Tuesday, March 13, 2018

UCLA Ready to Face St. Bonaventure in Dayton


UCLA (21-11) will face St. Bonaventure (24-7) on Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio.

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DAYTON, Ohio – The Bruins (21-11) secured a No. 11-seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and will face No. 11-seed St. Bonaventure (24-7) in a "First Four" matchup on Tuesday evening. Game time at University of Dayton Arena is 6:10 pm PT (9:10 pm ET). UCLA arrived in Dayton on Monday afternoon before heading to UD Arena for an early evening practice.
The winner of Tuesday's "First Four" matchup between the Bruins and Bonnies will travel to Dallas to face No. 6-seed Florida (20-12) in a first-round meeting of the NCAA Tournament this Thursday.
Venue: UD Arena (13,409)
Game Time: 6:10 p.m. (PT) / 9:10 p.m. ET
Television: truTV
TV Talent: Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Steve Smith (analyst), Len Elmore (analyst), Ros Gold-Onwude (sideline)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG): AM 1150
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
- UCLA will make its 49th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its 11th trip to the national tournament in 14 seasons. The Bruins have compiled a 21-11 overall record after having gone 11-7 in the Pac-12 Conference (tied, third place). Last week, UCLA defeated Stanford before losing to Arizona in overtime in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
- The Bruins are entering this season's NCAA Tournament having won eight of their last 12 games. Through games played Sunday, March 11, UCLA ranked No. 31 in the nation in rebounds per game (38.8) and No. 44 in three-point field goal percentage (38.3%). The Bruins continue to lead the Pac-12 Conference in each of those categories.
- Now in his fifth season as UCLA's head coach, Steve Alford guided the Bruins to three Sweet 16 appearances in his first four seasons in Westwood. This will mark Coach Alford's fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament while at UCLA and his 11th tournament berth at the NCAA Division I level. Alford has led UCLA to at least 21 victories in four of his five seasons.
- Most recently, Aaron Holiday scored a career-high 34 points in back-to-back games – at USC (March 3) in the Bruins' regular-season finale and versus Stanford (March 8) before logging 15 points in a semifinal loss to Arizona (March 9). UCLA lost to top-seeded Arizona in overtime on Friday, 78-67, after tying the game in the final 10 seconds of the second half.
- The Bruins posted a 14-2 mark at home this season, with their only losses in Pauley Pavilion coming against No. 25 Cincinnati (Dec. 16) and to Colorado (Jan. 13). Away from home, UCLA compiled a 7-9 mark with four of those victories coming on a neutral court. UCLA will enter the NCAA Tournament having played its last five games away from home.
Aaron Holiday (20.3 ppg, 5.8 apg) secured first-team All-Pac-12 honors and All-Defensive Team acclaim and Thomas Welsh (13.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg) was named a second-team All-Pac-12 selection (10-man first team, five-person second team). Kris Wilkes (13.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg) was one of five student-athletes to secure Pac-12 All-Freshman Team acclaim.
Aaron Holiday enters the NCAA Tournament as the Pac-12's leading scorer (20.3 ppg) and ranks No. 2 in the league in assists per game (5.8). He led all Pac-12 players in scoring in conference play (21.7 ppg, 18 games). Holiday totaled 30 or more points in four games and reached the 20-point plateau in 18 of the Bruins' 32 games. He had entered his junior season having scored 20 or more points in three previous games (all in 2016-17). He currently ranks sixth among Pac-12 players in 3-point percentage (43.3%), third in most 3-pointers made (84), fourth in free throws made (157) and fourth in free throw attempts (190). Among players in the "Power 6" conferences, only Holiday and Oklahoma guard Trae Young rank among the top two in their league in both scoring and assists (through Saturday, March 10).
20 AND 5
Since the Pac-12 began to regularly record assists (1983-84), five players have registered at least 20 points and five assists per game. Holiday could become the sixth player if his pace continues. No UCLA player has averaged at least 20 points per game through a full season since 1994-95 (Ed O'Bannon, 20.4 ppg as a senior, leading UCLA to the NCAA title).
No UCLA guard has registered 19.0 ppg or more in a season since Reggie Miller averaged 22.3 ppg as a senior in 1986-87. Bill Walton (1973-74) is the only previous UCLA player to have logged at least 19.0 ppg and 5.0 apg in one season. As a senior in 1974, Walton registered 19.3 points, 14.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
MORE ABOUT Aaron Holiday
Aaron Holiday, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, not only leads the Pac-12 in scoring (20.3) and minutes per game (37.6), but he has played in all 125 minutes for the Bruins in the last three games. In fact, Holiday has played every minute in five of the Bruins' last six games, sitting out for just 43 seconds (first half) in the team's loss at Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 25. Holiday has not been subbed out of a game in nine contests this season (all versus Pac-12 Conference opponents).
- Holiday has scored a team-best 651 points this season, the most points in any season by a UCLA player since Kevin Love tallied 681 points as a freshman during his lone season in Westwood (2007-08). Love averaged 17.5 points per game that year. In addition, Holiday ranks No. 5 (tied with Jason Kapono) for most three-point field goals made in one season. Kapono also made 84 three-pointers as a junior in 2000-01 (Bryce Alford made a school-record 117 three-pointers last season).
