UCLA and Gonzaga Tip at approx. 6:55 p.m. Thursday Night
March 19, 2006
NO. 7 (AP)/NO. 8 (ESPN/USA TODAY) UCLA (29-6/14-4, PAC-10 REGULAR SEASO/TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS)THIS WEEK IS PLAYING IN THE NCAA 'SWEET 16' IN THE OAKLAND REGIONAL; NO. 2 SEED UCLA WILLFACE NO.5/NO. 5 AND NO. 3 SEED GONZAGA ON THURSDAY IN OAKLAND; LAST WEEK THE BRUINSDEFEATED NO. 15 SEED BELMONT (78-44) AND NO. 10 SEED ALABAMA (62-59) IN SAN DIEGO TO ADVANCETO THE 'SWEET 16' FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2002 AND THE SEVENTH TIME IN 12 YEARSUCLA'S NEXT GAME/2006 NCAA TOURNAMENT
THURSDAY, MARCH 23 - No. 7 (AP)/NO. 8(ESPN/USA Today) UCLA (29-6, 14-4, Pac-10 RegularSeason/Tournament Champions, No. 2 Seed in OaklandRegional) vs. No. 5/No. 5Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-3, 14-0,West Coast Conference Regular Season/TournamentChampions, No. 3 seed in Oakland) in Oakland, CA(SMG Oakland Arena) (Tipoff - approx. 6:55 p.m./TVCBS/Radio- 570 AM, with Chris Roberts and DonMacLean).
No. 2 SEED UCLA BRUINS TENTATIVE STARTINGLINEUP
(Overall 29-6/Pac-10 14-4, Pac-10 champ)
|23||Luc Richard Mbah a Moute||F||6-7||Fr.||9.0||8.1|
Series History vs. Gonzaga - 0-1, on Dec. 11, 1999 inPauley Pavilion, No. 24 Gonzaga defeated No. 11 UCLA59-43.
UCLA IN THE NCAA
This is UCLA's second appearance in the NCAATournament under Ben Howland.
The No. 2 seed is UCLA's highest since 1997, when theBruins were No. 2 in the Midwest. That year, UCLAadvanced to the Elite Eight, defeating CharlestonSouthern and Xavier in Auburn Hills and Iowa Statein San Antonio before losing to Minnesota.
Overall, this is UCLA's 40th appearance in the NCAATournament. UCLA holds the record for mostchampionships won (11 in 1964-65-67-68-69-70-71-72-73-75-95) and longest winning streak - 38 gamesbetween 1964 and 1974.
In addition, in NCAA Tournament play, UCLA rankedthird in games won (87, Kentucky is No. 1, 99 andNorth Carolina is No. 2, 89) and second intournament winning percentage (.731, Duke is No. 1,.761 entering the 2006 Tournament).
UCLA HEAD COACH Ben Howland - In his thirdseason at UCLA and 12th year as a collegiate head coach(in his 25th season of college basketball, as an assistant andhead coach).
In the last two years, UCLA is 47-17 (.734) underHowland's direction.
2005-06 - UCLA (29-6, 35 games/.829)
2004-05 - UCLA (18-11, 29 games/.621)
2003-04 - UCLA (11-17, 28 games/.393)
UCLA Totals - 58-34, 92 games/.630
2000-03 - Pittsburgh (89-40, 129 games/69.0)
1995-99 - N. Arizona (79-59, 138 games/57.2)
Overall Totals - (226-133, 359 games/.630)
A prime candidate for National Coach of the Yearhonors, on March 6 was named the Pac-10 andUSBWA Dist. IX Coach of the Year and on March 1,he was named a finalist for the Jim Phelan NationalCoach of the Year award. Has also been honored byCollegeInsider.com, CBS SportsLine.com and SI. comas the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
It's Howland's third conference Coach of the Yearhonor overall (2002-Big East Coach of the Year/atPittsburgh and 1997- Big Sky Coach of the Year/atNorthern Arizona). It's only the fifth time a UCLAcoach has won Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors sincethe award was first handed out in 1976 (Steve Lavin(2001), Jim Harrick (1995), Walt Hazzard (1987) andGary Cunningham (1978).
He has led a team to the 'Sweet 16' for the thirdtime in five years - Pittsburgh in 2002 and 2003 andUCLA in 2006. Howland's overall NCAA record is 6-4(2-1 UCLA, 4-2 at Pittsburgh and 0-1 at NAU).
Howland recorded his 50th Bruin win against Oregon Stateand is now 58-34 (.630), including 47-17 (.734) in thelast two years as the Bruins' head coach. The USC gameon Feb. 19 was his 350th game as a collegiate headcoach.
He has led UCLA this season to three Pac-10 road sweeps(at the Oregon schools, first time since 2000-01, at theArizona schools, first time since 1996-97, at the BayArea schools, first time since 2000) - not since 1994-95have the Bruins had three Pac-10 road sweeps (at theArizona, Washington and Bay Area schools/1995 was thelast year UCLA won the NCAA Championship). Thisseason the Bruins have swept (home/away) the Oregonschools (first time since 2001) and the Arizona schools(first time since 1997).
He recorded his 200th career victory on Nov. 19, whenUCLA defeated Delaware State 56-37 in Pauley Pavilion.In Howland's second year (2004-05) at UCLA, he joinedan elite list of college coaches (28) who have led threedifferent teams to the NCAA Tournament (Howland'soverall NCAA record is 4-4) - 2005 UCLA, 2003Pittsburgh ('Sweet 16), 2002 Pittsburgh ('Sweet 16')and 1998 Northern Arizona. In 2005, Howland led theBruins back to the NCAA Tournament for the first timesince 2002; he directed the Bruins to a win overnationally-ranked Washington; led UCLA to a thirdplacetie in the Pac-10 and to a Pac-10 Tournamentappearance. In Howland's first year (2003-04) at UCLA,highlights included a 9-3 start (5-0 in the Pac-10), winsover NCAA Tournament teams Michigan State,Washington (twice) and Vermont and an appearance inthe Pac-10 Tournament.
