Friday, January 24, 2020

UCLA wins on the road! Beats Oregon State 62-58. Bruins now 10-9, 3-3.

UCLA Athletics

UCLA's Chris Smith led the Bruins with a team-high 15 points, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. tallied 14 points in the Bruins' four-point win on Thursday night. The Bruins used a solid defensive effort down the stretch that proved to be the key factor.

25:02 min worth of highlights courtesy of Matthew Loves Ball

UCLA Defeats Oregon State, 62-58, at Gill Coliseum

from UCLA Men's Basketball website CORVALLIS, Ore. – Junior Chris Smith scored 15 points as the UCLA men's basketball team outlasted Oregon State, 62-58, Thursday evening in Gill Coliseum.

After failing to get to the free-throw line in the first half, the Bruins (10-9, 3-3) made their final nine attempts from the charity stripe and 16 of 21 total in the second half. UCLA led for the final four minutes and 23 seconds of the game.

Freshman Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 14 points and a career-high four steals for the Bruins, who tallied a season-best 13 takeaways as a team. Sophomore Jules Bernard rounded out a trio of UCLA players in double figures, scoring 11.

Tres Tinkle of Oregon State (12-7, 2-5) registered game highs of 17 points and eight rebounds. Ethan Thompson added 14 points.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first half, as Zach Reichle carried Oregon State with 10 points. He finished with 12. The Beavers made just 6 of 19 shots from the field (31.6 percent) during that time, while the Bruins converted 12 of 26 (46.2 percent). Oregon State nearly made up the difference at the free-throw line, making 8 of its 10 attempts. The Bruins held a 27-24 lead at the break.

UCLA accounted for 10 of the first 12 points scored in the second half increase its lead to a game-high 13 points with 15:04 to go. The Beavers answered, however, outscoring the Bruins by an 18-4 margin to take their first lead of the stanza with 7:20 remaining. Trailing 46-45 with 4:23 left, Smith scored on a goaltending call and earned a three-point play to give UCLA a lead it would not surrender.

Tyger Campbell runner in the lane with 1:11 to go marked the Bruins' only field goal of the final 4:23, as they scored 13 of their final 15 points from the free-throw line.

UCLA will conclude its Pac-12 road trip Sunday, when it visits Matthew Knight Arena to face No. 12 Oregon. The game will be nationally-televised by FOX, beginning at 2 p.m., PT.

Postgame Quotes - UCLA at Oregon State

UCLA 62, Oregon State 58
January 23, 2020

Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach
on team’s win
“Oh, yeah, we executed down the stretch and that’s what you’ve got to do in close games. You’ve got to make free throws and you’ve got to get the ball inbounds versus pressure. We’ve got to execute, defensively, which we did a pretty good job of other than letting [Tres] Tinkle get to his left hand way too many times. The rest of our defense was really elite tonight.”

on containing Tres Tinkle
“You have to make him work. We tried to eliminate his layups. He does a great job cutting without the ball, and we didn’t give him any layups on back cuts, or slip cuts, to try to turn him into a guy that had to play out front with the ball. He’s capable of it, but it wears him down. We also tried to make him defend.”

on Chris Smith’s performance
“Yeah, I was calling his number. I was trying to get certain matchups, late game, trying to put the ball in certain guys’ hands. I thought he was fresh because of his foul trouble. He played only 17 minutes, so he was the fresh guy. He stepped up, got the ball to the paint and made sure he got to the foul line. They were being real aggressive and instead of taking fallaways or runners, he got in there and planted his feet and got in there and won it again for his team.”

on earning road win in Pac-12 play
“Yeah, we’re just a one at a time [team], I think. We’re trying to build a culture in my first year about what we’re going to stand for at UCLA basketball. Rome wasn’t built in a day. As frustrated as I get, I have to go home and tell myself these guys haven’t played for me before. This is all new to them, what we’re trying to do. So, just got to get back and every day wake up and try to get better. That’s all we worry about. We don’t talk about anything else other than each guy trying to improve and become a better player so we can become a better team.”

