bruins never closed the gap to fewer than four points. Stanford made six of its final eight free throw shots in the game’s final 1:20 to secure the victory.
Saturday's loss marked the first game this season in which both Jordan Adams (eight points) and Kyle Anderson (six points) were limited to fewer than 10 points. Adams and Anderson were both held to fewer than 10 points in just two games last season (played in 33 games together).
UCLA will return to action against Oregon on Thursday, Feb. 27, in Pauley Pavilion. Game time is 8 p.m. (PT).

Zee Box