Tuesday, January 31, 2017

More on SC loss: USC not as dominant as last year but, surprisingly, still better than UCLA

dec 25 2017 | jeff miller |o.c. register | ARTICLE LINK
LOS ANGELES – They weren’t dealing in domination Wednesday, only defeat, which was still more than enough for USC’s basketball team.
The Trojans, behind their zone defense and 3-point shooting, beat UCLA for the fourth consecutive time, 84-76, proving that the No. 8 team in the country, on this night, was no better than the No. 2 team in its own town.
“We just gave up too many things off mistakes,” said Bruins coach Steve Alford, whose team lost only one of its first 20 games before dropping its past two.
A year ago, USC crushed UCLA three times in a row, the final result coming in the Pac-12 Tournament.
This year, however, it was the Bruins who were readying for a top NCAA Tournament seed, while the Trojans were trying to prove their worth as simple March Madness participants.
On Wednesday, the respective positions of these rivals appeared to be just the opposite.
That point was driven home best by Elijah Stewart, whose late dunk of a USC miss thwarted UCLA’s final push and ignited the serenade that rang down from the seats of Galen Center all the way to the souls of Westwood.
“Over-rated! Over-rated! Over-rated!”
More accurately, perhaps they should have chanted “Under-rated!” for an 18-4 Trojans team that was doubted even as it opened the season 14-0 because of light nonconference scheduling.
USC is still only 5-4 in the Pac-12, but this is not a team anyone should question at the moment.
“We got our hands on a lot of balls,” said Coach Andy Enfield, whose Trojans are playing without one of their top players, the injured Bennie Boatwright. “We affected the game with our defense.”
Against the Trojans, the celebrated Bruins did not look comfortable, particularly Lonzo Ball, who previously barely had exhibited the need to sweat.
Here, Ball had seven of UCLA’s 17 turnovers, missed four of nine free throws and, while finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds, did not look like the NBA lottery pick everyone projects him to be in June.
“When that happens, we’ve got to have some guys picking up,” Alford said. “We didn’t have that.”
The Bruins finished just 6 for 20 on 3-point tries, Bryce Alford scored only three points and the more athletic Trojans seemed to win most of the one-on-one battles.
USC’s Shaqquan Aaron used an explosive first half to finish with 23 points in only 26 minutes, leading the Trojans on a night when they didn’t shoot great, but their long-range accuracy more than made up for it.
“We wouldn’t be 18-4 if they weren’t good players,” Enfield said. “We shot the ball well. When your power forward is 6-foot-3, you better spread the floor and make some 3s.”
There was little doubt the Trojans were fired up for this game. By the end of Keith Williams Jr.’s rousing, impossibly pitched rendition of the National Anthem, several USC players were bounding in place.
Then, on the final note, they converged upon Williams Jr. at midcourt, smothering him in hugs and back slaps, the players genuinely moved by the power of his performance.
From there, however, it was UCLA that was on key at the start, scoring the game’s first eight points and eventually opening a 20-10 lead.
The advantage – any advantage for the Bruins – was notable Wednesday. In losing those three games to USC last season, UCLA led for only 1:47 total of the 120 minutes the teams shared on the court.
That is, rather astoundingly, only 1.5 percent of the time.
No, that’s not a miscalculation. That’s how one-sided this rivalry was a season ago. UCLA never led in either of the final two games and had just the briefest of advantages in the other.
On Wednesday, UCLA reversed that trend, until, at least, USC reversed things right back, doing so in a way so dramatic that the change of direction could have resulted in neck muscle trauma.
In a stretch of just under nine minutes, the Trojans went on a 30-10 run – scoring 11 consecutive points during one span – to turn minus-10 on the scoreboard to plus-10.
That sent the sold-out Galen Center into a general frenzy, the noise swallowing whatever Bruins support was present ... and, it appeared, the Bruins themselves.
Against USC’s zone, UCLA’s famously efficient offense instead looked leaky and wasteful, the Bruins unable to find space from beyond the 3-point arc and more than once left to take something far more contested and difficult.
“We knew they were going to go zone, and they did it very well,” Alford said. “We stood around, and we committed a lot of turnovers. That’s uncharacteristic for this team.”
The Bruins still outshot the Trojans from the floor in the first half – 55 percent to 47 – but USC had a 9-2 advantage on made 3-pointers. That translated to 27-6 on the scoreboard, the same one that showed the Trojans leading, 50-38.
Those nine 3-pointers were better than the 7.8 per game USC averaged and the 8.2 UCLA had surrendered on average entering Wednesday.
And there were still 20 minutes to play.
“I thought the turnovers really hurt us in the first half,” Alford said. “We kind of dug ourselves a hole ... when you’re down 12 at half. ...”
You’re in trouble, particularly on a night when you’re outscored by 24 from beyond the 3-point arc and just as decidedly lose the turnover battle.
Contact the writer: jmiller@scng.com

