Men's Basketball Prepares for Utah
LOS ANGELES – The Bruins return to action at Utah on Thursday evening (5 p.m. PT, 6 p.m. MT). UCLA has just four games remaining on its regular-season schedule. In addition to this week's games at Utah and Colorado, the Bruins will play a rescheduled contest at Oregon on Wednesday, March 6, before closing the regular-season schedule at home against USC on Saturday, March 6. UCLA edged Utah, 72-70, on Dec. 31 when the two programs faced each other earlier this season in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Chris Smith scored a team-leading 16 points in that game and sustained a season-ending injury.
Venue: Jon M. Huntsman Center (Salt Lake City)
Tip-off Time: 5:02 p.m. PT (6:02 p.m. MT)
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Guy Haberman (play-by-play), Mike Montgomery (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network): AM 1150
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS / XM Radio Channel: Ch. 382
SIRIUSXM Internet Channel: Ch. 972
The Pac-12 Conference announced multiple schedules updates on Monday afternoon. UCLA will play at Oregon next week on Wednesday, March 3, in a rescheduled contest. The game will be televised on ESPN2 (time remains TBD). In addition, the Bruins' game time for the regular-season finale against USC on Saturday, March 6, will be at 1 p.m. That contest in Pauley Pavilion will be nationally televised on CBS.
In addition, the Bruins' game at Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 27, will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
- UCLA has gone 12-3 in Pac-12 play, including an 8-0 mark in home games and a 4-3 record away from Pauley Pavilion.
- The Bruins won nine of their first 10 league games for the first time since 2007-08 (finished 16-2 that year).
- Head coach Mick Cronin picked up career victory No. 400 when the Bruins won, 80-79, last Saturday.
- Dating back to last season, UCLA has won 19 of its past 23 Pac-12 contests (and 27 of 35 overall games).
- Dating back to last January, the Bruins have won 18 consecutive home games (including the last 15 in Pac-12 play).
- UCLA ranks second among all Pac-12 teams in fewest turnovers per game (11.0), through Sunday, Feb. 21.
- Not including Chris Smith (injured), UCLA has five active players who have averaged at least 9.0 points per game.
- The Bruins have committed fewer fouls than the opposition in 18 of 21 total games.
- 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 (11.1 ppg, 5.7 apg) continues to lead all Pac-12 players in assists per game (5.7).
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. (34.0) and Tyger Campbell (33.8) rank No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, in the Pac-12 in minutes per game.
- Tyger Campbell has the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (3.1) in the Pac-12, through Sunday, Feb. 21.
- Johnny Juzang leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (91.9%, 34-for-37), through Sunday, Feb. 21.
- David Singleton ranks No. 3 in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (45.3%, 29-for-64), through Sunday, Feb. 21.
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. ranks No. 9 among Pac-12 players in offensive rebounds per game (2.0), through Sunday, Feb. 21.
PERFECT FROM THE FIELD
Cody Riley scored a team-high 17 points in UCLA's 80-79 victory against Arizona State last Saturday night (6-for-6 shooting, and 5-for-5 at the free throw line). He became UCLA's first player to make every shot attempts (minimum, five attempts) since March 10, 2017, when Thomas Welsh shot 5-for-5 in a Pac-12 Tournament semifinal against Arizona. Riley became UCLA's first player to be perfect from the field and free throw line (minimum, five attempts in each category) since Kevin Love in a 77-52 win against Western Illinois on Dec. 18, 2007 in Pauley Pavilion (Love was 5-for-5 in both categories).
Jaime Jaquez Jr. averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in a pair of home wins last week. He totaled a career-high 25 points and had seven rebounds in the team's 74-60 win last Thursday (on his birthday). Two nights later, Jaquez Jr. had nine points and a team-best 10 rebounds in UCLA's 80-79 comeback victory against Arizona State. He played in all but 2:42 of the 80 total minutes between both games last week. Jaquez Jr. has had one double-double this season (versus Pepperdine) and finished with at least 10 rebounds in three contests.