UCLA junior guard Chris Smith
on attacking the basket late in the second half
“Yeah, at that point in the game, Coach Cronin told me, somebody’s got to be able to drive to the cup [and] make the right play. At that moment, I was attacking, so the right play was to get fouled or get an open shot. Made sure I got fouled on all those drives.”

on being a team leader
“One hundred percent. [Coach Cronin] He’s been talking to me recently. I figured the ball was going to be in my hand at the time, and I was just trying to do whatever I could do to get a win for the guys.”

on dealing with foul trouble and if that was tough
“No. My teammates were talking to me on defense. In the first half, I was a little lost at times, but my teammates were talking to me. I was in position and the better position you’re in, the less you’re going to foul.”

on making free throws down stretch
“Yeah, you’ve got to take advantage of all the buckets you could get. That’s the easiest shot we’re going to get. And in a crowd like this, on the road, you’ve got to make as many of those as you can.”

on the job that he did defending against Tres Tinkle
“Yeah, for sure. He was definitely one of the focal points tonight, both him and Ethan Thompson. So, we knew that we couldn’t let either of them beat us. That’s what we had to do coming into the game.”

on if this helps the team’s mindset as UCLA faces Oregon on Sunday
“For sure. We’re going to use this momentum, roll into Eugene and try to keep the defensive effort up, because that’s what got us the win tonight.”

Let's go, UCLA!!! Beat Oregon!!!

Jan 21, 2020 Media Availability prior to away game at Oregon State

UCLA Athletics

Coach Cronin spoke to the media prior to UCLA's practice on Tuesday morning in the Mo Ostin Basketball Center. The Bruins will return to action at Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 23. Game time is 8 p.m. in Corvallis, Ore.

Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jalen Hill and Tyger Campbell spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning, prior to the Bruins' practice in the Mo Ostin Basketball Center. UCLA will play at Oregon State on Thursday and at Oregon on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

UCLA fails to protect home court, loses to USC 74-63

Junior guard Chris Smith another solid outing with a double-double against the Trojans, 16 points and 10 rebounds. To the tapes!

Short and sweet from the Pac-12 Networks

Long and sour from Matthew Loves Ball

Post-game chat from UCLA Athletics

UCLA Falls to USC, 74-63

from the UCLA Men's Basketball website  LOS ANGELES – Junior Chris Smith registered 16 points and 10 rebounds as the UCLA men's basketball team lost to USC, 74-63, on Saturday evening in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.

Sophomore Jalen Hill finished with 14 points off the bench for the Bruins (8-8, 1-2 Pac-12), making 4 of 5 shots before a sellout crowd of 13,659 at UCLA.

Prince Ali rounded out UCLA's list of double-figure scorers with 10 points.

USC's Nick Rakocevic had game highs of 17 points and 14 rebounds for USC (13-3, 2-1 Pac-12). Jonah Mathews added 16 points, including 14 during a second half in which the Trojans converted 16 of 23 shots from the field (69.6 percent).

The Bruins were outrebounded for the first time this season, as USC held a 35-31 advantage on the boards.

"Obviously, our defense in the second half was about as bad as it can get," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "They hit a couple backbreaking threes at the end of the shot clock where we actually did play decent defense for seven seconds. Couple one-on-one threes where we actually did play decent defense. Those broke our back, I thought. Give them credit. I thought their toughness, their offensive toughness with the basketball against our pressure was the key to the game."

The lead changed hands six times and neither team held an advantage of greater than five points during the first half. UCLA was a force on the offensive glass during the game's opening 20 minutes, scoring 11 second-chance points. USC got to the free throw line early and often in the first half, making 9 of 12 attempts.

Ethan Anderson of the Trojans scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half to lead all players, while Smith nearly matched him with 11 of his own. USC led UCLA by a 33-31 margin at halftime.

The Trojans made eight of their first nine field-goal attempts in the second half and used a 7-0 scoring run to increase its lead to a game-high 14 points, at 58-44, with 9:03 to go.

UCLA responded with a 13-5 run to cut the deficit to six points with 4:05 remaining. Consecutive three-pointers by Daniel Utomi, who finished with 13 points for USC, and Mathews helped the Trojans hold off UCLA's late run.