In his last two seasons (2002-03) at Pittsburgh - in 2003, heled the Panthers to a 28-5 overall record, No. 4 nationalranking, NCAA 'Sweet 16' and the Big East TournamentChampionship and in 2002, Pittsburgh was 29-6 overall(school record for wins), advanced to the NCAA 'Sweet16' and the Big East Tournament title game andHowland was the consensus National Coach of the Year.
HONORS - Here's a list of the Bruin team and individualplayer honors. On March 6, Jordan Farmar and ArronAfflalo were named first-team All-Pac-10 (UCLA leads theconference with 104 first-team selections).
Jordan Farmar - A member of the All Pac-10Tournament team, on March 10, named aCollegeInsider.com All-American. On March 7, wasnamed first-team USBWA All. Dist. IX, on March 6, heearned first-team All-Pac-10 and was named to theWooden Award finalist list (22 players) and on March1, was named the Pac-10 Most Valuable Player byCollegeInsider.com. On Feb. 18, Farmar was namedfirst-team NABC All-Dist. 15. He was on the mid-seasonNaismith Trophy (30 players) and Wooden Award (30players) lists. He is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award(nation's top point guard). Farmar is one of just fourplayers, he's the only underclassman, mentioned for allthree honors (joining senior guards, Illinois' Dee Brown,Pittsburgh's Carl Krauser and Syracuse's GerryMcNamara).
Arron Afflalo - A member of the All-Pac-10Tournament team, on March 7, was named a first-teamUSBWA All-Dist. IX and CollegeInsider.com DefensiveAll-American, on March 6 was a first-team All-Pac-10selection and named Pac-10 Player of the Week (for hisplay in the Bruins' sweep of the Bay Area), and on Feb.18, Afflalo was named first-team NABC All-Dist. 15. Hewas named an early-season All-American by scout.com andnamed to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team.Farmar and Afflalo - were named the nation's No. 3backcourt by SI.com (Jan. 25).
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - on March 7 was namedthe CBS SportsLine.com and SI.com Pac-10 Freshmanof the Year, on March 6 was named the Pac-10Freshman of the Year (and Honorable Mention All-Pac-10) and a Freshman All-American byCollegeInsider.com. He was named to Seth Davis' SI.comAll-Glue team on Feb. 15 (given to players who emphasizeteam play over individualism). He was named theRivals.com National Freshman of the Week (Jan. 30) forhis efforts in UCLA's two victories at the Oregon schools.Darren Collison - on March 6 was named a Pac-10Honorable Mention All-Freshman selection.
UCLA'S LAST GAMES
March 18 - No. 7 UCLA 62, Alabama 59 - before 10,687 atCox Arena in San Diego in a second round NCAA Tournamentcontest (Oakland Region), No. 2 seed UCLA advanced to the'Sweet 16' for the 15th time in school history (since 1975),defeating No. 10 seed Alabama 62-59. It was UCLA's ninthconsecutive victory (UCLA's longest winning streak since2001-02) and the ninth straight victory the Bruins have heldtheir opponent to 60 points or less.
With 1:05 left to play, Alabama's Ronald Steele made one oftwo free throws, bringing the Crimson Tide to within one pointof UCLA, 57-56. But with 35 seconds remaining, Arron Afflalohit a three-pointer, giving UCLA a 60-56 lead. Steele broughtUA back to within one point again (hitting three free throws),60-59, 21 seconds left to play. Following one of two freethrows by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (61-59, 19 secondsremaining), Steele missed a three-pointer and Cedric Bozemanwas fouled (after getting the rebound). Bozeman connected onone of two free throws to give UCLA the 62-59 victory.The game was tied 30-all at halftime (the first time this seasonthe Bruins have been tied at halftime).
Jordan Farmar led the Bruins with 18 points, including a careerhightying five three-pointers. Afflalo scored all of his 13 pointsin the second half and Ryan Hollins added 12 points, fourrebounds and a game-high three blocked shots. Luc RichardMbah a Moute had nine points and a team-high six rebounds(he's led the Bruins in rebounding in 29 of 35 games, includingthe last four contests). Bozeman contributed five points, fourrebounds, a season-high seven assists and a team-high twosteals.
The Bruins (29-6) shot .511 (24-47) from the field (sixthstraight game of shooting .500 or better; the Bruins have shot.500 or better eight of the last nine games and outshot theopponent from the field the last nine consecutive contests), .360(9-25) from three-point range and a season-low .385 (5-13)from the foul line, with a season-low 21 rebounds (going intothe game, the Bruins had outrebounded 11 of their last 12opponents), 17 assists, 11 turnovers, four blocked shots and fivesteals.
Alabama (18-13) shot .487 (19-39) from the field (including.611 (11-18) in the first half), .182 (2-11) from three-pointrange and .760 (19-25) from the foul line, with a game-high 30rebounds, 10 assists, a game-high 15 turnovers, three blockedshots and seven steals. The Crimson Tide was led by Steele's21 points.