More on SC loss: USC beats UCLA a fourth straight time behind 3-pointers, defense

JAN  25, 2017 | joey kaufman | oc register | ARTICLE LINK
LOS ANGELES – Shaqquan Aaron carried a basketball in his right arm late Wednesday as he arrived at the podium for a news conference following USC’s 84-76 upset of eighth-ranked UCLA.
A reporter asked Aaron if that was the game ball.
The Trojans’ sophomore guard informed him that it was not.
So, what was it for?
“I’m just about to go shoot after this,” Aaron said.
It was as good a night as any. Aaron, a transfer from Louisville, finished with a game-high 23 points for USC, shooting 50 percent and hitting four of nine attempts from 3-point range, in front of a rabid, sold-out Galen Center crowd of 10,258.
“Big game, big stage, this is where I want to play,” Aaron said, “and I have to step up and help my team.
He was one of five players to score in double figures for the Trojans, who extended their winning streak to four games over the Bruins in the teams’ first meeting this season. They defeated their crosstown rivals three times last season by an average of 19 points.
Their next matchup at Pauley Pavilion comes in mid-February.
For USC, it marked a résumé-padding victory, its first of the season over a ranked team, as it improved to 18-4 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-12 Conference.
“It ranks up there with our good wins,” USC coach Andy Enfield said.
For UCLA, it was its second straight loss, after falling last week at home to Arizona. It dropped to 19-3 overall and 6-3 in conference.
“I’ve got a pretty tough group,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said, “so we’ll bounce back.”
Aaron’s four 3-pointers were among 14 for the Trojans, matching their season-high.
“When your power forward is 6-3,” Enfield said, referring to his four-guard lineup without forward Bennie Boatwright, “you better spread the floor and make some 3s.”
USC’s onslaught came late in the first half, after trailing 28-26 with 7:35 left.
Aaron began an 11-0 run with a 3-pointer and scored eight of the 11 points during the run, hitting another shot from beyond the arc. Fourteen of his 23 points came in the first 20 minutes.
“We stayed composed,” Aaron said.
The Trojans outscored the Bruins, 26-10, over the final seven minutes of the opening half.
“We realized that on offense we pretty much could get every shot we wanted,” forward Chimezie Metu said. “We just came down every time offensively and executed ourselves.
Junior guard Elijah Stewart, who added 15 points for the Trojans, capped the push with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from atop the key.
As the buzzer sounded and USC had taken a 50-38 halftime lead, a mob of teammates rushed to center court to celebrate with Stewart.
UCLA had started the game on an 8-0 run, spurred by three straight baskets by junior center Thomas Welsh.
As the game progressed, the Bruins faced trouble passing into Welsh in the low post, stifled by USC’s defense, which often went into a zone.
Not only was UCLA held to its second-lowest point total of the season, but it had 17 turnovers, including 13 in the first half.
“Adversity hit and we all split ways,” heralded freshman guard Lonzo Ball said. “We’ve got to come together. It’s a team thing, starts with me. Put this loss on my back. I’ll take it.”
Ball, who averaged 8.2 assists and just 2.3 turnovers in his first 21 games, left with a season-high seven turnovers and only four assists and was derided with chants of, “Over-rated! Over-rated!” throughout much of the second half.
De’Anthony Melton, USC’s freshman guard, forced several of Ball’s turnovers, coming away with four steals.
The Bruins got within four points on an Aaron Holiday free throw with 6:09 left, but the Trojans responded with flair.
Stewart finished with a put-back slam on the next possession, reaching in the air to grab the ball with his right hand. Metu followed with a dunk.
The crowd roared, as USC led for the entire second half, headed to another win over UCLA, but with its sights set on more.
“It’s just a building block,” Metu said. “We took a step forward and have to build off it.”
Contact the writer: jkaufman@scng.com