The Trojans shot 27 for 47 (57.4 percent) for the game, including 7 of 14 from 3-point distance. The Bruins converted 22 of 58 shots from the field (38 percent) and made 16 of 22 free throws, including 13 of 18 in the second half.

The Bruins will return to action at home against Stanford on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Game time in Pauley Pavilion is 7 p.m. (PT). The Bruins' game will be televised on Pac-12 Network.

UCLA will conclude its three-game homestand with a contest against California on Sunday, Jan. 19. 

Postgame Quotes - UCLA vs. USC

USC 74, UCLA 63
January 11, 2020

Full Postgame Press Conference Videos
Coach Cronin: click here
UCLA’s student-athletes: click here

Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach
opening statement
“Obviously, our defense in the second half was about as bad as it can get. They hit a couple backbreaking threes at the end of the shot clock where we actually did play decent defense for seven seconds. Couple one-on-one threes where we actually did play decent defense. Those broke our back, I thought. Give them credit. I thought their toughness, their offensive toughness with the basketball against our pressure was the key to the game. They only had 11 assists, but I thought they passed the ball really well and they were strong with the ball. But to give up 57 percent for the game, defensively, it’s hard to win. We actually had no chance to win.”

on USC’s second half
“Yeah, I just went over that. They made 16 of 23, 5 of 8 [from 3-point range]. We’re not a good defensive team. I just gave them credit, but then I’m now going to tell you, I’m not making excuses for our guys, it’s trained or untrained. They’ve been trained enough by now. The bottom line is if you can’t guard the guy with the ball, he continually either shoots it and makes it in your face or he goes by you. Then you’re in a rotation and they tip it in because you’re in a defensive rotation. When they had their second-chance points, couple in a row, because guys are getting beat off the dribble. Your big guys are rotating. We really struggle to stay in front of the basketball. We really struggle to stay in front. And then when we did, like I said, they made some really tough shots when we actually did stay in front of them.”

“We did terrible on defense. Their offensive execution was excellent. They made some tough shots. We can’t guard the ball. That was what happened in the second half.”

on USC’s Nick Rakocevic
“Very good player. He can pass. Although we didn’t make him pass it. We were supposed to attack him on his dribble, and we didn’t do it. He’s a talented offensive player. He’s really talented. He’s a senior, right? I saw him, scouted him all week, he was on the top 50 players in college basketball at the start of the year. I really don’t know his numbers from last year. He’s a very offensively-skilled player. He did a lot of things.”

UCLA redshirt senior guard Prince Ali
on UCLA’s second-half defense
“I think we had some defensive screw-ups. They started getting the ball in the paint and getting a lot of second chance points. That helped them out and that helped them with their confidence. They just started making a bunch of shots and won the game.”

on if UCLA’s defensive struggles in the second half broke the team’s spirit
“It’s tough, man. They went on a little run. We were working on keeping our heads up. I wouldn’t say it broke our spirit, because we kept fighting towards the end. So, I wouldn’t say it broke our spirit, but we gave them a cushion that I don’t think they should have gotten. I don’t think we played the way we should have played, so yeah it’s tough.”

UCLA junior guard Chris Smith
on if this loss stings more, given that it came at home versus USC
“Every loss stings. You definitely don’t want to lose at home. You definitely don’t want to lose to your rivals. We did both tonight. I’d say that this one stings maybe a little more, just because of the politics and what not, but every loss stings.”

on where he feels this team is, three games into Pac-12 play
“I feel like we started off on a great note and then just regressed back to what we were before the Washington game. Our defense has regressed, rebounding – two things that we need to do well in order to win any game, so I think we just regressed.”

