Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel, the former managing editor of PrepStar magazine, is nationally recognized as one of the leading authorities on college football recruiting. The veteran analyst and reporter was key in first making Blue Chip Illustrated and then PrepStar Magazine a recruiting publication standard.

Kimbrel has written for CBS Sportsline, ESPN.com, CNN-SI, The Sporting News, Athlon's, Lindy's, Football News, and numerous other publications. He has also consulted on All-America teams for Parade Magazine and Street and Smith's. Most recently, Rick was the West Coast Recruiting Editor for Rivals.com, national recruiting consultant for Rivals.com and publisher of BruinBlitz.com.

Rick has been a featured guest on many television shows around the nation including Prime Ticket, Fox Sports, Fox Sports West, CNN, CNN-SI and numerous local and regional stations. Kimbrel is also a highly sought after guest on radio broadcasts from coast-to-coast.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:38

No. 11 Bruins Continue Midweek Win Streak

No. 11 Bruins Continue Midweek Win Streak with 5-4 Win over Cal State Northridge 
UCLA takes advantage of six Northridge errors to pick up 14th straight midweek win.

Northridge, Calif. - The 11th-ranked UCLA baseball team continued its midweek dominance, getting runs in the seventh and eighth innings to earn a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Cal State Northridge. The win was UCLA's 14th consecutive victory in midweek games.

Freshman right-hander Cody Poteet lasted five innings in his third collegiate start, allowing four earned runs on two hits while walking two and striking out four. Northridge starter John Salas went just four innings, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out four hitters. Junior Zack Weiss earned his first win of the year after pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

Like so many times this year, UCLA got on the board first, putting across two runs in the top of the third inning. After freshman Trent Chatterton doubled down the right field line, Kevin Kramer smashed a triple to right center, scoring Chatterton and giving UCLA the early 1-0 lead. Pat Valaika walked in the next at-bat, and then helped Kramer score by getting into a pickle between first and second. Kramer broke for home and was able to score with help from an error by Northridge catcher Alexis Mercado, increasing the Bruins' lead to 2-0.

In the bottom half of the inning, Northridge went for four runs, three of which came on a three-run home run from Miles Williams off of Poteet, bringing the score to 4-2 in Northridge's favor. UCLA got one back in the top of the fifth though, as they started the inning with a Ty Moore double and a bunt single by Chatterton. Two batters later, Kramer brought home Moore with an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 4-3.

UCLA would tie the game in the top of the seventh, when Brian Carroll reached on an error and then stole second. Valaika then came to the plate and laid down a beautiful bunt down the third base line. Valaika beat the throw, but Northridge third baseman Michael Livingston threw the ball down the right field line, allowing Carroll to score the tying run. In the bottom half of the seventh, the Matadors had runners on first and third with two outs and Kyle Attl at the plate. He hit a grounder to the left side, but Kramer made a great diving stop and throw to get Williams and preserve the tie.

The Bruins then took back the lead in the top of the eighth, when Eric Filia scored from second on another throwing error by the Matadors, giving UCLA a one run lead. Sophomore David Berg then came on and pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings, securing his fourth save of the year and the Bruins' 12th win of the season.

Filia and Chatterton each went 2-4 on the day, scoring one run apiece. Kramer knocked in two runs to lead the Bruins in that department while Valaika went 2-2 in stolen base attempts.

UCLA (12-3) returns home this weekend to open Pac-12 play against the Washington Huskies in a three-game series from Friday, March 15-Sunday March 17. Game times are 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Game Notes: Cal State Northridge's six errors were the most an opponent has made against UCLA since March 23, 2009 when USC committed six errors vs. the Bruins...UCLA has now won the last four meetings against the Matadors...Kevin Kramer extended his streak of reaching base safely to 15 straight games...the Bruins moved to 11-1 on the year when they score first...Shane Zeile's hit by pitch in the sixth inning makes it 16 consecutive games that a UCLA batter has been hit by a pitch...Brian Carroll is now 8-8 in his last eight stolen base attempts...David Berg has appeared in 11 of UCLA's 15 games, striking out over a third of the batters he's faced (24 out of 63)...UCLA's pitchers allowed only hit to the Matadors past the third inning. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 02:16

Word From Westwood

Survive and advance – it may as well be the mantra of any college basketball program in the nation during the month of March, and it’s getting to be that time of the year for our two basketball teams.