More on SC loss: USC beats UCLA’s top-ranked offense at its own game

JAN  25, 2017 | clay fowler | inland valley daily bulletin-LA Daily news | ARTICLE LINK
Before it even took the court Wednesday night, USC made clear that it wasn’t afraid to run with UCLA.
The Trojans started four guards against a team with a fast break led by a future lottery pick and 3-point shooting prowess that has made it one of the most entertaining tickets in college basketball.
USC beat UCLA at its own game, handing the No. 8 team in the country an 84-76 loss. It was USC capitalizing on turnovers and raining 3-pointers, not the team that entered with the most efficient offense in the country.
UCLA shot a respectable 48 percent from the field, but the team that entered with the second-best 3-point percentage in the nation (43.4) shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc.
The extended zone defense USC employed after UCLA took an 8-0 lead limited a UCLA team that set a school record with 19 3-pointers Jan. 12 in Colorado to just 20 attempts from 3-point range.
It’s hard to know what’s more concerning, the percentage or the number of attempts.
“Once they went zone, we hard a hard time finding anyone because there was no 1-on-1 matchup anymore,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “We didn’t get the open shots I thought we would get if we got the ball to the middle or the baseline. That’s something we’re going to really have to look at and work on our zone offense because we do have the shooters.”
UCLA’s 76 points were its second-lowest total of the season.
While USC made nine of its season-high 14 3-pointers in the first half, UCLA made just two. Equally surprising were the Bruins’ five attempts from beyond the arc in the game’s first 20 minutes.
Trailing USC late, it needed a flurry of desperate 3-point attempts in the final minutes to reach 20 attempts, lowing what was a decent percentage to 30 in the process.
Aaron Holiday made the Bruins second 3-pointer of the night at the 13:37 mark of the first half, but UCLA didn’t make another until 23 minutes later when Bryce Alford made his only shot of the game.
Alford finished 1 of 7 from the field with three points.
The quarterback of the most explosive offense in the country, point guard Lonzo Ball, committed a season-high seven turnovers and had a season-low four assists. The freshman had 15 points on 4 of 9 shooting with 10 rebounds.
“This loss was my fault,” Ball said. “I had a hundred turnovers. So we’ll get back in the lab and work on it.”
UCLA finished with a season-high 17 turnovers, limiting its volume on offense.
The Bruins’ other obvious strength, its transition game, was limited to six points. Meanwhile plenty of USC’s 3-pointers were the product of a transition game jump-started by UCLA’s turnovers.
“Transition off of our turnovers was huge,” Steve Alford said. “We just gave up too many things off our own mistakes. Hopefully the bye week comes at a pretty good time for us.”