USC head coach Andy Enfield
opening remarks
“We really played well in the second half. We shot 67 percent. Our players really moved the ball well and we took some great shots. We really took care of the ball. The press kind of bothered us, but it allowed us to score in transition. This is a big win for us. They are an exceptionally talented team. They’ve got great size. This is a great win for us, especially on the road. They have a lot of talent over there.”

on freshman Onyeka Okongwu’s performance
“He had two quick fouls and that kind of took him out of this rhythm. UCLA played great defense. They really prevented him from getting some touches.”

on senior Nick Rakocevic’s performance
“Nick really played like he is capable of. He was disappointed on how he played on the road trip [at the Washington schools.] I was happy for him to bounce back, especially after his performance against Washington. He really played like a senior tonight.”

on where the Trojans go from here, with Cal and Stanford coming to L.A.
“Eight of our last 10 games have been on the road, so we are going to go home and try to hold home-court advantage. In this league, anybody and can beat anybody on any given night. We are really fortunate to beat UCLA tonight.”

USC senior forward Nick Rakocevic
on how he bounced back from the last game at Washington
“That’s just a part of college basketball. You take one game at a time. I probably played one of my worst games against Washington and tonight, I probably played one of my best. We have to move on and forget about the bad games.”

on how he was able to get inside shots
“He [Okongwu] struggled because he was in foul trouble. That can take a toll on you mentally. We are going to definitely need Big O down the line during the season.”

about the UCLA-USC rivalry
“I really wanted this [win] bad. This game, being a rivalry game, and me not being from here, so I didn’t know how big it is. I’m from Chicago, but it was really important to me to get this win.”

Monday, January 6, 2020

UCLA couldn't sweep State of WA. Loses to WSU in OT 79-71.

Junior guard Chris Smith scored a career-high 22 points in loss. USC is next on Jan 11. FWIW, SC gets thumped by Washington 72-40 (ESPN link to game). 

Pac-12 Networks 
The Cougars outscored UCLA 41-32 during the second half to force extra time and held a 14-6 advantage in overtime to secure a 79-71 victory on Saturday in Pullman. With the win, WSU snaps a six-game losing streak to Pac-12 opponents. Isaac Bonton led Washington State in scoring for the second game in a row, posting 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, as the Cougars overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half.

UCLA Falls to Washington State, 79-71, in Overtime

from UCLA Men's Basketball webpage PULLMAN, Wash. – Junior Chris Smith scored a career-high 22 points as the UCLA men's basketball team lost in overtime against Washington State, 79-71, on Saturday afternoon at Beasley Coliseum.

CJ Elleby sank a 3-pointer with just under 20 seconds remaining in regulation to help Washington State tie the game, 65-65, and force overtime. The Cougars (10-5, 1-1 Pac-12) outscored UCLA by a 14-6 margin in the overtime session to earn the victory.

Smith finished as one of three players for UCLA (8-7, 1-1) to have scored in double figures. Senior Prince Ali had 11 points and Jules Bernard added 10 off the bench. The Bruins registered a 43-37 rebounding advantage and received seven boards each from Bernard and Smith.

WSU's Isaac Bonton scored 17 points, including eight in overtime. He finished as the Cougars' leading scorer, while Elleby totaled 15 points in the Pac-12 contest.

"It's a shame," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "You come down to one play. But the reason that we couldn't get that stop? We're just not there. We're not there yet. In the second half, forget the overtime, they shot 15 for 27."

UCLA had limited Washington State to 20.8 percent shooting in the first half (5 for 24) to lead at halftime, 33-24. The Cougars answered in the second half and overtime session, shooting 57 percent (20 for 35) through that 25-minute stretch.

Washington State scored eight of the game's first 10 points, but made just two of 19 shots over the balance of the first half. Smith scored all 11 UCLA points during a nearly four-minute span, as the Bruins turned a 13-12 deficit into a 23-19 cushion.

The Bruins pushed their margin to double digits during a stretch late in the first half, making 5 of 6 shots, before entering the locker room at the intermission ahead, 33-24.

The Cougars used a 9-0 run to retake the lead (54-53) with 7:36 remaining in the game.

UCLA had made eight of its first 11 shot attempts during the second half but saw the Cougars claw back during a scoreless spell of more than four minutes.

The lead changed hands five more times before Elleby's tying shot with nearly 20 seconds left in the second half.

Washington State made 23 of 32 free throw attempts, including 4 of 6 in overtime.