March 16 - No. 7 UCLA 78, Belmont 44 - before 10,068 at CoxArena in San Diego in a first round NCAA Tournament contest(Oakland Region), No. 2 seed UCLA's defensive effortdominated No. 15 seed Belmont, as the UCLA Bruins defeatedthe Belmont Bruins 78-44. It was UCLA's eighth consecutivevictory. The Bruins' 34-point winning margin was the largest ofthe season and in UCLA's NCAA Tournament history, it wasthe biggest winning margin since 2000, when the Bruinsdefeated Maryland 105-70 (35 points), in a second-roundcontest.
With 6:44 left in the first half, Belmont led 18-12. In the finalsix minutes of the first half (UCLA led 35-23 at halftime) andfirst eight minutes of the second half (UCLA led 47-28, 12:59remaining), the Bruins outscored Belmont 35-10 (to lead 47-28with 12:59 left in the game). UCLA's biggest second half leadwas 36 points (78-42, 1:12 left to play), on a layup by RyanWright.
UCLA was led by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's season andgame-high 17 points (7-9, 0-0, 3-3), game-high eight rebounds(1-7), season and game-high six assists and game-high tyingthree steals. Also scoring in double figures for UCLA wereRyan Hollins (10 points) and Darren Collison (10 points, and aseason-high tying three steals).
The UCLA Bruins (28-6, setting a school record for mostgames played in a season, 34), shot .536 (30-56) from the field,.308 (4-13) from three-point range and .824 (14-17) from thefoul line, with a game and season-high 45 rebounds, 20 assists,14 turnovers, four blocked shots and a season-high tying 11steals.
The Belmont Bruins (20-11) shot .288 (17-59, second lowestopponent percentage this season) from the field, .211 (4-19)from three-point range and .462 (6-13) from the foul line, with27 rebounds, nine assists, 14 turnovers, three blocked shots andeight steals. Belmont was led by Justin Hare's eight points.
The Last Nine - UCLA enters the NCAA Sweet 16 with anine-game winning streak (tying UCLA's nine-gamewinning streak in 2001-02). During those nine games,UCLA is averaging 72.3 points while holdingopponents to 54.0 points. None of the nine teams havescored more than 60 points in a game. UCLA hasoutrebounded seven of the nine opponents and has amargin of +5.8 (3220 - 26.4) in that span. UCLA isshooting .515 from the field and .413 from three-pointrange while holding the nine opponents to .397 fromthe floor and .342 from the arc.
The Bruins Are - 29-5 when holding the opponent under80 points, 22-1 when leading at halftime, 17-1 whenshooting .500 or better from the field, 14-1 when holdingthe opponent to under .400, 25-2 when outshooting theopponent from the field, 19-2 when outshooting theopponent from three-point range, 23-3 with a reboundadvantage and 27-1 when leading with five minutes toplay in regulation.
UCLA has held nine of its last 18 opponentsunder .400 and three under .300. Only three times inthe last 18 games has an opponent shot better than.464. Fifteen of those 18 opponents scored 60 points orless, including each of the last nine. WSU's 30 pointswas the lowest total by a Bruin opponent since the1966-67 season, when Oregon scored 25. Last season(all games), the Bruins allowed 71.7 points a game(this season, 58.7, a difference of -13.0 points).
In the final Pac-10 games only statistics, UCLA was first inscoring defense (59.3) and first in scoring margin (+8.4)and rebounding defense (28.1) and third in FG% defense(.427) and fourth in 3PT FG% defense (.338). In leaguegames, the Bruins are also first in offensive FG% (.469).
In the Second Half - In the NCAA first round gameagainst Belmont, UCLA outscored the Bruins 25-5 tostart the second half after leading by 12 (35-23) athalftime. Against Alabama, UCLA built an eightpointsecond half lead (the game was tied at halftime)and won by three. In the Pac-10 Tournament, UCLA ledOregon State by 11 at halftime and outscored the Beaversby 21 in the second half. It led Arizona by seven athalftime and outscored the Wildcats by five afterintermission. It led California by three at halftime andoutscored the Golden Bears by 16 in the final 20 minutes.
On the final regular-season trip, UCLA trailed atCalifornia by 11 points (31-20) at halftime but rallied tooutscore the Golden Bears by 20 (47-27) after halftime(11 in the second half and nine in overtime). UCLAtrailed both Oregon schools at halftime (OSU 32-26 andUO 28-23), but came back with big second half rallies(season high for a half 52 vs. OSU and second-highestseason high for a second half 47 vs. UO). Vs. Oregon,the Bruins shot their best second-half FG% (.625, 15-24)of the season. Prior to the win at Stanford, the Bruinstrailed in five consecutive games at halftime, but cameback with strong second-half efforts (averaged 23.6 infirst half/44.0 in second half).
20 Wins - It's the 42nd time in school history the Bruinshave won 20 games (last time, 2001-02, 21-12). UCLAhas won 20 games on 34 occasions in the last 40 years(1967-2006). This is UCLA's fastest to 20 victories sincethe 1994-95 NCAA Championship season (20-1, went onto a 32-1 overall record, the 32 wins is a school record).
Fast Starts - In three Pac-10 games this season, the Bruinshave gotten off to fast starts - in UCLA's 71-54 win overStanford in Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins led 18-1 (14:25);in UCLA's 66-45 victory over USC in Pauley, the Bruinsled 18-2 (13:00) and in UCLA's 50-30 win atWashington State, the Bruins led 18-2 (12:56).
Jordan Farmar - A member of the Pac-10 All-Tournament team, on March 10 was named aCollegeInsider.com All-American. On March 7, wasnamed first-team USBWA All. Dist. IX, on March 6,he earned first-team All-Pac-10 and was named to theWooden Award finalist list (22 players) and on March1, was named the Pac-10 Most Valuable Player byCollegeInsider.com. On Feb. 18, Farmar was namedfirst-team NABC All-Dist. 15. He is on the mid-seasonNaismith Trophy (30 players) and Wooden Award (30players) lists. He is also a finalist for the Bob CousyAward (nation's top point guard).