Media Availability Jan 30 2017

from UCLA Athletics

Sunday, January 29, 2017

USC defeats UCLA, 84-76, extending its streak over crosstown rival

UCLA guard Aaron Holiday scrambles to control the ball as USC's De'Anthony Melton, left, Nick Rakocevic and Jordan McGlaughlin, right, try to take it from him during second half action at the Galen Center. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
jan 25, 2017 | THE L.A. TIMES | ARTICLE LINK
He knelt along the sideline, his back against a videoboard advertising a resort destination. UCLA Coach Steve Alford looked at the floor slats, put his hand on his temple and massaged.
It had taken 38 minutes against rival USC, but his Bruins had finally found their speed. Trailing and needing quick scores, point guard Lonzo Ball pushed the pace. He whipped a pass to Aaron Holiday in the paint. Holiday pushed forward, then whirled the ball behind his back — right to USC’s Jordan McLaughlin. Every UCLA step Wednesday evening, USC matched. Every play, the Trojans were there. Alford shook his head.
Soon, he was shaking USC Coach Andy Enfield’s hand at the Galen Center after a loss for the fourth straight time. USC won, 84-76, extending its longest streak over its rival since a span from 2009 to 2011.
USC guard Shaqquan Aaron strode into a postgame news conference cradling a basketball. Asked if it was the game ball, he said no.
“I was going to go shoot after,” he said.
He did not appear to need the extra practice. Off the bench, he tormented No. 8 UCLA, scoring 23 points and powering USC to a first-half lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
A season ago, USC had done the same, trampling UCLA three times with superior athleticism. Its defense smothered. Its offense zoomed past the Bruins in transition. An encore was not widely expected.
UCLA had appeared to shift the paradigm. Behind point guard Ball, UCLA owned the best offense in the nation. After Wednesday’s game, Enfield called it “as talented an offensive team as I’ve ever seen in college basketball.”
However, UCLA ended the game with its second-worst offensive performance of the season.
USC (18-4, 5-4 in the Pac-12 Conference) was playing without arguably its best player, forward Bennie Boatwright. That obliged the Trojans to use four guards for much of the game.
But they could still run. And so they did.
UCLA’s fearsome transition game never found space. It took the Bruins more than 15 minutes to generate their first fastbreak. They scored only six fastbreak points all game.
Among the Lilliputian defense, UCLA’s big men, Thomas Welsh and TJ Leaf, found clearer airspace inside, and Welsh exploited it early with 10 points in the game’s first six minutes. But a zone hounded UCLA’s perimeter and prevented easy entry passes. Welsh finished with just 13. Leaf scored eight.
UCLA (19-3, 6-3) committed 17 turnovers. Ball alone had seven. UCLA scored the game’s first eight points, but USC punched back with three-pointers. 
Aaron led all scorers. “Just spectacular tonight,” Enfield said. “This was his best game.”
UCLA had torched teams from behind the arc, but USC dominated Wednesday, with 14 three-pointers to UCLA’s six. UCLA shooting guard Bryce Alford, averaging 17.2 points going in, was limited to three points.
Enfield said he knew USC, short-handed in the frontcourt, would have to win on the perimeter to hang with UCLA.
“When your power forward’s 6-foot-3, you better spread the floor and shoot the ball,” Enfield said, laughing.
Early in the second half, UCLA had to demur to USC’s speed, and Alford leaned heavily on his own four-guard set. The USC student section began chanting “over-rated.” Meanwhile, Chimezie Metu slammed a one-handed alley-oop. Soon after, Metu blocked a jump shot from Welsh, the 7-footer. It is the second season in a row the sophomore, who wanted to attend UCLA, terrorized the Bruins with his length. Metu scored 13 points with seven rebounds.
Meetings when both teams are serious contenders is rare. This season each breezed through the nonconference schedule unblemished. The last time each had started so well was the 1970-71 season, when Bob Boyd's USC team briefly challenged John Wooden’s UCLA for supremacy; UCLA prevailed. USC retired Boyd’s number posthumously during a halftime ceremony Wednesday.
Such matchups don’t happen often. The teams have made the NCAA tournament in the same year only 11 times.
Sensing the opportunity, the city turned out. The game sold out a month in advance. One student wearing a Speedo found seats directly behind the basket. USC football Coach Clay Helton and former quarterback Matt Leinart attended.
The atmosphere, Enfield said “was the best I’ve ever seen since we’ve been here as a staff.”
USC next
Wednesday at Washington, 8 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena, ESPNU — Washington has one of the nation’s best players in Markelle Fultz, who averages 23.4 points per game. He could use some help, however.
UCLA next
Wednesday at Washington State, 6 p.m., Beasley Coliseum, Pac-12 Networks — The Bruins have lost three consecutive games on the road against the Cougars after having gone undefeated there from 1994 to 2012.
— Ben Bolch

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday: The Education of Demetrius Walker

The top post in MUCLAH history so far is this one from Oct 13 2010 on George Dohrmann's book "Play Their Hearts Out." In his book, Dohrmann chronicles the life of high-school phenom Demetrius Walker and his AAU coach, Joe Keller.

to continue reading the 2010 post, go here.

