Men's Basketball to Host Chico State on Thursday
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's basketball team will host Chico State in an exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 4. Game time in Pauley Pavilion is slated for 7 p.m. (PT). This will mark UCLA's only exhibition contest prior to next Tuesday's regular-season opener against CSU Bakersfield. This Thursday's contest will be televised by the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long and Casey Jacobsen on the call.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom
Tipoff Time: 7:06 p.m. (PT)
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: J.B. Long (play-by-play), Casey Jacobsen (analyst)
Internet Radio (UCLA Sports Network): uclabruins.com (listen live)
Internet Radio Talent: Nick Koop (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
FAN ATTENDANCE, COVID-19 POLICIES
Face coverings will be required for all individuals aged 2 or older, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, at all time unless actively eating or drinking (more information here). In accordance with updated health guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), regarding COVID-19, UCLA Athletic indoor events will require fans (age 2 and older) in attendance to show proof of their fully-vaccinated status or provide a pre-entry negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours of the start of the event. Additionally, and effective November 1, 2021, all fans over the age of 18 will be required to present an ID along with their proof of vaccination or negative test result. This policy will be in effect for all UCLA men's and women's basketball, men's and women's volleyball and gymnastics home events. Verification will occur at the venue entry points.
UCLA will host one exhibition game this season, in advance of next Tuesday's regular-season opener. The Bruins' game against Chico State will be televised by the Pac-12 Network (details about how to watch, click here). UCLA radio broadcasters Nick Koop and Tracy Murray will have the call live from Pauley Pavilion on the school's online audio broadcast (available here). Game time is 7 p.m.
UCLA'S INFORMATION GUIDE
The Bruins' 2021-22 Information Guide is available online (click here). The information guide contains updated biographies on all student-athletes and coaches, as well as a detailed list of historical basketball records, awards and letterwinners. Previous editions of the team's information guide is available on the men's basketball archive site.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
- UCLA returns all 10 rotation players from the 2021 NCAA Tournament trip, culminating in a Final Four appearance.
- The Bruins went 22-10 last season, including a 13-6 mark in Pac-12 play (finishing in fourth place in the league).
- Head coach Mick Cronin has gone 41-22 over the previous two seasons as UCLA's head coach.
- The Bruins' roster includes five seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen.
- Eleven of the Bruins' 15 players were either born and raised in Southern California or attended high school in the area.
- UCLA has opened the 2021-22 season ranked No. 2 in the two major national polls (AP, Coaches Polls).
- For the second consecutive season, the Bruins were selected No. 1 in the preseason Pac-12 Media Poll.
- The Bruins went 5-1 in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, earning the program's 19th all-time appearance in the Final Four.
UCLA has returned 12 letterwinners from last season's roster, including all five starters. Those five returning starters each averaged at least 10 points per game last season (Johnny Juzang, 16.0 ppg; Jaime Jaquez Jr., 12.3 ppg; Tyger Campbell, 10.4 ppg; Jules Bernard, 10.3 ppg; and Cody Riley, 10.0 ppg). Seven of UCLA's student-athletes, including graduate transfer Myles Johnson, have played in at least 60 collegiate games, while Jules Bernard leads the way in that category with 95 appearances (over three seasons). David Singleton (94) ranks second, while Cody Riley (92) ranks third.
BACK IN PAULEY
The Bruins went 11-1 in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom last season, with no fans in the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. Dating back to UCLA's 69-64 win over Arizona on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, the Bruins will have gone 613 days since playing in Pauley Pavilion in front of fans. Thursday's contest against Chico State will mark the first basketball game with fans in the arena in nearly 20 months. Six of UCLA's players have never experienced a true "home game" in Pauley with fans in the venue (Johnny Juzang, Jaylen Clark, Logan Cremonesi, Myles Johnson, Will McClendon and Peyton Watson).
Tyger Campbell has entered his fourth season at UCLA, his third year on the court after missing the 2018-19 season with a knee injury. Campbell averaged 10.4 points and a team-leading 5.4 assists per game last season, securing first-team All-Pac-12 honors. He could become the first UCLA player since Darren Collison (2006-09) to serve as the team's primary point guard for three consecutive seasons. From 2011-12 through 2018-19, UCLA had seven different players who serves as the team's "starting" point guard. Campbell has played (and started) all 63 games for UCLA the past two seasons.
Listed as a preseason All-America selection by nearly every national media outlet, Johnny Juzang averaged a team-leading 16.0 points in 27 games last season. Juzang, who excelled at nearby Harvard-Westlake School, was one of five players to have earned All-NCAA Tournament Team acclaim in 2021, having averaged 22.8 points in six NCAA Tournament contests. He shot 50.9 percent in the NCAA Tournament (54-for-106). Juzang secured second-team All-Pac-12 honors last season and finished the year ranked No. 3 among all Pac-12 players in free throw percentage (87.7%, 56-for-65).
Selected a second-team All-Pac-12 player one year ago, Jaime Jaquez Jr. (along with Tyger Campbell and Johnny Juzang) were picked as "first-team" preseason All-Pac-12 selections in Oct. 2021. Last season, Jaquez averaged 12.3 points and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds per game. He was one of five players to earn Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honors and led the Bruins with 39 steals and 22 blocks (tied, with Cody Riley). Jaquez Jr. scored in double figures in 21 of UCLA's 32 games. He logged at least one steal in 26 contests and ranked No. 3 in the Pac-12 in minutes played per game (32.9).