Farmar is one of justfour players, he's the only underclassman, mentioned forall three honors (joining senior guards, Illinois' DeeBrown, Pittsburgh's Carl Krauser and Syracuse's GerryMcNamara). He leads UCLA in assists (5.21) and issecond in scoring (13.6). He's led the Bruins in assists in19 of the last 23 games and 26 of his 33 games (vs.Washington in January, Farmar had a career-best 12assists, also had 10 vs. Coppin State). In the win overAlabama in the NCAA second round, he led the Bruinswith 18 points, includinga career-high tying five threepointers,and scored nine of UCLA's first 11 points.
Inthe Pac-10 title game vs. California, he led the Bruinswith 19 points, including five three-pointers. He led theBruins with 21 points against Oregon State, including 17in the second half, connecting on four three-pointers.Playing on two sprained ankles, he led the Bruins with 21points at USC. The previous week, he scored 20 ofUCLA's 50 points at Washington State and added 13points and five assists at Washington. On Feb. 4 vs.Arizona, he sprained his left ankle (X-rays Saturdaynight revealed no abnormalities and an MRI on Mondayconfirmed the ankle sprain). He spent the week in awalking boot but played in both games at Washington.
He has also been playing with a sprained right ankle(first hurt vs. Temple/reinjured vs. Stanford/has missedtwo games-Delaware State and Albany), but has startedevery league game. He has scored in double figures in 14of the last 18 games and in 23 contests this season.Farmar has seven games of 20 or more points, includinga career-high 28 vs. Memphis in an NIT Season Tip-Offsemifinal. Farmar has led the Bruins in scoring 10 times,including consecutive wins over Nevada (24) at theWooden Classic and at Michigan (21).
Arron Afflalo - A member of the Pac-10 All-Tournament team, On March 7, was named a firstteamUSBWA All-Dist. IX and CollegeInsider.comDefensive All-American, on March 6 was a first-teamAll-Pac-10 selection and named Pac-10 Player of theWeek (for his play in the Bruins' sweep of the BayArea), and on Feb. 18, Afflalo was named first-teamNABC All-Dist. 15. He was named an early-seasonAll-American by scout.com and named to the NITSeason Tip-Off All-Tournament team.
UCLA'sleading scorer (16.3), he's started 34 games and scored indouble figures in 31 of 35 games. He has 11 games of 20or more points. In the NCAA win over Alabama, he had13 points, all in the second half. In the Pac-10 Tourneyopener against Oregon State, he had 16 points and he hada career-high seven assists in the title game vs.California. At California, he scored 21 of his game-high25 points in the second half and overtime and addedseven rebounds. At Stanford, he led the Bruins with 16points. In the two games, he made 13 of 23 shots fromthe floor, eight for 14 from three-point range and sevenof nine from the line (and was named Pac-10 Player ofthe Week). Against the Oregon schools in Pauley, hescored 34 points, making 11 of 19 shots from the floor(5-10 from three-point range) and all seven free throwattempts. In UCLA's home sweep of the Arizonaschools, Afflalo scored a career-high 27 points vs.Arizona (career-best 13-16 from the foul line) with aseason-high tying four assists and vs. Arizona State,added 17 points, six rebounds and a season-high tyingtwo steals. His previous scoring high was 23 pointstwice, vs. Stanford and New Mexico State. He's ledUCLA in scoring in 16 games this season. In UCLA'svictory at Oregon State, Afflalo led the Bruins inrebounding (career and game-high 10) and recorded hisfirst career double/double (11 points-10 rebounds).
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - on March 6 was namedthe Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (and HonorableMention All-Pac-10) and a Freshman All-Americanby CollegeInsider.com. Also earned ConferenceFreshman of the Year honors from CBSSportsLine.com and SI.com. He was named to SethDavis' SI.com All-Glue team on Feb. 15 (given toplayers who emphasize team play over individualism).
He was named the Rivals.com National Freshman ofthe Week (Jan. 30) for his efforts in UCLA's twovictories at the Oregon schools. The Bruins' leadingrebounder (8.1/No. 3 in the Pac-10, leading freshmanrebounder in the conference and No. 4 freshmanscorer/the nation's third-leading freshman rebounder/thehighest freshman average in UCLA history, breakingDon MacLean's 7.5, 1989), he's been UCLA's leadingrebounder in 29 of 35 games, including the last fourgames. Entering the NCAA Tournament, he was secondin the Pac-10 in offensive rebounding (3.00) and fourthin defensive rebounds (5.12) and led the conference inFG% (.539). Mbah a Moute has streaks of leading theBruins in rebounding this season of 12 (longest since1977-78, when David Greenwood led UCLA inrebounding in the final 13 regular season games) andseven games. He has seven double/doubles, the most inBruin freshman history (breaking Jelani McCoy's markof six, 1996), including two consecutive on twooccasions (the first starting freshman to accomplish thatsince JaRon Rush (1998-99-final two games that seasonatArizona-16/10 and Detroit Mercy (NCAA)-10/13).
Mbah a Moute has 10 games of double digit rebounds. Inthe NCAA win over Belmont, he led the Bruins inscoring (17), rebounding (eight), assists (six) and steals(tied with three) and has made 11 of 13 shots from thefloor in two NCAA games. He had 12 points and sevenrebounds in the Pac-10 semifinal win over Arizona. AtStanford, he had 12 points and nine rebounds. He led theBruins with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the home winvs. Oregon. At the sweep of the Oregon schools, Mbah aMoute led the Bruins in scoring both games (Oregonseasonand game-high 15 points/game-high 10 rebounds;Oregon State-team-high 14 points/eight rebounds) andfor his efforts was named the Rivals.com NationalFreshman of the Week.