But where is Demetrius Walker now? Here was an update that came out in Nov 2016 from SLAM. (Click to article enlarge). Or read the article online here.

Way to go, Demetrius. But how about Coach Keller? Where's that dude? 

This one hurts like a mother. UCLA loses to USC 84-76

from UCLA Athletics


LOS ANGELES – Isaac Hamilton scored a team-leading 20 points while Lonzo Ball tallied a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds as No. 7 UCLA fell to USC, 84-76, on Wednesday at the Trojans' Galen Center.

Hamilton recorded his fourth 20-point performance of the season to lead four Bruins who scored in double figures. Aaron Holiday scored 15 points off the bench and Thomas Welsh added 13 points. Ball tallied his seventh double-double of the season, his second of the point-rebound variety.

USC was led by Shaqquan Aaron, who scored a game-high 23 points off the bench with four 3-pointers. Elijah Stewart added 15 points, connecting on 4 of 9 shots for the Trojans (18-4, 5-4 Pac-12).

"We dug ourselves a big hole tonight in the first half with a high number of turnovers," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "That's something you cannot afford on the road against a team like USC. They were able to get a lot of points in transition, and that was thanks to our turnover woes. Our turnovers led to a lot of three-point baskets from USC."

The Bruins finished Wednesday night's game with 18 assists and 17 turnovers, shooting 48.4 percent from the field and just 30 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

UCLA (19-3, 6-3 Pac-12) trailed by as many as 15 points early in the second half but battled back to cut the lead to just four – 60-56 and then 63-59 – with less than nine minutes left in the game. The run was led by the Bruins scoring eight straight points thanks to a pair of layups by Hamilton and a three-point basket from Bryce Alford.

USC regained its momentum and increased its margin with back-to-back dunks with under six minutes to play in regulation. The Trojans pushed their lead to 74-65 after De'Anthony Melton's nailed a three-pointer with 4:17 remaining.

While the Bruins never tied the game in the second half, UCLA opened the contest with an 8-0 scoring run before pushing its advantage to as many as 10 points – 20-10 – on a dunk by Ball with 13:15 left in the first half.

The Trojans battled back and tied the game by going on a 16-6 run in the middle of the period to make the score 26-26 at the 7:51 mark. USC continued its hot shooting throughout the first half and entered the locker room at halftime on a 24-12 scoring run that was capped by Stewart's three-pointer with one second to play in the half.

Welsh scored all of his 13 points in the opening period and finished the game having made 6 of 7 shots.

UCLA dropped its fourth consecutive contest to USC after having won 10 of the previous 11 meetings in the series between the crosstown rivals. In addition, the Bruins lost for the fourth time in 12 games at the Galen Center, USC's home arena that opened prior to the 2006-07 school year.

UCLA returns to the court at Washington State on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Game time is 6 p.m. (PT). UCLA's game in Pullman, Wash., will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Finally -> the box

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

UCLA at USC Jan-25-2017: Players and current stats

No. 7 UCLA Set to Play at USC on Wednesday

The Bruins (19-2, 6-2) are back in action on Wednesday at crosstown rival USC (17-4, 4-4).

Story Links

LOS ANGELES – No. 7 UCLA (19-2, 6-2) returns to action at USC (17-4, 4-4) on Wednesday evening. Game time at the Galen Center is 8 p.m. (PT). The crosstown showdown featuring UCLA and USC will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with Joe Davis and Jim Jackson calling the action.

Venue: Galen Center (10,258)
Tipoff Time: 8:01 p.m. (PT)
Television: FOX Sports 1 (FS1)
TV Talent: Joe Davis (play-by-play), Jim Jackson (analyst)
Radio: AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channel: Ch. 84/Ch. 84
SIRIUS App. Channel: Ch. 84

UCLA has been ranked No. 7 in this week's USA Today Coaches poll and No. 8 in the Associated Press (AP) poll.

