Thursday, November 26, 2015

UCLA can't bump Wake Forest, loses 80-77 to settle for 4th place trinket at Lahaina

Tony Parker totaled 18 points and 15 rebounds in UCLA's 80-77 loss (photo by Al Sermeno)
UCLA Athletics

UCLA Edged by Wake Forest, 80-77
By: UCLA Athletics
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Tony Parker totaled 18 points and 15 rebounds as UCLA dropped an 80-77 decision to Wake Forest in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational’s third-place game on Wednesday.
Isaac Hamilton registered 18 points, while Bryce Alford scored 14 and Thomas Welsh finished with 10 for the Bruins (3-3).
Wake Forest (4-2) trailed by as many as five points in the first half, but secured a 42-35 lead at the break and never trailed in the second half.
Devin Thomas totaled a game-high 21 points and added nine rebounds for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons also received 16 points from Cornelius Hudson, 15 from Mitchell Wilbekin and 14 from Dinos Mitoglou.
Playing their third game in as many days, the Bruins saw Wake Forest push its lead to as many as 10 points late in the first half and again to nine points early in the second half. UCLA trailed 56-48 with 13:08 remaining and cut Wake Forest’s cushion to one point – 58-57 – with 10:04 to play.
From there, the Bruins trailed by as many as seven points with 6:54 remaining and cut Wake Forest's advantage back to one – 70-69 – on a jump shot from Thomas Welsh at the 4:32 mark.
Wake Forest had a one-minute stretch in the closing minutes where the team nailed 9 of 11 free throws to take control of the game in the final 20 seconds.
In all, Wake Forest made 30 of 42 free throws, converting at a 71.4 percent clip. UCLA out-rebounded the Demon Deacons by a 45-37 margin and made 8 of 14 free throws (57.1 percent).
UCLA will return to action against CSUN (2-4) in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, Nov. 29. Game time is 4 p.m. The Bruins’ game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
Game Notes: Isaac Hamilton averaged a team-leading 14.7 points in three games in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, making 19 of 31 shots (61.3 percent) … Tony Parker has averaged a team-leading 12.3 rebounds per game in six regular-season contests and recorded his fourth double-double this season … in the three-day Maui Invitational, Parker logged 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Zee Box

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Soooo, that's what a good basketball team looks like. UCLA couldn't hang with Kansas, gets luaued in Lahaina, 92-73.

Isaac Hamilton and Tony Parker guard Kansas' Frank Mason III (photo by Al Sermeno)
UCLA Athletics

UCLA Falls to No. 5 Kansas, 92-73
By: UCLA Athletics
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Isaac Hamilton scored a team-leading 19 points as UCLA dropped a 92-73 decision to No. 5 Kansas in a semifinal game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Tuesday night.
The loss sends UCLA (3-2) into Wednesday afternoon’s third-place game, where the Bruins will take on Wake Forest (3-2) at 4:30 pm PT (2:30 pm HT) at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Against Kansas (3-1) on Tuesday, the Jayhawks had the upper hand on the Bruins from the start. Kansas raced to a 6-0 lead in the opening minute before UCLA reduced the margin to 8-7. The Jayhawks countered with a 16-2 scoring run to extend their margin to 26-9 with 11:48 left in the first half.
UCLA trailed at halftime, 59-33, and reduced its deficit to as few as 19 points before the final buzzer sounded.
"We haven't started either opening half well at all since we've been here," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "I didn’t think that we started the game well against UNLV, and we didn't start the game well tonight."
Perry Ellis led a group of four Kansas players in double figures, scoring a game-high 24 points and adding six rebounds. Frank Mason III scored 16 points, Wayne Selden Jr. added 15 and Svi Mykhailiuk finished with 13.
UCLA’s Aaron Holiday totaled 16 points while Tony Parker registered 15 points and a team-best eight rebounds.
Kansas shot nearly 58 percent in the first half, registering 15 assists on 19 field goals and committing just three turnovers. Overall, the Jayhawks shot 54 percent, connecting on 10 of 23 three-point field goal attempts (44 percent).
Bruins’ guard Prince Ali finished with eight points in 15 minutes off the bench.
UCLA’s game versus Wake Forest on Wednesday will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
Zee Box