Ryan Hollins - came back from his groin injury (missedsix games, including UCLA's first five Pac-10 contests),to play in the last 19 games and start 15 of the last 16. Heis averaging 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in two NCAAgames while shooting 1.000 (8-8) from the floor. In thePac-10 Tournament, he averaged 12.0 points, including aseason-high 17 points vs. Oregon State and 6.3 rebounds(leading or tying for the team rebound lead in all threegames) and made 13 of 18 shots (.722) from the floor. AtStanford, he had a then season-high 13 points (5-7, 3-4)and eight rebounds. On the road trip to Washington, hehad six rebounds vs. WSU and a season-high nine boards(seven points) at Washington. Vs. the Arizona schools inPauley, he scored a then season-best 12 points vs.
Arizona with three rebounds and vs. Arizona State,added six points and four rebounds. As a starter at theOregon schools, in a season-best 35 minutes at OregonState, Hollins had a then-season-high tying 11 points,with seven rebounds and at Oregon, although in foultrouble, he contributed five points, three rebounds and aseason-best four blocked shots.
Cedric Bozeman - After missing eight games with a leftshoulder injury (cartilage/he started the first 11 gamesbefore the injury), Bozeman has returned to play in thelast 16 games and started the last 15 contests. WithBozeman in the lineup, the Bruins are 24-3 (23-3 as astarter). In the NCAA Tournament, he had nine pointsagainst Belmont and five points and a season-high sevenassists vs. Alabama. Despite playing with a sprained leftankle suffered in the Pac-10 Tournament opener vs.Oregon State, he averaged 9.3 points, 2.3 assists and 1.7steals while shooting .526 (10-19) from the floor, .500(3-6) from three-point range and 1.000 (5-5) from theline.
INJURY UPDATE (every scholarship player has beeninjured this season/seven players have missed a total of85 games).
Sophomore forward Josh Shipp (missed 31 games/outfor season) - on Sept. 28, had an arthroscopic right hipprocedure. During his initial rehabilitation, he was oncrutches for almost a month (came off of crutches on Oct.26). Shipp returned to the starting to start the Pac-10 season(he missed the first 11 games) and started the first fourleague contests, scoring in double figures(11.3ppg/4.8rpg/29.8mpg) in every game. On Jan. 10,because of constant and increasing pain in the right hip,Shipp announced he would not practice or play for theremainder of the season (UCLA will petition for a medicalhardship waiver at the conclusion of the season).
Sophomore center Lorenzo Mata (missed 16games/returned March 9) - suffered a concussion inpractice on Dec. 1 and did not play on Dec. 4 vs. CoppinState and vs. Nevada on Dec. 10. Since then, he startedseven of eight games (played with a bloody nose/slightfracture at Arizona State, suffered in the first half). Vs.Washington State, suffered a nondisplaced right tibialplateau fracture (he missed 14 games before returning onMarch 9).
Senior center Michael Fey (missed 16 games) - beforethe start of practice (Oct. 14), was diagnosed with a severegroin strain. On Tuesday (Nov. 8), Fey was cleared for aone hour workout (once a day, starting Nov. 9). Feyparticipated in team practice on Saturday (Nov. 12). Heplayed 17 minutes vs. New Mexico State (seven points/tworebounds) and 15 minutes vs. Temple (0 points/tworebounds), but sprained his left shoulder. He did not playvs. Delaware State and his status was 'day-to-day'. In NewYork, Fey played a season-high 21 minutes vs. Memphis(season-high 13 points/four rebounds) and five minutes vs.Drexel. On Thursday (Dec. 1), suffered a right ankle sprainin practice and did not play vs. Coppin State on Dec. 4 andNevada on Dec. 10. He did play two minutes at Michigan.Fey did not play vs. Wagner, came in for nine minutes (twopoints/three rebounds) vs. Sacramento State. Fey missedthe Bruins' first five Pac-10 contests. He did play oneminute vs. Washington and Arizona State, but did not playvs. USC, WVU, Oregon, OSU and Arizona. He played twominutes at WSU, but did not play at Washington or at USC.
He started against Oregon State and Oregon and played atCalifornia and Stanford. He's appeared in three of the lastfive games, including four minutes vs. Belmont in theNCAA Tournament.
Cedric Bozeman (missed eight games) - The seniorforward who had started every game before Stanford, onDec. 27 injured his left shoulder in practice (an MRIrevealed torn cartilage). At the time of the injury, Bozemanwas averaging 31.2 minutes, 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds.He missed eight games. Bozeman was cleared the week ofthe USC and WVU games to resume shooting anddribbling, but did not play. He returned to action at theOregon schools, has played in the last 16 games and startedthe last 15. He suffered a sprained left ankle on the first dayof the Pac-10 Tournament but did not miss any games.
Freshman forward Alfred Aboya (missed six games) -had a right knee arthroscopic procedure on July 11 and hada left knee arthroscopic procedure on Oct. 12. Aboya wasre-evaluated on Nov. 2 and he did not have any basketballactivity for the next two weeks. His first game was CoppinState (Dec. 4 -16 minutes, two rebounds and assists) andhe's appeared in every game since (24). Vs. Washington,Aboya suffered a right knee injury, but an MRI revealed nonew articular cartilage damage and he started both the USCand West Virginia games. Suffered a left hip flexor strain inpractice on Thursday before the USC game, but played 16minutes at the Sports Arena. Reinjured (left hip flexorstrain) in practice on Feb. 21 and was questionable for theOregon schools in Pauley, but played against the Beaversand Oregon.