Through two seasons under head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA has gone 17-4 in games decided by five points or fewer (and all contests that have finished in overtime, regardless of score margin). Last season, the Bruins went 7-3 in those narrow contests. This year, UCLA has gone 10-1. Through Coach Cronin's final three seasons at Cincinnati (2016-17 through 2018-19), his teams went 18-7 in those situations. From 2016-17 through the 2020-21 season, Coach Cronin's teams have gone 35-11 in such contests. Five of the Bruins' last six victories have been by five points or fewer.
70 POINTS OR FEWER
This season, UCLA has compiled an 11-1 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 107-12 when holding the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through 157 total games).
UCLA AND THE PAC-12
UCLA opened Pac-12 play with eight straight victories (now 12-3 in league play). That marked the program's best start in conference play since 1982-83 when UCLA opened its Pac-10 slate with nine consecutive wins. That UCLA team finished 15-3 in the Pac-10 (frst place, with a 23-6 overall record). The most recent UCLA team to go undefeated in league play was the 1977-78 squad (14-0 in the Pac-10, under first-year head coach Gary Cunningham).
The Bruins are seeking to win the Pac-12's regular-season title for the first time since the 2012-13 season. That year, UCLA went 13-5 in the Pac-12 and finished as the runner-up in the Pac-12 Tournament (lost to Oregon). UCLA last played in the Pac-12 Tournament's title game in 2014 (UCLA won that game against Arizona, 75-71). The Bruins have won the conference tournament in 1987, 2006, 2008 and 2014. Last season's Pac-12 Tournament was canceled (COVID-19).
Entering this Thursday's game at Utah, the Bruins have won 12 of 15 Pac-12 contests this season and 23 of their past 29 league games (starting with last year's home win over California on Jan. 19, 2020). Through that stretch of 29 Pac-12 games (since Jan. 19, 2020), the Bruins have gone 14-2 in contests that have been decided by five points or fewer, or ended in overtime (regardless of the game's final score margin).
Cody Riley has averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds (20 games, 20 starts). He has totaled a team-high four double-doubles, including a 16-point, 10-rebound performance in a 57-52 win over Oregon State (Jan. 30). Riley has logged noticeable improvements in his shooting percentage (54.5%) and free throw percentage (66.2%). He has made 15 of 19 shots from the field in the final five minutes of all games (and made 19 of 24 free throws in those late-game situations).
Tyger Campbell has become UCLA's first point guard to start in that role for two consecutive seasons since Bryce Alford (sophomore in 2014-15 and junior in 2015-16). In fact, UCLA has had eight different players serve as the primary "starting" point guard over the past 10 seasons (2011-12 through 2020-21). Campbell has averaged 11.1 points and a Pac-12-leading 5.7 assists per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio (3.1) ranks No. 3 among all Pac-12 players. Campbell registered a season-high 12 assists in the Bruins' Pac-12 opener against California on Dec. 6, 2020.
Junior Jules Bernard, who grew up in Los Angeles, has averaged career highs with 9.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He has shot 43.3 percent and 76.2 percent at the free throw line (49-for-63). He has posted his highest minutes-per-game average (26.3) while at UCLA. Bernard tallied 47 assists and 84 turnovers in his first two seasons but has logged 26 assists and 24 turnovers through the team's 21 games this year. He has scored in double figures in eight of 20 games.
Sophomore Johnny Juzang scored a career-high 32 points in a 64-61 win at Washington (Feb. 13, 2021). He became UCLA's first player with at least 30 points in a game since Chris Smith (against Colorado, Jan. 30, 2020, in Pauley Pavilion). Juzang's 32-point effort at Washington marked the most points in a game by any UCLA player since Kris Wilkes had 34 points during his sophmore season in a home win over Arizona (Jan. 26, 2019). Aaron Holiday is UCLA's most recent player to have scored 30 points (or more) in multiple games in one season (2017-18, with four games of 30+ points).
UCLA has won its last 18 home games, a streak that began with last year's 50-40 win over California on Jan. 19, 2020. The Bruins had dropped to 8-9 overall with a 74-59 loss to Stanford last season on Jan. 15. The Bruins' 18-game home winning streak marks the program's best such streak (at home) since securing 25 consecutive home victories from Feb. 2006 through Nov. 2007. Most recently, UCLA had a perfect home record in 2006-07, going 16-0 in Pauley Pavilion.