After a very impressive performance in the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle last weekend that featured a pair of games against highly-ranked opponents (see more below), the women’s team has this entire week off from game action, and will find out its NCAA Tournament fate next Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the men’s team will play in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas later this week, looking to add to its 2013 Pac-12 regular season title. Following the stay in Vegas, the Bruins will gather as a team on Sunday afternoon to learn their NCAA Tournament placement.

The Madness of March has officially returned to Westwood …

Cori Close

 

Women’s Basketball Caps Conference Season with Great Run in Seattle 
Thanks to incredible, selfless team play, the 11th-ranked women’s basketball team advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game over the weekend.

 

The Bruins defeated Utah in the quarterfinals , upset #5-ranked Cal in the semisand fell just two points short in the championship game against #4-ranked Stanford.

 

The performances of both the women and men in Seattle were not the only stellar efforts over the weekend. Kudos go out to the spirit squad and band, who not only represented UCLA with great enthusiasm in the arena, but also on the team flight home, as they led 8-claps in honor of the excellent Pac-12 tournament performance of our UCLA women.

 

The Bruins will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 25-7 record.

 

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Tickets Available March 19
NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament tickets will go on sale beginning at 10 am on Tuesday, March 19. Seat locations will be allocated based on Wooden Athletic Fund priority level and consecutive years of season ticket purchases and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Be sure to check uclabruins.com for details in the coming days.

 

Men’s Basketball Begins Pac-12 Tournament Play on Thursday
Following a thrilling 61-54 victory at Washington Saturday afternoon which gave the men’s basketball team a 23-8 overall record and its first Pac-12 regular season title since 2008, the top-seeded Bruins open Pac-12 Tournament play on Thursday at noon.

 

The MGM Grand Arena will host the Bruins against the winner of Wednesday night’s Stanford-Arizona State game. The game will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks. There are no tickets left in the UCLA section, but limited single-session tickets to the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament can be purchased here.

 

While in Las Vegas for the tournament, all UCLA alumni, friends and fans are invited to join the UCLA Spirit Squad, UCLA Athletics staff and fellow Bruins at Centrifuge at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino two hours prior to each UCLA game of the tourney.

 

Early Round NCAA Men’s Basketball Ticket Applications Due by Sunday
As many of you are already aware, requests are currently being accepted for tickets in UCLA’s seating allocation(s) for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Priority will be given to Wooden Athletic Fund members and men’s basketball season ticket holders. Please remember that the deadline to request tickets for the 2nd and 3rd Rounds is this Sunday, March 17 at 7pm (PT).

For more information or to submit a request, please click here.

wfwsandvb0312

 

Sand Volleyballers Hit the Courts in First Match 
UCLA’s 25th sport officially entered competition on Monday. The women’s sand volleyball team, coached by UCLA alum, Olympian and AVP Tour veteran Stein Metzger, faced Florida State in its first-ever match at the Long Beach State sand volleyball courts.

Though the Bruins did not come up victorious in the end (click here for highlights and players’ reactions), they will take to the sand again this weekend for a two-day event at USC.

 

Early Season Game against USC Draws Large Crowd to Jackie Robinson Stadium 

Last Sunday’s UCLA home baseball game against USC, originally scheduled to be played at Dodger Stadium as part of the Dodgertown Classic but moved to Jackie Robinson Stadium due to construction, drew a sellout crowd of 2,157 fans. Those in attendance were rewarded, as the #12-ranked Bruins won their fifth straight over their crosstown rivals, defeating USC, 6-1. Grant Watson picked up the win after throwing seven innings and allowing just one earned run.

 

The game ended a weekend of three non-conference matchups in which the Bruins defeated USC and #17 Notre Dame, but dropped a game to #23 Oklahoma. The Bruins return to the field today as they face Cal State Northridge on the road before returning home this weekend to open Pac-12 play against Washington.

 

Baseball Alum Plays in World Baseball Classic 
Jack Santora, who played infield for the UCLA baseball team from 1994-98, is currently playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic. The Italians were grouped with Canada, Mexico and the United States in the first round and finished in second place, earning a berth in round two, which began today.