UCLA will return to action against USC on Saturday, Jan. 11, in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. ESPN2 will televise the game, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (PT).

Following next Saturday's home game against USC, the Bruins will host back-to-back Pac-12 contests against Stanford (Wednesday, Jan. 15) and California (Sunday, Jan. 19).

Postgame Quotes - UCLA at Washington State

Washington State 79, UCLA 71 (OT)
Pullman, Wash. (Beasley Coliseum)
January 4, 2019

Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach
on what led to Washington State’s win
“It was a long game, though. So, I mean you could point to the egregious breakdown at the end where Prince [Ali] didn’t stop the ball. We were supposed to be switching everything. What happens, kids go back to their natural reaction, which is help, even though the whole timeout was ‘don’t help.’ If they get a layup, we don’t care. We’ll get it in and make free throws. But we obviously didn’t execute that.”

on if players collapsed too much during Washington State’s final play in the second half
“Yeah, Jules helped. But the ball should’ve been stopped. Prince didn’t stop the ball. But we had covered if that happens – and we don’t want that to happen – but if it happens, don’t give up an and-one on a soft foul. Don’t help off the corner three, so we covered it. But that had nothing to do with it. I mean, that was a part of it. It’s a shame, because you come down to one play, but the reason we couldn’t get that stop? We’re just not there yet, Ben. We’re not there yet. In the second half, forget the overtime, they’re 15 for 27. Defense is just hard.”

on why defense was so good in first half
“We’re not there yet. As much as you think one game’s going to change it, we’re not there yet. There’s a play where we score, we are running and Jalen Hill’s jogging back, they just throw it over his head and lay it in. There’s the game. And that’s been a problem for him since I got here. That was a problem for him in May workouts. That’s just one play, I mean, there were a lot of bad plays. But a team shoots 56 percent against you? It wasn’t like they were raining in jump shots until No. 10 [Isaac Bonton], give him credit, he hit some tough shots. But we had some really bad breakdowns, defensively. Really bad breakdowns.”

on what was supposed to happen on UCLA’s last possession in regulation, tied at 65-65
“It’s an iso for Chris [Smith]. He never attacked. Now, if you watch that game, you’d probably give him the ball. I talked to him about ‘Hey buddy, we’ve got to make sure we get a shot off now.’ We’ve got to go at 10. It’s 14, we’re going to go at 10. That way we’ve got a chance to rebound it. He froze, I guess. He wanted a pick and roll, which I didn’t want, because then they would’ve just double-teamed him. The guy guarding him had four fouls. I wanted him to attack the guy.”

UCLA sophomore guard Jules Bernard
on Washington State’s game-tying 3-pointer with just under 20 seconds to play
“Yeah, it was probably just a little miscommunication on the first action, and then we sucked in too much once the guard got to the rim. It opened up an open three. It’s just probably a little miscommunication. We’ve got to be better.”

on the five-minute overtime session
“They have two very aggressive players on their team, and when they have players like that, you don’t want to give them confidence. I think they got a few easy buckets off of steals or something, and that just got their confidence going. It’s just, we’ve got to be better.”

on Saturday’s disappointment after having won on Thursday night at Washington
“It’s definitely tough. We wanted to leave with two wins. That was our goal. We had it in our hands and we let it go. It’s definitely tough to take in, but we have to move on and get ready for our next game.”

on if Washington State switched anything, offensively, in the second half
“I’m not sure. I think they just were getting, they saw that they were down and their players started getting more confidence and I think they might’ve gotten in the bonus a little early because we were fouling a lot. Once you give teams like that free throws, easy points, especially at home, it’s tough to take away their confidence when they’re getting to the free-throw line a lot. Maybe that was it, we were fouling a lot.”

