UCLA Prepares for Thursday's Game at Cal
LOS ANGELES – The Bruins return to action at California on Thursday night (6 p.m. PT) in a Pac-12 matchup that will be televised on ESPNU. UCLA has won each of its last seven games against the Golden Bears (including the last two meetings at Cal's Haas Pavilion). Most recently, UCLA defeated California in Pauley Pavilion, 76-56, on Dec. 6, 2020. In that victory, Chris Smith had 21 points (7-for-12 FGs) and Tyger Campbell finished with 11 points and a season-high 12 assists.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom
Tipoff Time: 6:05 p.m. (PT)
TV Talent: Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play), Corey Williams (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network): AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
XM Radio Channel: Ch. 382
SIRIUSXM Internet Channel: Ch. 972
ABOUT THE BRUINS
- UCLA has won its last six games and has been ranked No. 20 in this week's Coaches' Poll (No. 24 in the AP Poll).
- The Bruins have opened 7-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 1993-94 (opened 9-0 back in 1982-83).
- Dating back to last season, UCLA has won 14 of its past 15 Pac-12 contests (and 22 of 27 overall games).
- Dating back to last January, the Bruins have won 15 consecutive home games (including the last 12 in Pac-12 play).
- UCLA has six players who have averaged at least 10.0 points per game (Jaime Jaquez Jr., team-best 13.2 ppg).
- In two home wins last week, UCLA shot 50.0 percent from 3-point territory (18-for-36).
- UCLA has committed fewer fouls than the opposition in all 13 games during the 2020-21 season.
- Nine players on the Bruins' 14-man roster have each scored at least 10 points in at least one career game with UCLA.
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. (34.2) and Tyger Campbell (33.9) rank third and fifth, respectively, in the Pac-12 in minutes per game.
- Tyger Campbell (11.9 ppg, 6.4 apg) continues to lead the Pac-12 in assists per game (6.4) and total assists (83).
- David Singleton leads UCLA in 3-pointers made (20-for-40, 50.0%) and ranks No. 1 in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage.
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. had made at least one 3-pointer in UCLA's first 12 games (did not attempt one on Saturday, Jan. 16).
The Bruins improved to 11-2 with a pair of home victories last week against Washington State on Thursday (91-61) and versus Washington on Saturday (81-76). UCLA's 30-point win over Washington State marked the team's largest margin of victory in a Pac-12 contest since March 1, 2017, when the Bruins cruised past Washington by 32 points (98-66) in Pauley Pavilion. In Saturday's win over Washington, the Bruins overcame a 12-point first half deficit and trailed at halftime, 39-29.
Through Monday, Jan. 18, UCLA ranked third in the Pac-12 in scoring (77.8 ppg) and fifth in scoring margin (+9.2 ppg). In addition, the Bruins ranked No. 3 in overall field goal percenage (46.6%) and No. 1 in 3-point shooting percentage (38.6%). The Bruins were third in the league in best rebound margin (+6.7 rpg) and second in assist-turnover ratio (+1.4).
In two seasons under head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA has gone 13-3 in games decided by five points or fewer (and all contests that finish in overtime, regardless of score margin). Last season, the Bruins went 7-3 in such contests. This year, UCLA has gone 6-0. Through Coach Cronin's final three seasons at Cincinnati (2016-17 through 2018-19), his teams went 18-7 in those games. From 2016-17 through this season, his teams have gone 31-10 in those narrow contests.
70 POINTS OR FEWER
This season, UCLA has compiled a 7-0 record when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points. Last season, UCLA went 18-1 when holding 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), Coach Cronin's teams went 79-10 when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points. Over the past five seasons (2016-17 through 2020-21), his teams have gone 104-11 when holding the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through a span of 150 games).
UCLA's Jalen Hill and Cody Riley have each recorded double-doubles this season. The two redshirt juniors have played in nearly every game the previous two seasons. Riley has started all 13 games this year, averaging 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. Hill has averaged 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, through 11 contests. He has also registered a team-leading field goal percentage of 56.5% (26-for-46).