 

Swimmers Qualify for NCAAs, Divers Compete for Spots This Week 
A great season of accomplishments for the UCLA women’s swimming program will culminate in postseason action for seven Bruins - seniors Stephanie Christofferson and Andrea Reigel, juniors Lauren Baker, Kathryn Murphy, Ting Quah and Anna Senko and sophomore Noelle Tarazona - who have qualified for the NCAA Swimming Championships.

 

The Bruins will also compete in the 200 and 800 Freestyle Relays, as well as the 400 Medley Relay. Diving spots will be announced next Sunday, March 17 following the NCAA Zone Championships. UCLA will be competing in the Zone E Diving Meet in Colorado Springs.

F.U.S.C.

 

UCLA Athletics Welcomes Chinese Delegation to Campus 
A delegation of athletic administrators representing the Federation of University Sports of China (F.U.S.C.), the Chinese cultural organization that hosted the UCLA men’s basketball team on its preseason trip to China last summer, was on campus earlier today to meet with athletic department officials and learn about the program. Today’s meetings continued the cultural exchange between UCLA and F.U.S.C. which is part of a greater initiative by the Pac-12 to build a conference presence in China.

 

Students-Athletes Collect Hundreds of Pairs of Shoes for

Charity 
The Bruin Athletic Council recently set up collection points and gathered over 300 pairs of gently-used shoes for Soles4Souls, thanks to donations from student-athletes, coaches and athletic department staff. The shoes will be donated to the UCLA Chapter for Soles4Souls, which was founded by UCLA baseball student-athlete Brenton Allen.

 

Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes and distributes them to people in need. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has delivered over 19 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the US.

 

Olympic Sports Report

  • Track and field had a big weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as three of five Bruin representatives took home Top 5 finishes, giving the Bruin women a 15th place overall. Kylie Price placed fourth in the women's long jump, and pole vaulter Allison Koressel and 60m hurdler Brea Buchanan finished fifth in their respective events. On the men’s side, Mike Woepse finished seventh in the pole vault (18-0.5) and Marcus Nilsson placed 14th in the heptathlon. The Bruins open the outdoor season this weekend in San Diego at the Aztec Invitational.
  • The #2-ranked men's tennis team posted a 2-0 record last week, cruising to a pair of 6-1 victories over Hawai'i and Baylor to improve to 13-1 on the season. The Bruins host Tulsa on Thursday at 4 pm.
  • The #3-ranked women's tennis team suffered just its second loss of the season last week, as USC upset the Bruins at the LATC. UCLA looks to rebound this week, hosting both Utah and Colorado to open up Pac-12 play.
  • The #3-ranked men's golf team recorded a pair of Top 10 results last week in Nevada and Oregon. At the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, the Bruins placed fourth and junior Anton Arboleda tied for seventh individually. At the Bandon Dunes Championship, UCLA tied for fifth place, and sophomore Matt Pinizzotto tied for sixth at 215 (-1).
  • The #4-ranked women’s water polo team will enjoy a rare week off after defeating both Cal and San Diego State last week at Spieker Aquatics Center.
  • The #5-ranked men's volleyball team won a pair of MPSF Conference matches last week, sweeping visiting Pacific and Stanford. The Bruins, 13-9 overall and 9-7 in league play, travel to Long Beach State on Wed., Mar. 13 and Cal State Northridge on Fri., Mar. 15.
  • The #8-ranked gymnastics team team recorded its third-highest score of the season, 197.075, and placed second in a quad meet behind #3-ranked Michigan (197.55). The Bruins hit 24-for-24 routines and had three gymnasts post scores of 9.95. UCLA closes its regular season on Sunday at 2 pm in Pauley Pavilion vs. Arkansas.
  • The #9-ranked softball team went 4-1 at last weekend’s Long Beach State Invitational. The highlight of the weekend came in the final game against Charleston Southern when Jessica Hall tossed her first career no-hitter and the 103rd in UCLA history. The Bruins host North Dakota State on Tuesday before taking time off for winter quarter finals prior to their first Pac-12 home series against Arizona State (March 22-24).
  • UCLA's women’s rowing program opened its spring season Saturday morning by sweeping three races against Loyola Marymount in Marina del Rey. The Bruins are back in action this Saturday at home against Gonzaga.