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

UCLA Defeats UNLV in Lahaina, 77-75

Bryce Alford scored 20 points for UCLA on Monday (photo by Scott Clarke).
UCLA Athletics
By: UCLA Athletics link
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh each totaled 20 points to lead UCLA past UNLV, 77-75, in the Bruins’ opening game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Monday night.
Welsh made 9 of 12 shots from the field and grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds.
In a game that featured five lead changes, Isaac Hamilton helped UCLA (3-1) secure the lead for good with a 3-point field goal that gave the Bruins a 67-65 cushion with 3:23 to play.
After consecutive missed 3-pointers from UNLV (3-1), Aaron Holiday nailed a pair of free throws with 1:30 to play and another two free throws at the 0:57 mark, putting UCLA ahead of the Runnin’ Rebels, 71-65.
Holiday finished with 18 points, making 4 of 8 shots from the field and all eight free throw attempts.
”I’m really proud of my basketball team,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “I just felt they fought. This was a really good, big, athletic team that we were playing in UNLV, and I thought both teams came in playing pretty good basketball. I’m proud of my guys because we took a pretty good punch to start the game.”
The Bruins overcame an early 16-7 deficit, using a 14-4 scoring run over a 6:24 span to lead, 21-20. From there, UCLA pushed its first-half lead to as many as nine points and secured a 41-35 cushion.
In the second half, UNLV closed the gap with less than 10 minutes to play and secured a 62-58 lead on Patrick McCaw’s 3-pointer with 8:29 to play.
Alford made two free throws with 7:43 remaining, shrinking UNLV’s advantage to 62-60 before Tony Parker’s tied the contest, 62-62, at the 7:12 mark.
The Runnin’ Rebels took a 65-64 advantage with 6:02 to play, and neither team scored over the game’s next 2:25. UCLA broke the scoreless span with Hamilton’s 3-pointer at the 3:23 mark.
The Bruins will return to action against No. 5 Kansas on Tuesday in a semifinal matchup of the Maui Invitational. UCLA will play the final game of the day, with game time slated for 7 p.m. PT (5 p.m. HT). UCLA’s game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Game Notes: UCLA shot 45 percent from the field and nailed 23 of 24 free throws (95.8 percent) … the Bruins improved their record against UNLV to 5-0 in the all-time series … neither team had played each other since Dec. 1998 … UCLA last faced Kansas in the 2011 Maui Invitational, with Kansas earning a 75-56 win (Nov. 22, 2011) … Thomas Welsh netted at least 20 points for the second time in his career (he had a career-high 22 points on Nov. 15, 2015 against Cal Poly) … Bryce Alford scored at least 20 points for the 12th time in his career … UCLA secured the victory on head coach Steve Alford’s birthday.

The Box

Bruins Prepared for Maui Invitational

Steve Alford spoke to reporters at Sunday morning's press conference in Maui.
UCLA Athletics
By: UCLA Athletics link
LAHAINA, Hawaii – UCLA head coach Steve Alford met with the media at a pre-tournament press conference Sunday morning, one day before the three-day Maui Jim Maui Invitational tips off at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Alford, who is making his second trip to the Maui Invitational as a head coach, spoke about the team’s growth early in the season and what he expects when UCLA opens its tournament schedule Monday evening against UNLV.
“When you’re invited to a tournament like this, you know that it’s an elite tournament that is going to have elite teams,” Alford said. “You’re striving to be one of those teams. Now, you may not be that in November. We weren’t that in November last year, but you want to have an idea of what you need to work on to become an elite team.”
The Bruins (2-1) will take on UNLV (3-0) on Monday at 8:30 pm PT (6:30 pm HT) in a matchup that will be nationally televised on ESPN2. UCLA has compiled a 4-0 all-time record against UNLV, but the two schools have not faced each other since 1998.
UNLV enters the Maui Jim Maui Invitational having recorded consecutive wins over Cal Poly, New Mexico Highlands and Southern Utah to open the year. Sophomore guard Patrick McCaw has averaged a team-leading 16.7 points per game, while freshman center Stephen Zimmerman has logged a team-best 9.7 rebounds per game (along with 12.7 points per game, third best on the team).
“They’re a different team from last year with multiple new starters,” Alford said. “They have Ben Carter, a very talented transfer from Oregon and then Zimmerman who heads a very good recruiting class. [Jerome] Seagers had to sit out last year, but he is now doing a very good job for them. He takes care of the ball and he makes good decisions. They are such an athletic team. They bring a lot of athleticism off the bench, where if things don’t go well, they’ve got the athletic ability to make things happen at both ends of the floor. It’s a great mix.”
UCLA will face either No. 4 Kansas or Chaminade on Tuesday. The winner of the UCLA-UNLV matchup will take on the winner of the Kansas-Chaminade game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT (5 p.m. HT). That contest will be nationally televised on ESPN. The losing teams will compete Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. PT (11:30 a.m. HT).
Opposite the Bruins’ side of the bracket are Vanderbilt, St. John’s, Wake Forest and Indiana.
This marks the fifth appearance for UCLA in the Maui Invitational. The Bruins won the tournament in the fall of 2006 and also appeared in Maui in the fall of 1995, 2001 and 2011. For this year’s UCLA squad, the upcoming three games in as many days will provide a measuring stick as the team progresses deeper into its non-conference schedule.
“It can take a while to get to know your team and for your team to get to know you,” Alford said. “I think that’s why we are still a work in progress. Now, we have to play three very difficult games in three days. We will leave this island knowing exactly what we need to work on and the things that we need to tidy up as we move into our December schedule. This is a great tournament. We are nowhere near a finished product, but in our last two games we have taken positive steps in the right direction.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coach Steve Alford interview, post-Pepperdine