Senior center Ryan Hollins (missed six games) - strainedhis groin during warm-ups vs. Sacramento State (did notplay) and missed six consecutive games. He has nowplayed in the last 19 games and started 15 of the last 16contests.
Sophomore point guard Jordan Farmar (missed twogames) - suffered a right groin strain in practice onThursday (Oct. 27) and was held out of practice for fivedays (Thursday-Tuesday, the Bruins did not practice onSunday, Oct. 30). After a Nov. 1 examination, Farmar, whohad shown significant improvement, continued tostrengthen and receive treatment. He did not practice orplay the rest of the week and did not play in UCLA'sexhibition game vs. Carleton (Friday, Nov. 4). Farmar wascleared to resume practice on Monday (Nov. 7) and startedvs. CS Monterey Bay. Farmar started the first two NITSeason Tip-Off encounters, but sprained his right ankle vs.Temple and did not play vs. Delaware State. He started vs.Memphis and Drexel. Following an inconclusive early MRIon Tuesday (Nov. 29), another MRI was taken later thatday which showed Farmar did not have a right foot stressfracture. He did not play vs. Albany (Nov. 29), but cameback to start vs. Coppin State (Dec. 4) and responded withhis first career double/double (16 points-then career-high10 assists) and has started every game since Coppin State.
Farmar sprained his right ankle in the second half vs.Stanford (played only four minutes), but came back to startvs. California (36 minutes). Started vs. the Arizona schools- had the ankle retaped in the first half of the Arizona game(hit four consecutive free throws late in the game topreserve UCLA's win) and at ASU, hit two baskets at theend of the contest to win the game for UCLA. Led theBruins in scoring vs. USC (15) and WVU (22) and led theBruins to two wins in Oregon for the first time since 2001.Vs. Arizona in Pauley Pavilion, he sprained his left ankle inthe second half, got retaped, and played 31 minutes (X-rayson Saturday night revealed no abnormalities and an MRI onMonday confirmed the sprained ankle). He was in awalking boot during the week leading up to the WSUgame. He is UCLA's second-leading scorer (13.6) andleads the Pac-10 in assists (5.21/had a career-high 12 assistsvs. Washington).
Freshman forward Michael Roll - jammed his rightthumb in practice on Jan. 31 (before Arizona State game)and Feb. 1 X-rays revealed a sprain. He played 15 minutesvs. ASU and 14 vs. Arizona.
Freshman guard Darren Collison - suffered a sprainedleft ankle in the West Virginia game. The X-rays werenegative, he did not practice Monday or Tuesday (beforethe Oregon games), but played at both Oregon (17 minutes)and Oregon State (13 minutes).
Freshman center Ryan Wright - sprained his right anklein the Stanford game (Pauley Pavilion), but continued toplay in the Cardinal contest (22 minutes, five points, fourrebounds) and vs. California (15 minutes, three points). Hehas played in every Pac-10 game and started vs.Washington.
Sophomore guard Arron Afflalo - suffered a leftquadricep contusion on Oct. 29. He was listed as day-today,resumed practice on Nov. 3 and has started everygame. He leads the Bruins in points (17.1/No. 7 in the Pac-10) and minutes (34.3, No. 4 in the Pac-10). At ArizonaState, fell heavily to the floor at the end of the game,suffering a left hip pointer and right backside bruised softtissue. But came back to start vs. the Washington schools inPauley Pavilion
Freshman forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - beforethe start of practice (Oct. 14) was diagnosed with a sprainedright shoulder. He returned to full-time practice status onOct. 22 and has started every game and leads the Bruins inrebounding (8.4, No. 3 in the Pac-10/No. 3 freshmanrebounder in the U. S.).
Redshirt Freshman Walkon Joey Ellis - On Oct. 7, had aleft knee arthroscopic procedure and has not appeared in agame.
NATIONAL POLLS - Entering the NCAA Tournament,UCLA was ranked No. 7 by AP and No. 8 by ESPN/USAToday. Entering the Pac-10 Tournament, the Bruins wereranked No. 13 by AP and No. 12 by ESPN/USA Today.Prior to the Bay Area trip, the Bruins were ranked No. 15by AP and No. 13 by ESPN/USA Today. Prior to theOregon games in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA was rated No. 19by AP and No. 17 by ESPN/USA Today. Prior to the USCgame at the Sports Arena, UCLA was rated No. 15 by APand No. 14 by ESPN/USA Today. Prior to traveling toWashington, the Bruins were rated No. 13 by AP and No.12 by ESPN/USA Today. Prior to hosting the Arizonaschools in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA was rated No. 14 by APand No. 13 by ESPN/USA Today. Before going to theOregon schools, the Bruins were No. 17 by AP andESPN/USA Today. Prior to USC and WVU, the Bruinswere ranked No. 18 by AP and No. 16 by ESPN/USAToday. Before facing the Washington schools in Pauley,UCLA for the second time this season was No. 11 (AP) andNo. 12 (ESPN/USA Today). Traveling to the Arizonaschools, the Bruins were No. 17 in both polls. UCLA wasNo. 11 in both polls (before facing Stanford/California inPauley Pavilion/UCLA's highest regular season rankingsince 2001-02/No. 10-the Bruins that season had apreseason ranking of No. 3). UCLA was No. 12 in bothpolls (before facing Wagner and Sacramento State). TheBruins were No. 14 in both polls going into Michigan.