UCLA added three players to the roster in the summer – senior Myles Johnson (6-10, center) and freshmen Will McClendon (6-2, guard) and Peyton Watson (6-8, guard/forward). Johnson earned his degree in electrical and computer engineering from Rutgers University and has enrolled as a graduate student (engineering) at UCLA. McClendon was a standout athlete at Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas) and will be sidelined this season with a torn ACL (left knee). Watson excelled the past four years at Long Beach Poly High School (Long Beach, Calif.) and was named a McDonald's All-American.
The Bruins have opened the 2021-22 season ranked No. 2 in the two major national polls (AP, Coaches). This marks the Bruins' highest preseason ranking since being tabbed No. 2, nationally, prior to the 2007-08 season. UCLA was last ranked as high as No. 2 during in Dec. 2016 (for four consecutive weeks) after wins at Kentucky and at home versus Michigan. The Bruins have not been ranked No. 1 in either poll during the season since the team's 2006-07 campaign. Last season, UCLA opened the year ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press poll and No. 21 in the Coaches Poll.
LOOKING AT CHICO STATE
Chico State returns to action after having not played any games in 2020-21 (COVID-19 pandemic). Thursday's contest will mark 608 days since the Wildcats last stepped on the court for a game. Outside of five weeks of limited in-person activity in March, Chico State's team was only together in a virtual format. Nine players are back from the 2019-20 squad that was selected for the program's seventh NCAA Division II Tournament berth in nine seasons, before the postseason was canceled. Chico State has been picked first in this season's California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) preseason coaches' poll.
THE LAST TIME
Kevin Love registered a team-leading 23 points (and 10 rebounds) to help lead No. 2-ranked UCLA past Chico State, 93-55, in an exhibition game when the two schools last faced off (Nov. 5, 2007). Russell Westbrook finished with 22 points and Lorenzo Mata had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the exhibition victory.
LET'S GET THIS STARTED
Starting with next Tuesday's regular-season opener against CSU Bakersfield (Nov. 9), the Bruins will open their 2021-22 season with seven games over a 19-day stretch. That includes a pair of contests against preseason-top-5 ranked foes in No. 4 Villanova (Friday, Nov. 12) and a neutral-site contest against No. 1 Gonzaga (Tuesday, Nov. 23). After Thursday's exhibition game, UCLA will host four consecutive home games against CSU Bakersfield, Villanova, Long Beach State and North Florida before traveling to Las Vegas for a two-game swing in the Good Sam Empire Classic (at T-Mobile Arena).
NO. 1-SEED, NO. 2-SEED
The 2021 NCAA Tournament marked the first time that UCLA had defeated a No. 1-seed and a No. 2-seed (in the same tournament) since the NCAA began to "seed" every participating team in 1979. UCLA had not faced two teams that were seeded either No. 1 or No. 2 in the same tournament since advancing to the Final Four in 2007. In 2021, UCLA defeated No. 2-seed Alabama, 88-78, in overtime on March 28. Two nights later, the Bruins edged No. 1-seed Michigan, 51-49, at Lucas Oil Stadium. Those wins helped propel the Bruins to the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 2008.
UCLA won five consecutive games in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since advancing to the national title game in 2006. Prior to the Bruins' 2021 run, UCLA had not won three consecutive NCAA Tournament games since 2008. UCLA has not won six consecutive games in the NCAA Tournament since winning the 1995 NCAA Championship at the Kingdome in Seattle. The Bruins have become just the second team to advance to the Final Four from the First Four (also, VCU in 2011). UCLA defeated Michigan State in overtime, by an 86-80 margin, in the 2021 NCAA First Four (at Purdue University).
Last season, the Bruins ranked No. 3 in the Pac-12 in 3-point field goal percentage (37.2%). David Singleton led the Bruins in that category (47.6%, 40-for-84) and finished the year ranking No. 2 in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage. As a team, UCLA registered the No. 10 totals in school history in 3-pointers made (218), 3-pointers attempted (586) and 3-point percentage (37.2%). UCLA shot a school-record 42.6 percent from 3-point distance in 1989.
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 sophomore 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).
Through the past two seasons under head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA has gone 20-7 in games decided by five points or fewer (and all contests that have finished in overtime, regardless of score margin). In 2019-20, the Bruins went 7-3 in those narrow contests. In 2020-21, UCLA had a 12-4 record. 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 went 38-14 in such contests. Three of the Bruins' six NCAA Tournament games in 2020-21 took place in overtime.
70 POINTS OR FEWER
Last season, the Bruins compiled a 15-3 record when limited the opposition to 70 or fewer points. In 2019-20, UCLA went 18-1 in such situations with the lone loss taking place at USC, 54-52, in the final game of the regular season. Through his final three seasons as Cincinnati's head coach (2016-17 through 2018-19), Coach Cronin's teams posted a 79-10 record when holding the opposition to 70 or fewer points. Over the past five seasons, his teams went 109-14 when limiting the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through 164 total games).
THE BRUINS WHEN ...
Since the start of the 2016-17 season, the Bruins have gone 81-13 when leading at halftime (spanning 165 games). During that span, the UCLA has gone 25-40 when trailing at halftime (4-2 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 86-11. When trailing by 10 or more points in a game, UCLA has gone 17-43.
During the past two seasons under head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA has gone 26-6 when leading at halftime and 13-14 when trailing at halftime (2-2 record, tied at halftime). The Bruins have gone 25-4 when building a lead of 10 points or more. UCLA has gone 7-16 when trailing by at least 10 points, at any point in the game.
UCLA has made at least one 3-pointer played in its last 718 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 264 of 270 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.