from UCLA Bruins MBB (link)

Aaron Holiday interview, post-Pepperdine win

from UCLA Bruins MBB (link)

UCLA Takes Down Pepperdine, 81-67

Article Link

LOS ANGELES - Tony Parker recorded his third double-double in as many games, totaling 15 points and 15 rebounds, as UCLA defeated Pepperdine, 81-67, in Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night.
Parker, who has averaged 16.7 points and 16.0 rebounds in UCLA’s first three games, had 11 points and eight boards by halftime.
The Bruins (2-1) received a team-best 19 points from Bryce Alford and 16 from Aaron Holiday. Prince Ali scored 12 points off the bench, and Isaac Hamilton finished with 10 points.
“This was the best game we had to date on contesting shots, forcing teams into some difficult shots, and I thought that was a big key,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “I thought the job Tony [Parker] and Jonah [Bolden] did on [Stacy] Davis was an incredible key for us. Tony proved that he could guard and still get 15 and 15. It was a big game for him.”
UCLA extended its winning streak against Pepperdine (1-2) to five games, securing a 48-34 advantage by halftime. The Bruins led by as many as 18 points three times in the first half and pushed their margin to 20 points with 14:47 to play in the game.
With UCLA ahead of Pepperdine, 64-44, at the 13:34 mark in the second half, the Waves used an 8-0 scoring run to reduce the Bruins’ cushion to 12 points (66-54) on a jump shot by Atif Russell. Ali helped the Bruins respond, getting to the free throw line twice in a one-minute span and knocking down all four free throws. Ali, a 6-foot-3 freshman guard, made all seven of his free throw attempts.
UCLA’s second-half lead never fell to fewer than 12 points.
Lamond Murray Jr. netted a game-leading 22 points for Pepperdine (1-2). Kameron Edwards had 10 points for the visiting Waves, who were facing UCLA for the first time since Nov. 28, 2011.
The Bruins shot 50 percent overall from the field and made 6 of 17 three-point field goal attempts (35.3 percent). For the third consecutive game, UCLA out-rebounded its opposition. The Bruins won the battle on the boards by a 45-34 margin.
UCLA will return to action next week in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, played at the Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii. The Bruins open against UNLV (3-0) on Monday, Nov. 23. Game time is 8:30 p.m. (PT). The non-conference game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
UCLA, which last played in the Maui Invitational in 2011, won the tournament in 2006.

The Box

Friday, November 20, 2015

Uncle Drew runs

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UCLA Outlasts Cal Poly, 88-83