Priorto facing Nevada (Dec. 10) in the Wooden Classic, theBruins were No. 16 (AP) and No. 18 (USA Today/ESPN).The week of Nov. 28, UCLA was No. 16 (AP) and No. 17(USA Today/ESPN). The week of the NIT Season Tip-OffFinal Four (Nov. 21), the Bruins were No. 16 in both polls(UCLA's highest ranking since the start of the 2002-03season/No. 14). UCLA was preseason rated No. 19 by APand tied for No. 18 by USA Today/ESPN (it was theBruins' first preseason rating since 2002-03/No. 14).
IN THE RECORD BOOK
Career - 3PT FG% - Arron Afflalo, 11th (.376, 115-306);3PT FGs - Arron Afflalo, 9th, 115, Jordan Farmar, 13th,90; 3PT FGs ATT - Arron Afflalo, 7th, 306, JordanFarmar, 11th, 266; ASSTS - Cedric Bozeman, 10th, 378;
THE WOODEN CLASSIC - On Dec. 10 in the 12thannual Wooden Classic at the Arrowhead Pond inAnaheim, No. 16 UCLA defeated No. 17 Nevada, 67-56. Itwas UCLA's third consecutive Wooden Classicappearance, snapped a two-game Bruin losing streak at theClassic, and overall, UCLA is 6-3 in the Wooden Classic. Itwas announced that UCLA and USC will appear in the2006 Wooden Classic (Dec. 9-opponents to be announcedat a later date).
UCLA in the John R. Wooden Classic (6-3)
2005-06(W) -No. 16 UCLA 67, No. 17 Nevada 56.
2004-05(L)-Boston College 74, UCLA 64
2003-04(L)-No. 9 Kentucky 52, UCLA 50
2001-02(W)-No. 20 UCLA 79, No. 16 Alabama 57
2000-01(L)-Georgia Tech 72, UCLA 67
1998-99(W)-No. 18 UCLA 69,No. 11 Okla. St. 66
1997-98(W)-No. 15 UCLA 69,No. 8 New Mex. 58
1995-96(W)-UCLA 73, No. 20 Maryland 63
1994-95(W)-No. 2 UCLA 82, No. 7 Kentucky 81
On Nov. 30, 2002 in Indianapolis, No. 14 UCLA's 84-73loss to No. 4 Duke was the Bruins' only appearance in thethen third-annual Wooden Tradition.
2005 NIT SEASON TIP-OFF TOURNAMENT - For thefirst time since 1996 and for the fourth time in schoolhistory (2005-1996-1992-1987), the Bruins played in theNIT Season Tip-Off and for the second time in schoolhistory, placed third.
At the NIT Season Tip-Off at New York City's MadisonSquare Garden, on Nov. 25 Duke defeated Memphis 70-67 for the championship and in the third-place game, theBruins beat Drexel 57-56. In the semis on Nov. 23, Dukedefeated Drexel 78-68 and Memphis beat UCLA 88-80.
The first-round NIT matchups were - Nov. 14 - BostonU. at Duke (D 64-57), Manhattan at Seton Hall (SH 66-52), Sam Houston State at Missouri (SHS 80-77) andDrexel at Princeton (D 54-41); Nov. 15- Miami (Ohio) atAlabama (A 64-58), Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Memphis(M 79-52), Army at Temple (T 69-37) and New MexicoState at UCLA (U 83-70). Second Round results - Nov.16- at Duke 93-Seton Hall 40; Nov. 17 - at Drexel 72-Sam Houston State 61, Memphis 87-at Alabama 76 andat UCLA 54-Temple 47.
In UCLA's preseason NIT history, the Bruins - in 1996,lost in the first round to Tulsa in Pauley Pavilion (77-76,OT); in 1992, lost a semifinal game to Seton Hall 73-64and defeated Florida State 86-83 for third-place and in1987, lost a second round contest at New Mexico 77-66.
UCLA REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE - In thePreseason AP poll, the Bruins will face five teams on thisyear's schedule - No. 9 Arizona, No. 12 Memphis, No.13 Stanford, No. 15 West Virginia and No. 25 Nevada.
UCLA's 2005-06 men's basketball schedule will featurenine teams that advanced to postseason play last season(NCAA/NIT) and the Bruins will also participate in theNIT Season Tip-Off and Wooden Classic. Teams fromlast year's NCAA include - Mid-Eastern AthleticConference Delaware State (Saturday, Nov. 19 in PauleyPavilion, 7:30 p.m.), Western Athletic ConferenceNevada in the Wooden Classic (Saturday, Dec. 10 inAnaheim, 2:30 p.m./KCAL), Big East West Virginia(Saturday, Jan. 12 in Pauley Pavilion, 12:45 p.m.,CBS/the Mountaineers in the 2005 NCAA advanced tothe Albuquerque Regional final, losing to Louisville 93-85OT) and Pac-10 foes Washington, Arizona andStanford. Also in 2005, conference opponents OregonState and Arizona State participated in the NIT, as didMemphis. For the fourth consecutive season, UCLA willplay Big 10 Michigan (Dec. 17 in Ann Arbor, 9 a.m.PT/ESPN) -UCLA leads the series 9-3 and has won thelast two games, 68-61 on Dec. 17 and last season,defeating the Wolverines in Pauley 81-79.
PAC-10 MEDIA DAY-BRUINS SELECTED THIRDIN PRESEASON VOTE - Nov. 3 was Pac-10 Media Dayat the LAX Hilton. According to a poll of media memberswho cover Pac-10 men's basketball, Arizona was picked towin the 2006 conference title.