Guerrero-12Header

Last weekend, I was thankful to be a part of three very good days for Bruin basketball in Seattle.

It all began on Friday afternoon when the UCLA women’s team picked up a nice victory against Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals at Key Arena. It was a wonderful effort by Coach Cori Close’s team and certainly a harbinger of things to come for the weekend.

 

By Saturday morning, our Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator Petrina Long and I had moved to Alaska Airlines Arena (one of the conference’s toughest places for visiting teams) for some more Bruin hoops. After a tough defeat in Pullman three days prior, the UCLA men’s basketball squad defeated Washington to clinch the Pac-12 regular season title and the #1 seed in the conference tournament. Joining us in our 24 conference-allotted seats behind the bench was Bruin great Gail Goodrich.

 

Later that afternoon, I returned to the women’s tournament and saw the same passion and intensity from the day before as the Bruins encountered a #5-ranked Cal team (28-2 overall), whose only losses were to Stanford and Duke. The team jumped on their opponent early and led throughout, not letting the Golden Bears near the lead until the game had been decided.

 

On Sunday, the Bruins cemented the fact to all who were there, and those who witnessed on TV, that they belong in the upper echelon of the national rankings. A stifling defensive effort held one of the top players in the country to three points and kept an excellent, #4-ranked Stanford squad under wraps. The game came down to the wire, and the Bruins had a chance to equalize in the closing seconds.

 

Three very important games for the women, especially at this point in the season, yielded three impressive results – especially Saturday and Sunday where we nearly took down two Top 5 teams in consecutive days.

This team has certainly faced their share of challenges over the last two years, including adjusting to a coaching change a year ago and then battling through numerous injuries each of the last two campaigns, but their resolve has set them apart. They have a definite potential for greatness in the NCAA Tournament, as do the men, and I am proud of the performance of both of these teams over the regular season and look forward to the coming weeks.

 

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 02:11

Howland Presser Quick Hits

ZUM-300x220UCLA head coach Ben Howland opened up his press conference and he wasn’t shy about expressing his dismay that Jordan Adams did not make the first-team All-Pac 12 team, let alone the All-Pac 12 freshman team

“I was really disappointed, miffed, stunned that Jordan Adams wasn’t on the All-Freshman team,” Howland said. “I couldn’t believe it. I felt hurt, sad, stunned. If ever there was a kid that was the eighth leading scorer in the conference on the year. He leads the conference in steals, in conference games, third overall.

“Jordan is our best wing defender and he made so many big shots during the year. He’s part of the Pac 12 Championship team. 

“I put him up for all-league,” Howland said. “I really appreciate Sean Miller’s quotes today, that he was equally stunned that Jordan make the all-freshman team. He (Miller) voted for him for all-league, so I appreciate that.

“I take the voting for these kids very seriously and wait until the conference is completely over. Some people are returning their ballot before the conference is completed, which, I don’t relate to.

“That being said, I felt that was an injustice,” Howland said. “I was very happy for both Larry (Drew II) and Shabazz (Muhammad) and for Kyle (Anderson), to all be named to Pac 12 all-conference. 

“I felt very good about Shabazz being named, for both, Player of the Year for freshman. All that is good, but it is all about how your team does.

“I reminded our team that Russell Westbrook was voted by the coaches third-team all-league in March of the same year that he was the fourth pick in the draft. You take it with a grain of salt.”

Regarding the tournament, Howland is cautioning his team to take it one game at a time and he hopes, he’s going to be able to do that three times, but for the Bruins to do that three times, they have to get past their first opponent.

Bruins will start practice for the tournament Wednesday at 1:15 PM PST and he hopes the Stanford-ASU game is over by 2:30 so they can work on the team they are playing.

Howland told the media that he was totally responsible for the debacle in Pullman and part of that was his team hasn’t had any contact in practice since Travis Wear injured himself. He couldn’t risk another injury and he’s right. The Bruins have played this season with only eight scholarship players.