The Bruins have won 10 of their last 14 meetings against USC, who swept all three games against the Bruins in 2015-16. UCLA has compiled a 7-3 record against the Trojans at the Galen Center since the Trojans' home arena opened in October 2006. A victory by UCLA at USC can help the Bruins secure their 20th victory of the season, allowing UCLA to reach the 20-win plateau for the 42nd time in its last 51 seasons (1967-2017).

Lonzo Ball scored a season-high 24 points, adding eight assists and six rebounds, as UCLA dropped a 96-85 decision at home to No. 14 Arizona on Saturday afternoon. The loss snapped UCLA's 11-game home win streak and marked the team's second loss in 21 games this season. UCLA had not opened any season with 19 wins in 20 games since beginning its 1991-92 campaign with a 21-2 overall record. Ball finished the week having registered 17.0 points, 10.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds in a pair of games against Arizona State (Jan. 19) and Arizona (Jan. 21).

Senior guards Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton have each reached the 30-point plateau in a Pac-12 game this month. Alford scored a career-high 37 points at Colorado (Jan. 12), making 9 of 14 three-pointers. Hamilton recorded a season-high 33 points in UCLA's 102-80 win over Arizona State (Jan. 19) in Pauley Pavilion, connecting on 9 of 14 three-point shots. Both players tied the school record for most made three-pointers in a game (9), previous accomplished by Alford versus SMU in March 2015 and by Jason Kapono at Washington State in January 2003.

Two weeks ago, the Bruins recorded their first Pac-12 "road sweep" since Jan. 2013, earning wins at Colorado (Jan. 12) and Utah (Jan. 19). In six seasons that the Pac-12 has included Colorado and Utah, the Rocky Mountain road sweep has only been accomplished four times – by UCLA in 2013 and 2017 and by Arizona in 2014 and 2015. Against Utah that Saturday, the Bruins overcame a nine-point deficit (51-42) with 16:13 to play in the second half. Aaron Holiday's three-pointer with 1:52 to play gave UCLA an 81-80 cushion (the Bruins never trailed after that point).

Freshmen TJ Leaf (16.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.7 apg) and Lonzo Ball (14.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 8.0 apg) rank among the top 10 in multiple categories in the Pac-12. Leaf, who was named Pac-12 player of the Week on Dec. 5 and Dec. 19, ranks second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (63.6%) and three-point percentage (48.8%). Ball, named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Nov. 28, is the nation's only player averaging at least 10 points, four rebounds and seven assists per game. Through the last four games, he has averaged 15.5 points, 9.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

Lonzo Ball is currently averaging 8.2 assists per game, the highest single-season average in UCLA history. His 172 assists are the most in one season since Kyle Anderson had 233 in 2013-14 (sophomore). In addition, Ball's 172 assists this season rank as the second-highest total ever by a UCLA freshman. Pooh Richardson dished a school-record 179 assists in 29 games as a freshman in 1985-86.

Sophomore Aaron Holiday has established himself as the conference's premier "sixth man," having averaged 13.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 21 games. He has scored in double figures in 16 of 21 games, totaling a career-high 20 points in consecutive wins over UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 14) and Ohio State (Dec. 17). No other player in the Pac-12 has averaged as many points as Holiday has, coming off the bench. Through Jan. 22, Holiday ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage (45.7%, 37/81) and in assists per game (4.5 apg).