UCLA Athletics
Tony Parker tallied 16 points and 14 rebounds in UCLA's win on Sunday night (photo by Scott Chandler)
By: UCLA Athletics
Article Link
LOS ANGELES - Thomas Welsh scored a career-high 22 points and Tony Parker registered his second consecutive double-double to help UCLA defeat Cal Poly, 88-83, in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday.
Parker finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds and has averaged 17.5 points and 16.5 rebounds in the Bruins’ first two games. Welsh nailed 10 of 12 shots, pushing his season field goal percentage to 75 percent.
Bryce Alford tallied 18 points and Isaac Hamilton and Jonah Bolden each added 11 to round out the list of double figure scorers for UCLA (1-1).
Sunday night's win over Cal Poly came just 48 hours after the Bruins dropped an 84-81 overtime decision to Monmouth in the regular-season opener.
"I'm really proud of our guys because we got in a very similar situation to Friday," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "We had a double-digit lead, and we were playing well. Then, they make a serious run to take the lead from us and we win. Getting a win after a loss, whether it's at home or on the road, I've always felt like that's the toughest thing to do."
UCLA led 47-37 at halftime and pushed its lead to as many as 15 points early in the second half. Trailing 59-44 with 15:45 to play, Cal Poly (0-2) used a 12-3 scoring run to close its gap to 62-56 at the 12:08 mark. After a three pointer from Bolden, who made his collegiate debut, Cal Poly went on an 11-2 run to tie the contest, 67-67, with 7:21 to play.
Cal Poly briefly led, securing a 69-68 cushion on a jumper from Luke Meikle, before UCLA wrested control on a jump shot from Isaac Hamilton. After Hamilton’s shot at the 5:19 mark, the Bruins never trailed. Hamilton’s basket helped the Bruins string together a 5-0 run and extend their advantage to 73-69 with 3:31 to play.
After a tip-in from Cal Poly’s Brian Bennett, Welsh hit a jump shot with 1:50 to go and nailed a pair of free throws at the 1:24 mark to help the Bruins assume a 77-71 lead.
Reese Morgan scored a team-leading 20 points for Cal Poly, which made 11 of its first 19 3-point attempts and finished the game shooting 48.1 percent from downtown (13 of 27).
For the second straight game, UCLA won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Cal Poly by a 42-35 margin.
UCLA’s trio of starting guards – Aaron HolidayBryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton – combined for all 22 Bruin assists, committing just six turnovers. Holiday finished with five steals and Hamilton registered three.
The Bruins made 50 percent of their total field goals, hitting 32 of 64 shots, shooting nearly 53 percent in the first half.
UCLA will return to action against Pepperdine on Thursday, Nov. 19. Game time in Pauley Pavilion is 7:30 p.m. The Bruins’ game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

UCLA Loses to Monmouth, 84-81

UCLA Athletics
UCLA lost an 84-81 decision to Monmouth in overtime on Friday (photo by Scott Chandler)
By: UCLA Athletics
Article Link
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA basketball team dropped an 84-81 decision to Monmouth in the team’s season opener in Pauley Pavilion on Friday evening.
Bryce Alford led the Bruins (0-1) with 22 points, while Tony Parker added 19 points and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds.
Collin Stewart led a group of three Monmouth players who scored in double figures, totaling 19 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Justin Robinson registered 16 points and Micah Seaborn added 14.
UCLA led by as many as 12 points in the final 10 minutes of regulation, but Monmouth took advantage of a 16-3 scoring run to secure a 61-60 lead with 6:03 to play. From there, the second half featured three more ties and advanced to overtime with the score knotted at 73-73. With Monmouth trailing, 73-71, and 54 seconds remaining, Stewart made a pair of free throws to tie the contest.
In overtime, UCLA took an 80-75 lead after Aaron Holiday nailed a jump shot with 2:15 remaining. Monmouth chipped away, connecting on five of six free throw shots in the game’s next 1:33 to tie the game, 80-80, at the 42-second mark.
The Bruins led 81-80 in the final minute, but Monmouth continued to get to the free throw line and sink foul shots, making four consecutive attempts from the stripe in the final 18 seconds.
UCLA led at halftime, 34-30, and pushed its lead to 13 points – 53-40 – with 12:29 remaining in the second half.
The Bruins’ frontcourt combination of Tony Parker and Thomas Welsh combined to score 31 points and collect 29 rebounds – Parker had 19 and 19, while Welsh finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. In all, UCLA outrebounded Monmouth by a 60-37 margin.
UCLA returns to action against Cal Poly in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday evening. Game time is 7 p.m. (PT).

T.J. Leaf, Lonzo Ball, Ike Anigbogu, Kobe Paras sign NLI's: UCLA's Class of 2016 Ranked #4 by ESPN behind Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State