The Bruins were already down to seven players, another injury and they are down to six.

“You play how you practice,” Howland said. “We had our best practice of 2013 Friday in Seattle and that directly correlated to how we performed and played the next day with the toughness that is necessary to win against a good team on their home floor.

“That being said, there’s no more days off at practice. If someone gets hurt then someone else is just going to have to play.”

At this point a cell phone rang and more than anything this showed Howland’s softening demeanor. Ringing cell phones in the past would irritate the Bruin coach, but he showed humor and patience.

Right after the cell phone controversy, Howland was fronted by the question where does he feel the Bruins will be seeded if they do well in the Pac 12 tourney, he didn’t bite, predictably, like most veteran coaches, he’s concentrating on the next game only.

Howland did concede if his team wins the conference tournament, there would be a good chance that his team would be seeded in the west. He would prefer to be seeded closer to home than a higher seed in another region, 

The UCLA coach believes that there will be five teams from the Pac 12 who will be invited to the NCAA tournament.

 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 20:44

Pritchett Awarded

Alyssa Pritchett Awarded Pac-12 Special Performance of the Week

Bruin senior earns first-ever conference weekly award.           

 

UCLA senior Alyssa Pritchett (Orange, Calif.) earned her first-ever Pac-12 weekly award, receiving Pac-12 Special Performance of the Week honors.

Pritchett scored a career-high 9.95 on floor exercise to tie for first place with Michigan's Joanna Sampson, who ranks No. 1 in the nation on the event. This was Pritchett's first floor win of the season and her first-ever 9.95 score. She averages a team-best 9.889 on floor and has not scored lower than 9.85 all season. She currently ranks No. 16 in the nation.

 

This is UCLA's 23rd all-time special performance of the week award.

 

Oregon State's Makayla Stambaugh took Gymnast of the Week honors for the fourth-straight week, and Breanna Hughes from Utah was named the Freshman/Newcomer of the Week.

 

UCLA wraps up the regular season on Sunday, Mar. 17 at home against Arkansas at 2 pm.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 15:02

Palmdale Back Has Love For UCLA

Richard Demario 300The Bruins are going to want to sign at least two running backs for the class of 2014 and it is considered a position of high priority this recruiting cycle. UCLA has already offered

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UCLA BASKETBALL LOOKS AHEAD TO PAC-12 TOURNAMENT IN LAS VEGAS

Bruins enter tournament as No. 1 seed, to play in quarterfinals on Thursday

 

LOS ANGELES – No. 21 UCLA enters the Pac-12 Tournament as the conference’s No. 1 seed, having won its fourth Pac-12 regular-season title in the last eight years. The Bruins will play either No. 8-seed Stanford or No. 9-seed Arizona State in a quarterfinal contest on Thursday at 12 p.m. (PT). UCLA’s quarterfinal game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.

 

QUICK FACTS

Overall Record: 23-8 (.742)

Pac-12 Record: 13-5 (.722)

Pac-12 Finish: 1st

Top-25 Ranking (AP/Coaches): No. 21/No. 25

Head Coach: Ben Howland

Record at UCLA: 231-105 (10 seasons)

Career Record: 399-204 (19 seasons)

Top Scorer: Shabazz Muhammad (18.3 ppg)

Top Rebounder: Kyle Anderson (8.9 rpg)

Assists Leader: Larry Drew II (7.7 apg)

 

KEY NOTES ABOUT UCLA

- UCLA won its 31st conference championship with a 61-54 victory at Washington on March 9 ... the Bruins entered the day tied for first place with Oregon, which dropped a 72-62 decision at Utah shortly after UCLA’s game ended.

- The Bruins have won four Pac-12 regular-season titles in the last eight seasons, all under the guidance of 10th year head coach Ben Howland ... UCLA also won the Pac-10 regular-season crown in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

- UCLA’s program has won at least 20 games in one season 47 times, including 39 times in the last 47 years (1967-2013) ... under 10th-year head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has won 20 or more games in six seasons.

- In 10 seasons as UCLA’s head coach, Ben Howland has led the Bruins to more wins (231), a higher winning percentage (.688), more conference wins (121) and the highest conference win percentage (.672) than any other Pac-12 program during that tenure (2003-04 through 2012-13).