Here's the vote total -1. Arizona (23) 325, 2. Stanford(9) 294, 3. UCLA 263 (2), 4. Washington 238, 5.California 212, 6. Oregon 183, 7. Oregon State 132, 8.USC 87, 9. Washington State 86, 10. Arizona State 50.
PRESEASON HONORS- Here's a list of the Bruinpreseason team and individual honors.
-Athlon - Team - Postseason Prediction, NCAA 'Sweet16'/3rd in Pac-10; No. 2 recruiting class in Pac-10.Individual -Jordan Farmar - Honorable Mention All-America/1st-team All-Pac-10; Arron Afflalo - 3rd-team All-Pac-10.
-Blue Ribbon - Team - No. 21 in the U. S./3rd in the Pac-10; No. 2 Top Backcourt in Pac-10. Individual - JordanFarmar- All-Conference Team.
-CollegeHoops.net - Team - No. 16 in the U. S./3rd in thePac-10. Individual - Jordan Farmar - 1st-team All-Pac-10.
-Lindy's - Team - No. 25 in U. S./3rd in Pac-10; No. 6backcourt in the nation; No. 18 recruiting class in thenation. Individual - Jordan Farmar - No. 11 point guardin the U. S. /second-team All-Pac-10.
-Slam Magazine - Team - No. 18 in U. S.
-Sports Illustrated - Team - No. 15 in the U. S.
-Street & Smith's - Team - No. 16 in the U. S. /3rd in Pac-10; No. 3 recruiting class in Pac-10. Individual - AlfredAboya - Top 100 college freshmen, Ryan Wright -Impact Rookie.
-The Sporting News - Team - No. 17 in U. S. /3rd in Pac-10; No. 5 backcourt in U. S.; No. 3 recruiting class inPac-10. Individual - Jordan Farmar - No. 4 point guardin U. S. /first-team All-Pac-10; Arron Afflalo - No. 13shooting guard in the U .S./second-team All-Pac-10;Ryan Wright - No. 5 Pac-10 recruit; Alfred Aboya - No.8 Pac-10 recruit; Darren Collison -No. 12 Pac-10 recruit.-Dick Vitale's Top 25 - Team - No. 20 in the U. S.
UCLA'S NATIONAL-LETTERS-OF-INTENT JamesKeefe, a 6-8, 220-pound forward from SantaMargarita Catholic HS (Rancho Santa Margarita), onFeb. 23 was named a McDonald's All-American. TheMcDonald's game will be March 29 at San DiegoState's Cox Arena. He's the 26th McDonald's All-American to attend UCLA and the third recruited tothe Bruins under UCLA head coach Ben Howland(joining 2004 McDonald's All-Americans - JordanFarmar and Arron Afflalo).
Considered one of the nation's top-rated power forwardsentering his senior high school season, Keefe has signeda National Letter of Intent to attend UCLA, Bruin headcoach Ben Howland announced Nov. 9. Wednesday isthe first day of the early signing period that extends untilNov. 16.
Under head coach Jerry DeBusk, Keefe led the Eaglesin March to a second consecutive CIF Southern SectionDiv. III-AA Championship (28-5 overall), averaging17.0 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots. SantaMargarita Catholic HS advanced to the second round ofthe CIF Southern California Regionals (Div. III) as Keefeearned State Junior Player of the Year honors and wasfirst-team All-Serra League.
'I'm elated that James is joining our program,' saidHowland. 'He's an outstanding player, a great personand an excellent student. James plays hard, is anoutstanding rebounder, a good defender and plays veryintelligently. His attitude and work ethic are going tohelp him improve and get better and better year-in andyear-out'
A recent first-team Long Beach Press-Telegram Bestin the West Selection, Keefe is rated the No. 27 highschool player in the nation by Bob Gibbons' All-StarSports Top 100.
Entering 2005-06, his other preseason prep honorsinclude - Street & Smith All-American (second team),The Sporting News' No. 36 player in the U. S.,Scout.com No. 37 player in the U. S. (No. 11 powerforward in the U. S.) and Athlon Sports No. 38 player inthe U. S.
Last summer, Keefe participated in the Gibbons'Memorial Weekend Tournament, playing for the titlewinningSouthern California All-Stars. He also played inthe adidas All-America Camp in Suwanee, GA and withhis high school team in the Reebok Las Vegas Big TimeTournament (an all-tourney choice) in July.
'Keefe puts as much energy and focus into hisperformance while screening for teammates and playingdefense, as he does when the ball is in his possession,'said Frank Burlison, national basketball columnist forScout.com, long-time sportswriter for the Long BeachPress-Telegram and a member of the USBWA Hall ofFame. 'He'll need to make fewer adjustments, especiallyon defense, than almost any other player in the class to bean immediate contributor in college. Keefe has beenextremely well-coached by Jerry DeBusk and shouldmake an immediate impact with the Bruins, perhaps evenas a starter at some point during his freshman season.'Marko Spica, a 6-9, 225-pound post player from Belgrade,Serbia and Montenegro, has signed a National Letter ofIntent to play basketball at UCLA, Bruin head coach BenHowland announced Tuesday. Spica will be an incomingfreshman for the 2006-07 school year.
From the High School of Sport in Belgrade andconsidered one of the top young post players in Europe,Spica, since the age of 13, has been a member of theBeovuk Club. Within his club team, Spica for two years hasbeen playing on his country's Junior squad, averaging 11.0points and 7.0 rebounds. Prior to that, for three seasons onthe Youth team, he averaged 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds.'Marko is a skilled post player,' Howland said. 'Hecan score down low. He can step out and shoot. Herebounds, he blocks out and he plays physical. Marko andJames Keefe give us two talented inside players for nextseason.'