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UCLA Men's Basketball Set to Face Utah

Dec 28, 2020
UCLA will host Utah on Thursday at 4 p.m. (photo by Don Liebig)

UCLA's Stats (PDF) | UCLA's Notes (PDF)

LOS ANGELES – UCLA returns to the court against Utah this Thursday at 4 p.m. (PT) in a Pac-12 matchup that will be nationally televised on FS1. The Bruins are set to resume Pac-12 play this week with games against Utah (Thursday at 4 p.m.) and Colorado (Saturday at 5 p.m.). UCLA swept the season series against Utah last year, winning a pair of games against the Runnin' Utes within a three-week span in February. The Bruins also swept the season series versus Colorado last season.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom
Tipoff Time: 4:01 p.m. (PT)
Television: FS1
TV Talent: Alex Faust (play-by-play), Dave Miller (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network): AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
XM Radio Channel: Ch. 385
SIRIUSXM Internet Channel: Ch. 975
Starting 30 minutes before UCLA's home games, Bruin Gameday Live brings fans inside Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. The live simulcast of the pregame radio show is hosted by Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray. The show includes an interview with head coach Mick Cronin, a matchup scouting report, live shots of the team warmups as well as popular videoboard segments such as the intro video, heritage video and appearances by the UCLA Spirit Squad and the UCLA Band. Once the game starts, Bruin Gameday Live complements the TV and radio broadcasts with game stats, a social media feed, prize giveaways, and more. Bookmark on all connected devices to watch this new virtual game day experience.
The Bruins have gone 4-0 at home, extending their home winning streak to 11 games. UCLA's most recent loss in Pauley Pavilion took place against Stanford on Jan. 15, 2020. With the win over Cal this season (Dec. 6, 2020), UCLA has now won eight consecutive home league games. That marks the program's best Pac-12 win streak –  at home – since UCLA secured 12 straight Pac-12 home victories from March 2014 through Jan. 2016.
Cody Riley scored 15 points, Johnny Juzang added 13, and Jalen Hill finished with 10 in the Bruins' 77-70 loss to No. 20 Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 19, in the CBS Sports Classic (played in Cleveland). In a game that featured eight ties and eight lead changes, Ohio State used an 11-5 scoring run to close the game and win by seven points. Saturday's game marked the Bruins' first contest of the season outside of the state of California. Ohio State led at halftime, 39-38, and the Bruins had built a cushion of as many as six points (51-45) midway through the second half.
Last season, UCLA went 18-1 when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points (the lone loss was a 54-52 setback at USC in the final game of the regular season). Through his final three seasons as the head coach at Cincinnati (2016-17 through 2018-19), Mick Cronin's teams went 79-10 when holding the opposition to 70 or fewer points. Over the past five seasons (2016-17 through 2020-21), his teams have gone 101-11 when holding the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through a span of 145 games) This season, UCLA has compiled a 4-0 record when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points.
Tyger Campbell has registered a Pac-12-best 6.9 assists per game, through games played Sunday, Dec. 27. His 6.9 assists per game were 1.0-apg better than Colorado's McKinley Wright IV (second with 5.9 apg). Campbell has logged 48 assists and nine turnovers, notching an assist-turnover ratio of 5.3-to-1 in seven games. Through games on Dec. 27, Campbell was the nation's only player to have logged at least 6.0 assists per game and an assist-turnover ratio of at least 5.0-to-1. Now in his second collegiate season, Campbell has recorded a career assist-turnover ratio of 3.1-to-1 (204 assists, 65 turnovers).
- The Bruins have committed fewer fouls than their opponent in all seven games this season.
- Nine players on the Bruins' 13-man roster have each scored at least 10 points in at least one career game with UCLA.
- Tyger Campbell has committed just three turnovers in the last four games (31 assists, three turnovers, 126 minutes).
- UCLA's 23 assists in the win over Cal (Dec. 6) were the most since dishing 25 against Kent State (March 17, 2017).
- Johnny Juzang tied his career high with 13 points in the Bruins' loss against Ohio State last Saturday.
- Cody Riley shot 7-for-9 from the field against Ohio State and has tallied a 57.8 field goal percentage.
- Jaime Jaquez (12-for-26 from 3-point range) is tied for eighth in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (12), through Dec. 27.
- David Singleton (11-for-24 from 3-point range) is tied for 10th in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (11), through Dec. 27.
- Chris Smith is tied for seventh in the Pac-12 in most free throws made (27-for-34), through Dec. 27.
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. (34.3 mpg) and Tyger Campbell (34.1 mpg) are first and second in the Pac-12 in minutes per game.