- Senior guard Larry Drew II has totaled a school single-season record 239 assists, having started all 31 games ... Drew II has ranked in the top five in the nation all season in assists per game (7.7) and assist turnover ratio (3.3).

- UCLA’s three freshman starters (Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad) have accounted for 55.4 percent of UCLA’s total points, 47.3 percent of the total rebounds and 43.1 percent of the total minutes.

 

POTENTIAL MATCHUPS

UCLA will face either No. 8-seed Stanford or No. 9-seed Arizona State in a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday at 12 p.m. The Bruins won both regular-season meetings against Stanford, most recently defeating the Cardinal on the road by an 88-80 margin (Feb. 16, 2013). UCLA and Arizona State split a pair of regular-season games, with the Bruins posting a 79-74 overtime victory at home over the Sun Devils in both schools’ most recent contest (Feb. 27, 2013). UCLA has not advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals since 2010.

 

VS. STANFORD

UCLA defeated Stanford, 68-60, in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 5, before closing its trip to the Bay Area with an 88-80 win at Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 16. Shabazz Muhammad averaged 24.0 points in the two wins over Stanford, logging a double-double (23 pts, 10 rbs) in the Jan. 5 contest at UCLA.

 

VS. ARIZONA STATE

The Bruins suffered their largest margin of defeat at Arizona State (78-60) on Saturday, Jan. 26, two days after securing an 83-74 win at then-No. 6 Arizona. UCLA evened the season series against ASU with a 79-74 overtime win over the Sun Devils in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

 

TOP SCORER

Shabazz Muhammad ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.3 ppg), having logged the highest scoring average at UCLA since 2004-05 (Dijon Thompson, 18.4 ppg). Muhammad’s 18.3 ppg ranks eighth all-time on the Pac-12’s freshman scoring list. The resident of Las Vegas, Nev., has been named as one of eight finalists for the Integris Walter Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award (USBWA). Muhammad has scored in double figures in 27 of 28 games played.

 

TALENTED FRESHMEN

UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad is a candidate for the USBWA’s Freshman of the Year Award with Anthony Bennett (UNLV), Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Gary Harris (Michigan State), Ben McLemore (Kansas), Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) and Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke).

 

ALL-PAC-12 SELECTIONS

Larry Drew II and Shabazz Muhammad earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors, and Kyle Anderson secured second-team All-Pac-12 acclaim. Muhammad was named Co-Freshman of the Year along with Arizona State’s Jahii Carson. Muhammad, who ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.3 ppg), has become the eighth player at UCLA to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Year accolades. Muhammad and Anderson were named to the All-Pac-12 Freshmen Team, while Jordan Adams was chosen as an honorable mention All-Freshmen Team selection.

 

ELITE COMPANY

Shabazz Muhammad and Arizona State’s Jahii Carson were named Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year. UCLA’s past recipients include Pooh Richardson (1986), Don MacLean (1989), Baron Davis (1998), Jason Kapono (2000), Jordan Farmar (2005), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (2006) and Kevin Love (2008).

 

GIVING AN ASSIST

Larry Drew II became UCLA’s single-season assists leader during the Bruins’ 61-54 victory at Washington on March 9 in the team’s regular-season finale. Drew II now has 239 assists during his senior campaign, three ahead of Pooh Richardson’s total of 236, a record previously established in 1989. He has logged at least eight assists in 18 of 31 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 21 of 31 games.

 

PAC-12 RECORD BOOK

Larry Drew II has moved into sixth place on the Pac-12’s single-season assist list after having dished six assists during UCLA’s 61-54 win at Washington last Saturday afternoon. Drew II moved past former UCLA standout Pooh Richardson on the Pac-12 list (Richardson held UCLA’s previous record for most single-season assists).

 

VERSATILE FRESHMAN

Freshman Kyle Anderson has logged eight of UCLA’s 13 double-doubles. The 6-foot-9 product of Fairview, N.J., is the Pac-12’s only player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (6th, 8.9 rpg) and assists (6th, 3.6). Anderson has averaged 9.9 points per game and has compiled a 17 assist turnover ratio, the fifth-best mark among Pac-12 players. Anderson enters the week ranking fifth in the conference in steals per game (1.8 spg). Anderson’s total of 277 rebounds is the fifth-highest single-season total in 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland. His 8.9 rpg average is the third-highest mark in the Howland Era.