UCLA junior guard Chris Smith
on WSU’s 3-pointer to tie the game at 65-65 and if UCLA got sucked in too much on the drive
“Yeah, someone got beat off the dribble, and Jules got sucked in from the back side, and we gave up a three.”

on UCLA’s final offensive possession with under 15 seconds to play in the second half
“I tried to go left and they left one of my teammates to double me and tipped the ball out.”

on the disappointment of not being able to secure back-to-back road wins
“It’s really tough. We wanted a road sweep, and we didn’t get it.”

on Chris having strong individual performances in back-to-back games
“I don’t care about it, man. I wanted to win tonight and we didn’t win.”

on a young team having inconsistencies such as this and what UCLA needs to do, moving forward
“Yeah, when you lose you learn. So, we’ve just got to get back and go to practice and learn from the mistakes that we made tonight.”

on whether it’d be fair to say that the Bruins are a better team having gone through this road trip
“Yeah, for sure. But we reverted back to ourselves before the Washington game tonight, and that is why we gave it up.”

on whether WSU changed its approach against UCLA in the second half, or if UCLA’s defense just had breakdowns
“It was just breakdowns, pretty much.”

Friday, January 3, 2020

Freshman Jake Kyman goes absolutely berserk and hits 7 3's to lead UCLA over Washington 66-64 to open Pac-12 play. WOO-HOO!!!

Chris Smith with a double-double 17 points-12 rebounds and 5 assists.

 Game Highlights

The 1:57 min kind from the Pac-12 Networks
The 8:48 min kind from Highlight Nation
Coach Mick Cronin talks to slavin & co on FOX Sports

UCLA Claims 66-64 Win Over Washington in Pac-12 Opener

from UCLA Men's Basketball website 

SEATTLE – The UCLA men's basketball team built a 10-point halftime lead and held on for a dramatic 66-64 victory over Washington in Thursday night's Pac-12 opener for both teams.

Freshman guard Jake Kyman erupted for a career-high 21 points, sinking 7 of 12 attempts from 3-point distance. He accounted for seven of UCLA's 10 makes from beyond the arc, including the game-winning shot with just eight seconds remaining.

UCLA registered the 1,900th win in program history on Thursday, playing before 9,027 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Junior guard Chris Smith chipped in 17 points on 8-for-13 shooting and had a team-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Freshman guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. registered six points and 11 rebounds.

UCLA (8-6, 1-0 Pac-12) carried a 10-point lead into the locker room at halftime, but Washington (10-4, 0-1) responded with an 8-0 run at the beginning of the second half to make it a close game. The contest remained tight the rest of the way, as it remained a one-possession game for the final 15 minutes.

The final minute provided plenty of drama on its own, with the teams trading the lead before Kyman's game-winner.

With the score tied 61-61 heading into the last 60 seconds of the contest, a pair of hustle plays from Jaquez Jr. gave the Bruins a crucial two-point cushion.

First, he sprinted to grab a rebound after a UCLA three-point attempt clanged off the rim, saving it and throwing it off a Washington defender just before going out of bounds to preserve possession. On the ensuing play, he drew a foul on a pump fake in the paint before connecting on his both of his attempts from the free throw line.

The Huskies' Nahziah Carter connected from 3-point range on the following play to give the home team a one-point lead with 24 seconds remaining.

On the final offensive possession in the second half for UCLA, freshman Tyger Campbell found Kyman all alone on the left wing with a chance to win the game. Kyman, who grew up in Aliso Viejo, Calif., drained the shot to provide the game's final score line.

Smith came up with a steal by diving on a loose ball on the final play, sealing the victory.

"No matter what the result would have been, I was proud of them tonight," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "You win because you grind out wins, so I was really proud of them today. You've gotta give [Kyman] credit. He believes he's making every shot."

Having entered the game with a career-high of just six points, Kyman was nearly unstoppable in the second half. He hit five 3-pointers after halftime, all of which put UCLA in the lead.

Kyman's first 3-point basket of the second half made the score 44-43, putting the Bruins back ahead following Washington's early-second half surge. Kyman's seven three-pointers were the most by a Bruin this season.

Smith was the star of the first half for UCLA, recording 11 points and snagging four offensive rebounds.

The Huskies were paced by Isaiah Stewart, who had team-highs in both points (24) and rebounds (11), including a 12-14 clip from the free throw line. Carter added 16 points.

UCLA will conclude its Pacific Northwest trip with a Pac-12 contest at Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 4. Game time is 4 p.m. (PT).