- Holiday has averaged a Pac-12-leading 37.6 minutes per game this season, which ranks No. 12 in the nation (through games played Saturday, March 10). Only Reggie Miller (38.3 mpg in 1985-86) and Pooh Richardson (37.6 mpg in 1988-89) have logged more minutes per game in one season at UCLA (minutes played became a consistently recorded stat at UCLA in 1978-79). Holiday's 1204 total minutes this season currently rank No. 10 on UCLA's single-season minutes list.
- Through the Bruins' last six games, Holiday has played all but 43 seconds and has averaged 26.0 points per game. In addition, in that six-game span, he has registered 6.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 47.3 percent from three-point territory (26-of-55). Holiday made a career-high 12 field goals on a career-high 25 total attempts in the Bruins' 88-77 win over Stanford last Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
- Holiday's 12 made field goals in the win versus Stanford (March 8) were the most in a game by any Bruin this season. Last season, TJ Leaf made 14 shots on 18 attempts in a win at Washington State (Feb. 1, 2017). Holiday's 25 shot attempts against Stanford (March 8) were the most by any UCLA player in a game since Trevor Wilson took 27 shots (13 made field goals) against Arizona in a Pac-10 Tournament game (Tempe, Ariz.) on March 11, 1990.
- One of two UCLA players (along with Thomas Welsh) to be selected to the All-Pac-12 Tournament Team, Holiday averaged 24.5 points, 5.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the Bruins' two Pac-12 Tournament games. Holiday entered his junior season having averaged 11.4 points in 68 games the previous two years (28.9 minutes per game, prior to this season). Holiday shot 41.4% from three-point territory during his first two seasons (92/222) and has shot 43.3% from three this year (84/194).
MORE ABOUT Thomas Welsh
Thomas Welsh, a second-team All-Pac-12 selection, enters the NCAA Tournament ranking No. 4 on UCLA's career rebounding list (1020 rebounds, two behind David Greenwood for the No. 3 spot). Welsh has totaled 343 rebounds this season, which ranks No. 11 on the school's single-season list. He has totaled more rebounds in one season than any UCLA player in the last 10 years (previously, Kevin Love had 415 rebounds as a freshman in 2007-08).
- Standing 7-feet tall and hailing from Redondo Beach, Calif., Thomas Welsh is one of just two players in the Pac-12 (along with Arizona's Deandre Ayton) to have averaged at least 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. Welsh has logged 13.0 ppg and 10.7 rpg, while Ayton has tallied 20.3 ppg and 11.5 rpg. Welsh has totaled at least 10 rebounds in 21 of the Bruins' 32 games. He is one of just six players in school history with at least 21 double-figure rebound games in a season.
- Welsh went nearly three full seasons before he ever attempted a three-point shot. In fact, it wasn't until the 31st game of the Bruins' 2016-17 season (Welsh's junior year) in which he attempted a three-pointer. He made his only attempt in that win over Washington State (March 4, 2017) before opening his senior season. Welsh has made at least three 3-pointers in seven games this year, sinking a career-high four 3-pointers in two games (at Cal on Jan. 6, vs. Stanford on March 8).
- A two-time second-team All-Academic Pac-12 selection (2015, 2016), Welsh ranks No. 3 on UCLA's all-time blocked shots list (please note, the blocked shot statistic has only been tracked at UCLA since 1978-79). Welsh will enter the NCAA Tournament having tallied 143 career blocks. The top two spots on UCLA's career blocked shots list are occupied by Jelani McCoy (188) and Dan Gadzuric (184). McCoy played at UCLA from 1995-98, while Gadzuric starred at UCLA from 1999-02.
- Welsh has totaled 29 blocks this season and has recorded at least one block in 87 of 131 games played. He has registered at least two blocked shots in 33 career contests. Welsh logged a career-high five blocks in UCLA's season opener versus Monmouth during his sophomore season (Nov. 13, 2015). As a freshman (2014-15), he finished the year with 39 blocks. Welsh registered 32 blocks as a sophomore and 43 during his junior campaign.
UCLA has gone 2-5 this season against teams that advanced to the 2018 NCAA Tournament's 68-team field. The Bruins registered wins against Arizona and Kentucky, and dropped one game each to Arizona State, Arizona, Cincinnati, Michigan and Creighton. UCLA is the only Pac-12 team in the East Region. The Bruins do not have any previous opponents (from this season) in the East Region.
The Bruins have compiled a 2-0 all-time record against St. Bonaventure. UCLA and St. Bonaventure faced each other in Dec. 1973 and Dec. 1974. The Bruins downed the Bonnies in Pauley Pavilion, 111-59, on Dec. 22, 1973. The following season, UCLA earned a 78-62 win over St. Bonaventure in a neutral-site game played on Dec. 27, 1974, in College Park, Md.
The Bruins have gone 0-4 against Florida, with each of those four contests occurring in the NCAA Tournament (within the previous 12 seasons). UCLA lost to Florida in the 2006 NCAA title game, 73-57, in Indianapolis (4/3/06). The Bruins dropped a 76-66 decision in a semifinal of the Final Four the next season (3/31/07). Florida earned a 73-65 win in the Round of 32, four years later (3/19/11). Four seasons ago, the Gators registered a 79-68 win over UCLA in the Sweet 16 in Memphis (3/27/14).

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