 

CONFERENCE MATH

UCLA has won four conference regular-season crowns under head coach Ben Howland (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013) and has won the Pac-12 Tournament twice (2006, 2008) during the Howland Era. With UCLA’s 74-69 win over Arizona on March 2, the Bruins clinched a first-round by in the Pac-12 Tournament (top four teams). The Bruins locked up the tournament’s No. 1 seed by winning the conference title in outright fashion last weekend.

 

YOUNG SUCCESS

UCLA’s trio of freshman starters – Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad – have accounted for 55.0 percent of the Bruins’ total points (1288 of 2326) and for 47.3 percent of the team’s total rebounds (537 of 1136). These freshmen account for three of UCLA’s top four scorers. Kyle Anderson’s team-leading 277 rebounds are the most by any UCLA freshman since Kevin Love finished with 415 boards in 2007-08.

 

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Freshman Kyle Anderson finished three assists shy of a triple-double against Fresno State (Dec. 22), posting season-highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds that night. UCLA’s only previous triple-doubles took place in Dec. 1995. Toby Bailey finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 18, 1995. Jelani McCoy tallied 15 points, 11 blocks and 10 rebounds against Maryland on Dec. 9, 1995.

 

ADAMS’ ACCOLADES

Freshman Jordan Adams ranks second on the team with 15.2 ppg, the eighth-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 (third-best mark among Pac-12 freshmen). The native of Atlanta has scored in double figures in 23 games and has recorded at least 20 points in 10 contests. Adams became the first freshman at UCLA to have scored 20+ points in each of his first four games (freshmen could not play varsity until 1972-73). He became UCLA’s first player in any class to have opened a season with four straight games of 20+ points since 1990-91 (Don MacLean, six straight).

 

CLOSE CALLS

The Bruins have gone 9-2 in games decided by five points or fewer this season. In 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has logged a 57-33 record in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA’s two greatest comeback wins this season took place against Texas (Dec. 8) and Missouri (Dec. 28). The Bruins trailed Texas (in Houston) by eight points (59-51) with 3:43 to play in regulation and took a 62-61 lead with 47 seconds left. UCLA was losing to Missouri by nine points (86-77) with 5:34 remaining in the second half before winning the game in overtime.

 

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS

UCLA has gone 3-2 against teams ranked in the top-25 this season (team must be ranked during week of game) and has posted a 2-0 mark against top-10 ranked opponents. This marks the fourth season in Ben Howland’s 10-year tenure as UCLA’s head coach that the Bruins have earned two wins against top-10 teams – UCLA downed No. 7 Missouri (97-94, overtime) on Dec. 28 and knocked off No. 6 Arizona (84-73) on Jan. 24.

 

ON THE ROAD

UCLA has gone 8-5 in games played away from Pauley Pavilion, including a 6-3 mark in Pac-12 road games. Jordan Adams leads UCLA with 17.0 ppg and scored in double figures in each of the Bruins’ nine Pac-12 road games. Shabazz Muhammad has scored 16.4 ppg and added 3.9 rpg on the road. Larry Drew II has recorded a team-leading 46 assists on the road (5.92 apg) while compiling a 2.2 assist turnover ratio in 13 road/neutral site games.

 

OFFENSE INTENDED

UCLA leads the Pac-12 in scoring average, having registered 75.0 points per game. The Bruins rank third among Pac-12 teams in conference contests with 70.8 points per game. UCLA has compiled the third-best scoring margin in the Pac-12 (all games), outscoring the opposition by 6.4 points per game. The Bruins are first in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (45.8 pct) and are first in assists per game (17.0 apg).

 

INJURY REPORT

Junior forward Travis Wear missed two games (Feb. 23, Feb. 27) with a sprained right foot and returned against Arizona (March 2). He reinjured the foot with 15:11 to play in the second half at Washington State (March 6), missed the remainder of that game and returned to the starting lineup at Washington (March 9). Sophomore guard Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL (sustained the injury on Oct. 26, 2012).