Postgame Quotes - UCLA at Washington

UCLA 66, Washington 64
January 2, 2020

Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach
on the team’s performance
“It’s like I told them at halftime, Washington’s gonna come strong, but if we just keep fighting and scrapping and do the things that we’re trying to do to build our program, I can live with the results. I could actually chew food, talk to the people in my life that I love that I haven’t talked to in two weeks, I could actually sleep more than two hours, I could live with myself whether Jake makes or misses that shot. Sometimes you have to go through despair to come out on the other side. The group has to experience pain. They kept thinking they’re just going to win because of our [recruit] rankings or you’re at UCLA, whatever. You win because you grind out wins, so I was really proud of them today. No matter what the result would have been, I was proud of them.”

on Jake Kyman
“I told him after the North Carolina game, ‘you’ve gotta make me play you.’ I think Jake loves UCLA so much the way he grew up with his Mom being a great volleyball player at UCLA. Part of Jake’s plan was he might get in as a freshman, he might not. We don’t have that luxury, we need someone who can shoot the ball. His effort and his energy in practice has been great and it showed tonight. Gotta give him credit, he believes he’s making every shot.”

on the game-winning shot
“I could sit here and tell you that’s how we drew it up, but we put him in the high post trying to slide him out hoping they would lose him. The guys did a great job, their zone is hard, it’s hard to dictate who’s going to be open. You can once in a while. The guys kept trying to probe the zone, and we finally got to where we could get that one more pass where we could get a great look. I think it was Chris Smith who passed it out.”

on playing four guards for a large portion of the game
“It’s hard against them. I thought our best chance was getting the ball to Chris or Jaime in the high post. They’re our best two players in the high post. That was really our thought.”

on the team’s buy-in
“The things I told them and said to them, I hope it humbled them. Sometimes the truth hurts. People sometimes think I’m intense or I’m the big bad wolf. You’ve gotta tell guys the truth now, the truth will set you free. You can get back to work and start grinding and try to make yourself a player instead of just thinking you’re a player because someone said you’re really good or some guy who lives in his mom’s basement gave you four stars.”

on changes from the Cal State Fullerton game
“We didn’t wear UCLA stuff all week. We were in blanks all week, coaching staff included.”

UCLA freshman guard/forward Jake Kyman
On if he knew he was going to have a special night…
“No, just kept doing the same thing. Just open shots, keep taking them. The next one comes, shoot it. The next one comes, shoot it again. My teammates get me the ball if I’m in the right spot, and hopefully just keep shooting it.”

On the last play
“It was supposed to move around to the top and then flare out to the corner or the wing and then move it back to Tyger. Then Tyger found me in the corner and I was open and it went in.”

On hitting the game-winner
“It felt great, putting us over and giving us a chance to win at the end. There are 100 things I could say about everyone else that helped us win. It wasn’t just my shot at the end. But I’m really proud of everyone on the team.”

On the post-game scene in the locker room
“It was amazing. I came in and everyone was splashing water on me. I was just so happy about it. Getting this win tonight really means a lot to us. We were struggling, so this really helps us out.”

UCLA junior guard Chris Smith
On recording a steal to close out the game
“It felt amazing. It was only 1.1 seconds left, so I figured I just gotta get the ball in. Worse case, we get fouled and hit some free throws to win the game. I feel that loose ball sealed the game.”

On bouncing back from the Fullerton game
“I was telling the guys, since this is my third year, that conference is basically a new season. No matter what happens in non-conference, league is totally different. It’s guys that we’re going to see the rest of the season, and they’re games we can win. It’s the most competitive part of the season other than postseason, obviously.”

On celebrating with Jake Kyman in the locker room
“It was great. It was the best feeling I’ve had since I got here other than the Oregon comeback. I only tell him two words all the time: keep shooting. I tell him every time he’s open, I’m gonna kick it to him so just be ready to shoot because that’s his job. We’ve been trying to find out what everyone’s role on the team is, and he’s solidified that. That guy’s got a stroke. Tell people to keep doing what they do best and, for Jake, that’s to keep shooting.