Sophomore Johnny Juzang, who grew up in Tarzana, Calif., has averaged 10.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in three games with the Bruins. He made 5 of 13 shots in the Bruins' loss to Ohio State on Saturday in Cleveland and has scored in double figures in two of the team's last three games. Juzang, a 6-foot-6 guard, missed UCLA's first four games of the season with a stress reaction in his right foot. He transferred from Kentucky to UCLA in the summer after having played in 28 games for the Wildcats as a true freshman last season. Juzang attended nearby Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Calif.).
UCLA's two primary options at the center position – Jalen Hill and Cody Riley – have each recorded double-doubles this season. Both players are redshirt juniors and have played in nearly every game the past two seasons. Riley has started all seven games this year, averaging 9.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. Hill missed the Bruins' first two contests (tendonitis, right knee) but has since averaged 9.0 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game. Hill has shot 53.3 percent from the field (16 for 30) and has made 70.0 percent of his career free throw attempts (152-for-217).
The Bruins have returned eight of their primary 10 contributors from last season's team. All five starters from the second half of last season have returned (Tyger Campbell, David Singleton, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Chris Smith and Jalen Hill). Also back are Cody Riley, Jules Bernard and Jake Kyman, as well as Kenneth Nwuba, who took a redshirt year in 2019-20. UCLA has added sophomore Johnny Juzang (transfer from Kentucky) and freshmen Jaylen Clark, Mac Etienne and Logan Cremonesi. In all, the Bruins' current roster includes five players who have seen action in at least 60 games at UCLA.
Mac Etienne, a 6-foot-9 forward/center from Middletown, N.Y., has enrolled in UCLA's 2021 winter quarter. He spent the past two seasons at Suffield Academy (Suffield, Conn) and has signed his grant-in-aid with UCLA. Etienne, who intends to redshirt the 2020-21 season, was ranked as high as No. 31 in the Class of 2020 "top-100" by Etienne has been listed among the top 60 players in his high school class by, and He also competed for the Nike PSA Cardinals AAU program and had been the top-ranked player in the state of Connecticut. Last season, he was named the 2019-20 Gatorade Boys' Basketball Player of the Year in Connecticut.
UCLA has registered an all-time record of 12-10 against Utah. The Bruins have gone 8-6 against the Runnin' Utes since Utah joined the Pac-12, prior to the 2011-12 season. Last season, UCLA won a pair of matchups against Utah within three weeks of each other. The Bruins took down Utah, 73-57, in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 2, before recording a 69-58 win over the Runnin' Utes at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 18. UCLA has won four of the last five meetings against Utah in Pauley Pavilion (the lone loss took place on a last-second 3-point shot by Utah in Feb. 2019).
Thursday's meeting will mark Chris Smith's seventh career contest against Utah (3.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 14.3 minutes per game). In two games as a freshman against Utah last season, Jaime Jaquez Jr. averaged 13.5 points per game (he shot 7-for-10 from the field, 10-for-10 from the free throw stripe). In four career games, Jalen Hill has averaged 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds against Utah (shooting 70.8 percent from the field, 17-for-24).
UCLA's 107-98 win over Pepperdine (Nov. 27) marked the Bruins' first game that lasted at least three overtime sessions since Feb. 28, 1985 (the Bruins lost to USC in Pauley Pavilion, 80-78, in four OT). Prior that contest in 1985, the Bruins had not played a game into three overtime sessions since Jan. 2, 1982 (UCLA lost at Washington State, 57-51). Against Pepperdine, Jaime Jaquez Jr. played all 55 minutes. That marked the highest single-game total by a UCLA player since the four-OT contest in February 1985, in which Reggie Miller and Nigel Miguel each played 59 minutes.
Sophomore Jaime Jaquez Jr. has averaged 34.7 minutes per game (ranked first among all Pac-12 players through games played on Dec. 27). He has registered 13.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, having shot 52.3 percent from the field through seven games. Jaquez Jr. has made 12 of 26 attempts from 3-point range (46.2%, UCLA's highest 3-point percentage). As a freshman in 2019-20, Jaquez Jr. averaged 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. In addition, he ranked third on the team in minutes per game (26.7) after having appeared off the bench in the Bruins' first seven contests.
Senior Chris Smith scored a career-high 30 points last season in a 72-68 victory against Colorado (Jan. 30, 2020). He became UCLA's first player with at least 30 points in a game since Kris Wilkes (34) in a win over Arizona on Jan. 26, 2019. That marked Smith's first career game with at least 25 points. He scored in double figures in three games as a freshman and 10 as a sophomore and didn't score at least 20 points in a game until the fourth game last season (vs. Southern Utah).