WHO'S BACK AT UCLA?
UCLA entered 2020-21 with eight of its 10 primary contributors back from last season's team. The Bruins returned all five starters from the second half of last season (Tyger Campbell, David Singleton, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Chris Smith and Jalen Hill). UCLA also brought back Cody Riley, Jules Bernard and Jake Kyman, as well as Kenneth Nwuba, who took a redshirt year in 2019-20. The program added sophomore Johnny Juzang (transfer from Kentucky) and freshmen Jaylen Clark, Mac Etienne and Logan Cremonesi. The roster currently includes five players who have played in at least 70 games (at UCLA).
WELCOME TO WESTWOOD
Sophomore Johnny Juzang, who grew up in Tarzana, Calif., has averaged 11.1 points and has made 17 of 19 free throw attempts (89.5%) in nine games. He has made at least five shots in four of the Bruins' last seven games and has scored in double figures in six of nine contests. Juzang, a 6-foot-6 guard, missed UCLA's first four games this 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 year. Juzang attended nearby Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Calif.).
Junior Jules Bernard, who grew up in Los Angeles and attended Windward School, has averaged career highs with 10.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season. Bernard has shot 47.3 percent (43-for-91) from the field and 77.8 percent (35-for-45) at the free throw line. He has currently posted his best overall shooting percentage (47.3) and minutes per game average (27.5) during his three-year career. Bernard had 47 assists and 84 turnovers in his first two seasons but has totaled 19 assists and 15 turnovers through 13 games as a junior.
THE FILE ON JAQUEZ JR.
Sophomore Jaime Jaquez Jr. has averaged a team-leading 13.2 points per game while shooting 49.2 percent from the field (61-for-124). He leads the team in total shots made (61) and ranks second in most 3-pointers made (19), behind David Singleton (20). Jaquez Jr. has shot 19-for-42 from 3-point range (45.2%) and ranks second on the team in steals (13). Through Sunday's Pac-12 action, Jaquez Jr. ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (45.2%) and third in minutes per game (34.2). He has scored in double figures in 10 of the team's 13 games this season.
Mac Etienne, a 6-foot-9 forward from New York, 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 247Sports.com. Etienne has been listed among the top 60 players in his high school class by 247Sports.com, Rivals.com and ESPN.com. 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.
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 had 34 points in a home victory 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 of the Bruins' 2019-20 campaign (vs. Southern Utah). Smith has totaled 844 points, 401 rebounds and 126 assists in 105 career games.
OUT FOR THE SEASON
Chris Smith sustained a torn ACL in his left knee during UCLA's game against Utah on Dec. 31, 2020. Smith, who led UCLA with 16 points in that game, will miss the remainder of the Bruins' 2020-21 season.
THE BRUINS WHEN ...
Since the start of the 2016-17 season, the Bruins have gone 73-9 when leading at halftime (spanning 145 games). During that span, the UCLA has gone 20-36 when trailing at halftime (4-1 when tied at the break). UCLA's largest halftime deficit overcome in that stretch has been 16 points – UCLA trailed at home against Oregon, 44-28, on Feb. 23, 2019, and outscored the Ducks in the second half (62-39) to win, 90-83. When the Bruins have built a 10-point lead (or larger) at any point in the game, UCLA has gone 78-9. When trailing by 10 or more points in a game, UCLA has gone 15-37.
UCLA has made at least one 3-pointer played in its last 698 games. That 3-point streak began after the Bruins went 0-for-14 from 3-point territory in a 78-63 loss at No. 2-ranked Stanford on Feb. 3, 2000 (Maples Pavilion). UCLA has made at least three 3-pointers in 244 of 250 games since the start of the 2013-14 season. The Bruins made a school single-game-record 19 three-pointers (on 31 attempts) at Colorado on Jan. 12, 2017. UCLA won that road game, 104-89.