Men's Basketball Set to Play at Washington State
LOS ANGELES – The Bruins will play at Washington State this Thursday evening. Game time is 8 p.m. (TV: FS1). Ranked No. 24 in the Coaches' Poll, UCLA has won seven of its last eight games against Washington State, including two of the last three meetings at WSU's Beasley Coliseum. Most recently, five Bruins scored in double figures as UCLA secured a 91-61 win over Washington State on Thursday, Jan. 14. Johnny Juzang finished with a team-leading 17 points in the win in Pauley Pavilion, connecting on 7 of 14 shots.
Venue: Beasley Coliseum (Pullman, Wash.)
Game Time: 8 p.m. (PT)
Television: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
TV Talent: Noah Eagle (play-by-play), Casey Jacobsen (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network): AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS / XM Radio Channels: Ch. 134 / Ch. 197
SIRIUSXM Internet Channel: Ch. 959
MIDWEEK MEDIA AVAILABILITY
UCLA head coach Mick Cronin and freshmen Jaylen Clark and Mac Etienne spoke to the media (via Zoom) on Tuesday afternoon after the Bruins' morning practice in the Mo Ostin Basketball Center.
Video of Coach Cronin | Video of J. Clark | Video of M. Etienne
ABOUT THE BRUINS
- UCLA has won eight of its last 10 games, with six over those wins by five points or fewer (or occurring in overtime).
- The Bruins won nine of their first 10 league games for the first time since 2007-08 (finished 16-2 that year).
- Dating back to last season, UCLA has won 16 of its past 19 Pac-12 contests (and 24 of 31 overall games).
- Dating back to last January, the Bruins have won 16 consecutive home games (including the last 13 in Pac-12 play).
- Not including Chris Smith (injured), UCLA has four active players who have averaged at least 10.0 points per game.
- UCLA has committed fewer fouls than the opposition in 16 of 17 games (the lone game was at Stanford on Jan. 23).
- Nine players on the Bruins' 14-man roster have each scored at least 10 points in at least one career game with UCLA.
- Tyger Campbell (11.2 ppg, 5.9 apg) continues to lead all Pac-12 players in assists per game (5.9).
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. (34.2) and Tyger Campbell (33.6) rank third and fifth, respectively, in the Pac-12 in minutes per game.
- Tyger Campbell (5.9 apg) was tied at the No. 17 spot (nationally) in assists per game, through Sunday, Feb. 7.
- David Singleton ranked No. 5 in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (45.3%, 24-for-53), through Sunday, Feb. 7.
- Tyger Campbell has registered at least 100 assists for the second consecutive season (101 assists, 31 turnovers).
AGAINST THE COUGARS
UCLA has compiled an all-time record of 110-18 against Washington State, including the one victory earlier this season. The Bruins have won 55 of their past 62 contests against Washington State. Last season, the two schools split a pair of regular-season contests, with each game advancing into overtime.
TAKING ON THE HUSKIES
The Bruins will play at Washington on Saturday evening (4:30 p.m., PT). Last month, UCLA earned an 81-76 win over the Huskies in Los Angeles. UCLA has registered an all-time record of 102-43 against Washington, having won six of the last seven meetings against the Huskies.
THE LAST TIME OUT
UCLA absorbed a 66-48 loss at USC on Saturday evening (Feb. 6), falling behind by a 30-20 margin at halftime. Johnny Juzang recorded his first career double-double (13 points and a career-best 13 rebounds). Freshman forward Mac Etienne had eight points, five rebounds and two blocks in his collegiate debut (mid-year enrollee for UCLA). UCLA's loss at USC marked the Bruins' second loss in their previous 10 games. UCLA and USC currently are tied for the best record (9-2) in Pac-12 play. The Bruins are scheduled to face USC in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday, March 6.
In two seasons under head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA has gone 15-4 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 8-1. 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 33-11 in those narrow contests.
Tyger Campbell, a sophomore from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has averaged 11.2 points and a league-best 5.9 assists per game (17 contests). This marks the first season since 2015-16 in which UCLA has returned its starting point guard from the previous year (2014-15 and 2015-16, Bryce Alford). From 2011-12 through 2020-21, UCLA has utilized nine different primary (or starting) point guards. Prior to Campbell, Jaylen Hands served as the Bruins' primary ball handler in 2018-19. Campbell has been UCLA's first point guard to start each game during his freshman year since Lonzo Ball in 2016-17.
70 POINTS OR FEWER
This season, UCLA has compiled a 9-1 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 105-12 when holding the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through 153 total games).
BEST STARTS IN LEAGUE PLAY
The Bruins opened Pac-12 play with eight straight wins (now 9-2, Pac-12), marking the program's best start in conference play since 1982-83 (opened their Pac-10 slate with nine straight wins). That UCLA team went 15-3 in the Pac-10 (first-place finish, 23-6 overall record). The 1981-82 UCLA team opened Pac-10 play with an 0-3 record before winning 11 consecutive games (14-4 Pac-10 finish, second place). The most recent UCLA team with an undefeated league record was the 1977-78 Bruins under first-year head coach Gary Cunningham (UCLA went 14-0 in the Pac-10 and 25-3 overall).
Cody Riley has established himself as a go-to frontcourt scoring threat, having averaged 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in 16 games. Riley has totaled four double-doubles, including a 16-point and 10-rebound performance in UCLA's 57-52 win over Oregon State (Saturday, Jan. 30). Riley has started 16 games for the Bruins, logging noticeable improvements in his field goal percentage (54.8%) and free throw percentage (68.3%). Riley has made 14 of 18 shots from the field in the Bruins' final five minutes of all games (and made 16 of 20 free throws in those late-game situations, as well).
Mac Etienne, a 6-foot-9 forward (New York, N.Y.), enrolled at UCLA in 2021 (winter quarter). He spent the past two seasons at Suffield Academy (Connecticut) before transferring to Brewster Academy (New Hampshire) for his senior year. Etienne was ranked as high as No. 31 in the Class of 2020 by 247Sports.com. While on the East Coast, he competed for the Nike PSA Cardinals AAU program and had been the top-ranked player in Connecticut (last season).
LOOKING AT UCLA'S ROSTER
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 75 games (at UCLA).
Junior Jules Bernard, who grew up in Los Angeles and attended Windward School, has averaged career highs with 8.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He has shot 43.9 percent overall and 76.4 percent at the free throw line (42-for-55). Bernard has posted his best minutes-per-game average (25.5) during his three-year collegiate career. He tallied 47 assists and 84 turnovers in his first two seasons but has registered 22 assists and 18 turnovers through UCLA's 17 games this year. In addition, Bernard has scored in double figures in seven of 17 games.
MORE ABOUT JAIME JAQUEZ JR.
Sophomore Jaime Jaquez Jr. has averaged 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He leads the Bruins with 20 steals and has registered a team-best 100 rebounds. Jaquez Jr., who spent the summer of 2019 competing with the Mexican National Team at the Pan-Am Games in Peru, is second on the team in most 3-pointers made (21). Throguh Sunday, Feb. 7, he ranked third in the Pac-12 in minutes per game (34.2). He has scored in double figures in 11 of 17 games.
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.