Kyman hits 7 3s off the bench, UCLA stuns Washington 66-64

from the Associated Press via 
SEATTLE -- Jake Kyman had played 17 total minutes in the previous four games. He'd scored 18 points and made four total 3-pointers in the nine games he'd appeared in for UCLA.
He was far down on the list of players expected to be the spark for the struggling Bruins.
"Nights come and go. When it's my time to step up I'm going to take that. When it's other guys time to play and show what they can do it's their time," Kyman said. "Certain games have different feels to them so whatever coach asks of me, whatever the team needs from me that's what I'm going to do."
Kyman hit seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 21 points off the bench, the last coming with eight seconds left to give UCLA a 66-64 win over Washington on Thursday night in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.
Kyman was left alone on the wing and nailed his final 3 of the game moments after Nahziah Carter had knocked down a 3-pointer to give Washington the lead. Kyman had been a non-factor for the Bruins, only to suddenly become the reason UCLA snapped its three-game losing streak.
All 12 of his shot attempts were 3-pointers and he made just enough.
"I told him after after the North Carolina game, ‘You've got to make me play you.' ... I think part of Jake's plan was he might get in as a freshman he might not, defer to other people. I told him we don't have that luxury. We need somebody to shoot the ball in the basket," UCLA coach Mick Cronin said.
Chris Smith added 17 points as UCLA (8-6) built a 10-point halftime lead, gave it away early in the second half but rallied back to stun the Huskies.
Isaiah Stewart continued his dominant freshman season for Washington, scoring a game-high 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Carter added 16 points, but the Huskies (10-4) dropped their second straight game. Quade Green added 11 points for the Huskies, but second-leading scorer Jaden McDaniels fouled out early in the second half after picking up four first-half fouls including a technical while on the bench. McDaniels had just three points in 14 minutes.
"I just kind of went with it. I told him I still want you to be aggressive, but you have to be disciplined and smart," Washington coach Mike Hopkins said of McDaniels. "Unfortunately it was a transition play and a couple of those fouls early were difficult for him. We need him more than 13 minutes."
Washington had a chance after Kyman's final 3-pointer but a handoff between Stewart and Carter was deflected. The possession arrow went to the Bruins and they were able to run out the final couple of seconds.
Down 34-24 at halftime, Washington started the second half on a 17-4 run carried mostly by Green and Stewart. Green's layup pulled Washington within 38-37 and Jamal Bey immediately stole the inbound pass and scored to give the Huskies a 39-38 lead, their first since 10-9.
The teams had 15 lead changes -- 10 in the second half -- and most of Washington's points in the closing minutes came from Stewart at the free-throw line.
Washington went back in front 56-54 on Carter's lob dunk while being fouled and the ensuing free throw, but a jumper from Tyger Campbell and Kyman's sixth 3-pointer put the Bruins ahead 59-56 with 2:09 left. Stewart made three of four free throws and Washington was even at 59-all with 90 seconds left.
Smith hit a floater for UCLA, but two more free throws by Stewart tied the game at 61. Jamie Jaquez Jr. made two free throws with 32.1 seconds left to give UCLA a 63-61 lead. Carter hit Washington's only 3-pointer of the second half, but Kyman had one more answer for the Bruins.
"I was really proud of them today," Cronin said. "No matter what the result would have been at the end I was really proud of them."
UCLA: It's a major victory for Cronin in his first season. The Bruins had dropped three straight to Notre Dame, North Carolina and embarrassingly at home to Cal State Fullerton. Winning on the road against the defending Pac-12 regular season champs is a major boost. Cronin said after the loss to Fullerton, the Bruins practiced in blank uniforms without the UCLA name last week, both players and coaches.
Washington: Despite Stewart on the inside, the Huskies were dominated on the boards. Washington was outrebounded 38-27 and gave up 22 offensive rebounds leading to 15 second-chance points.
McDaniels picked up his third technical foul of the season in 14 games.
"He's a good kid. He likes to have fun. He needs to be more serious in certain situations," Hopkins said.
UCLA: The Bruins are at Washington State on Saturday.
Washington: The Huskies host USC on Sunday night.