Bryce Alford ranks No. 13 on UCLA's all-time scoring list (1,726 career points). He scored a career-high 37 points, connecting on nine three-pointers, in UCLA's win at Colorado (Jan. 12). The senior guard has scored in double figures in 19 of 21 games and has registered at least 20 points in five of UCLA's last 10 contests.
Isaac Hamilton scored a season-high 33 points, connecting on 9 of 14 three-pointers, in UCLA's 102-80 win over Arizona State (Jan. 19). Hamilton had 25 points in the first half in that victory. He has averaged 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Hamilton ranks third on the team with 50 three-pointers.
Lonzo Ball, who has emerged as a national player of the year candidate, ranks second in the nation in assists per game (8.2). He has shot 54.2 percent overall from the field and has averaged 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. His total of 172 assists is just two shy of the single-season mark (174) at UCLA for any freshman.
TJ Leaf has scored at least 20 points in six games. He ranks second on the team and sixth in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.7 ppg). The freshman has nine double-doubles, including four in Pac-12 action. Through games played Sunday, Jan. 22, Leaf was one of three players in the Pac-12 to rank in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding.
Thomas Welsh (10.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.8 bpg) has made all 28 of his free throw attempts this season. Most recently, Travis Wear made his first 22 free throw attempts to start the 2013-14 (Wear's senior season). Welsh has recorded 101 career blocks, currently tied for fifth place on UCLA's all-time list with Ryan Hollins (2003-06).
Aaron Holiday has averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 assists, appearing in all 21 games off the bench. Holiday ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage (45.7%, 37/81), through Sunday, Jan. 22. Holiday also ranks fourth in the conference in assists per game (4.5) and is ninth in assist-turnover ratio (1.8).
Ike Anigbogu, a 6-foot-10 forward/center from Corona, Calif., has averaged 4.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 13.1 minutes per game off the bench. Anigbogu has twice scored a season-high nine points and has twice registered a season-high four blocks. He has shot 61.5 percent from the field midway through his freshman season.
- G.G. Goloman has registered 3.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, averaging 11.5 minutes off the bench for the Bruins. A 6-foot-10 forward from Körmend, Hungary, Goloman has totaled 16 blocks in 20 games (0.8 bpg). He has shot 60.8 percent from the field and scored a career-high 12 points in UCLA's win over CSUN on Nov. 13.

Through games played on Jan. 21, UCLA led the nation in assists per game (22.3), total assists (468), field goal percentage (53.1), three-point field goal percentage (43.4) and assist-turnover ratio (1.9). In addition, UCLA ranked second in scoring (93.0 ppg) and was fifth in scoring margin (16.4), three-pointers made per game (11.0) and defensive rebounds per game (29.9). UCLA's 102 points against Michigan (Dec. 10), 81 versus California (Jan. 5) and 104 at Colorado (Jan. 12) were the most scored by any team against those respective programs this season.

Midway through his fourth season as USC's head coach, Andy Enfield has helped USC post a 17-4 record this season, including a 4-4 mark in Pac-12 play. Junior Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart have each averaged 14.1 points per game. Stewart scored 29 points on Sunday in USC's win over Arizona State, connecting on 7 of 13 shots from three-point range. Sophomore Chimezie Metu has registered 13.6 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game. Metu has averaged a team-high 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the Trojans' eight Pac-12 contests.

UCLA has gone 11-1 in Pauley Pavilion this season. The Bruins' 11-game home win streak was snapped last Saturday with a 96-85 loss to No. 14 Arizona. That had been the Bruins' longest home win streak since securing 15 consecutive home wins in 2013-14, head coach Steve Alford's first season in Westwood. UCLA last had an undefeated home record in 2006-07, going 16-0 in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins have compiled a 69-13 overall record in Pauley Pavilion since the arena reopened the evening of Nov. 9, 2012, after an 18-month renovation.

UCLA totaled 30 assists in last Thursday's 102-80 win against Arizona State. That marked the Bruins' first game with at least 30 assists since Feb. 23, 1995, when UCLA totaled 32 assists in a 104-88 win over California. The Bruins have also recorded 29 assists in three games this season. Prior to the game against California in 1995, the Bruins also had 32 assists on Nov. 27, 1993 (against Loyola Marymount) and on Feb. 23, 1989 (versus Washington). UCLA totaled 38 assists on Dec. 2, 1990 in the team's 149-98 win over Loyola Marymount.

Bryce Alford ranks first in school history in single-season 3-pointers made and is second in career three-pointers. He made a school-record 93 treys in 2014-15 (sophomore) and has now made 284 career three-pointers, second-most at UCLA behind Jason Kapono (317, played from 2000-03). Alford has made at least 70 three-pointers in three consecutive seasons, only the second player in school history (along with Jason Kapono), to have accomplished that feat.