UCLA Athletics
Lonzo Ball, Ike Anigbogu and Kobe Paras will play at UCLA in 2016-17.
UCLA Signs Three Standouts to NLIs
By: UCLA Athletics
Article Link
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA basketball program has received signed National Letters of Intent from high school seniors Ike Anigbogu, Lonzo Ball and Kobe Paras on the first day of the early signing period, it was announced today by head coach Steve Alford.
Anigbogu (first name pronounced ee-KAY), Ball and Paras will enroll at UCLA in 2016 and begin their freshman seasons in Westwood in the 2016-17 academic year.
Ball, a 6-foot-5 guard who has starred at Chino Hills High School (Chino Hills, Calif.), has been rated as the No. 8 player, nationally, in his high school class. and have pegged him as the top point guard in the state of California and the Western region.
"Lonzo is an extremely talented player who will make an immediate impact for us as a freshman,” Alford said. “He’s established himself as one of the nation’s premier players, and we’re excited that he’s going to take that next step at UCLA. Lonzo is a tremendous scorer, passer and defender who has displayed great athleticism, instincts and size. Our coaching staff is excited to see what he can do in our program, and we know that he’s going to have a special career at UCLA.”
Ball averaged 24.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists for Chino Hills last season. He helped lead his high school team to the Division I state title game last season, securing first-team All-CIF Southern Section honors as a junior (2014-15) and sophomore (2013-14). He was among six finalists selected for the 2015 Player of the Year award sponsored by
Anigbogu, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound center from Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., has been rated the No. 35 player in his high school class by (and No. 37 by has listed him as the top center in the state of California and in the West and as the No. 6 center, nationally (ranked No. 13 in the country by
“Ike has established himself as one of the top centers on the West Coast and has made significant strides in the last year,” Alford said. “He’s a player with an NBA body, a very athletic big who has a chance to be a superior defender. His confidence continues to improve, he has a tremendous ceiling, and we know that he’s going to be a major part of our frontcourt when he arrives next season."
Paras, a 6-foot-6 guard who has spent the last two years in Los Angeles, grew up in the Philippines. As a junior last season at Cathedral High School, Paras averaged 15 points per game. He is currently attending Cathedral High School and is playing for the Middlebrooks Academy Team.
"We're always looking for players who’ve grown up immersed in basketball, and Kobe definitely fits that mold,” Alford said. “He just loves the game. To add a talented player like Kobe to our program is terrific. He’s a very athletic guard who plays with tremendous energy. We like how he can attack off the dribble and get to the rim in the open court, and we’re excited that he’ll be joining us in Westwood.”
Paras helped lead the Philippines to a gold medal in the FIBA Asia Under-18 3x3 championship in May 2013. He won the FIBA 3x3 Championships’ slam dunk contest in June 2015, representing the Philippines. Paras’ father, Benjie, was a professional basketball player in the Philippines and was the only player named both the rookie of the year and MVP in the same season (Philippine Basketball Association).

UCLA Athletics
T.J. Leaf has signed a National Letter of Intent to enroll at UCLA
UCLA Basketball Inks T.J. Leaf to NLI
By: UCLA Athletics
Article Link
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA basketball program has received a signed National Letter of Intent from high school senior T.J. Leaf during the early signing period, it was announced today by head coach Steve Alford.
Leaf, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from El Cajon, Calif., has been rated the No. 13 player in his high school class, nationally, by Named the CIF San Diego Section Division II Player of the Year last season, Leaf has also been tabbed No. 15 in the country by and No. 22 by He will enroll at UCLA in 2016 and be a freshman for the Bruins in 2016-17.
"We’re thrilled to welcome T.J. to the Bruin family,” Alford said. “He’s a very polished player who can knock down shots from all over the court and handle the ball. His great length, skill and athleticism make him especially dangerous both in the half court and in transition. The addition of T.J. to a recruiting class that already features Ike Anigbogu, Lonzo Ball and Kobe Paras really gives our program great momentum moving forward. We’re very excited to welcome these four outstanding young men to Westwood.”
Leaf averaged 27.4 points, 14.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.8 steals per game as a junior last season at Foothill Christian. He guided is high school team to the CIF San Diego Section Division II championship in addition to earning 2015 Coastal League Player of the Year honors. and have ranked Leaf as the No. 1 and No. 2 best power forward, respectively, in his high school class in the state of California and in the Western region.
As a sophomore in 2013-14, Leaf averaged 26.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 3.8 blocks and 2.0 steals per game. He was named the Sunset League Player of the Year as both a sophomore (2014) and freshman (2013). Leaf secured a spot on the 2013-14 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American honorable mention team.
During his freshman campaign in 2012-13, he earned first-team All-State Division V accolades from, becoming the only freshman named to the 10-person first or second teams. Leaf was a 2013 San Diego Union Tribune All-County second-team selection (was the only underclassman selected to the first or second team).
Leaf joins a recruiting class that already features a trio of high school seniors who signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. The Bruins other signees include Lonzo Ball (6-foot-5 guard from Chino Hills, Calif.), Ike Anigbogu (6-foot-10 center from Corona, Calif.) and Kobe Paras (6-foot-6 guard who resides in Los Angeles and grew up in Manila, Philippines).