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No. 2 UCLA to Host No. 4 Villanova on Friday Night

Nov 11, 2021
Jules Bernard (photo by Don Liebig)

LOS ANGELES – The Bruins will host No. 4-ranked Villanova on Friday evening in Pauley Pavilion. This will mark the sixth meeting in the all-time series between UCLA and Villanova. In the first-ever matchup, UCLA defeated Villanova, 68-62, to capture the 1971 NCAA Championship at the Astrodome in Houston. Villanova has gone 3-2 against UCLA. Most recently, the Wildcats registered an 82-70 win against UCLA at the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden (New York) on Nov. 24, 2010.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom
Tipoff Time: 8:35 p.m. (PT)
Television: ESPN2
TV Talent: Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst)
Radio Broadcast (UCLA Sports Network): AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channels: Ch. 136/Ch. 197
SIRIUS Internet Channel: Ch. 959
UCLA is encouraging all fans to wear white for the "White Out" in Pauley Pavilion on Friday. All students in attendance (in The Den student section) will receive a free white t-shirt. Fans will receive a pair of white pom-poms for the game. UCLA will be offering several food deliveries to students waiting in line (The Den) for entry to the arena, and a DJ will be performing outside. In addition, the Clippers Dunk Team will perform at halftime.

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 returns all 10 rotation players from the 2021 NCAA Tournament, which culminated 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 42-22 at UCLA (currently in his third season as the Bruins' head coach).
- 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 closed last season with five wins in six games ... in 2019-20, UCLA won 11 of its final 14 games.
Most recently, the Bruins faced an opponent from the Big East Conference last season. UCLA defeated Marquette, 69-60, in Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 11, 2020. The Bruins are scheduled to play at Marquette later this season (Dec. 11, 2021) at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee as part of a return game in the home-and-home series.
This Friday night's nationally-televised matchup will mark the first non-conference matchup between a pair of "top-five" ranked programs in Pauley Pavilion since March 1, 1992, when No. 4-ranked UCLA lost a 75-65 decision to No. 1-ranked Duke. The upcoming game will mark the first top-five matchup for any Pac-12 program since No. 5-ranked UCLA won at No. 4-ranked Arizona, 77-72, on Feb. 25, 2017. This will be the Pac-12's first AP top-five non-conference regular-season game since No. 3 Stanford toppled No. 1 Duke, 84-83, on Dec. 21, 2000 in Oakland.
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 96 appearances (now in his fourth season). David Singleton (95) ranks second, while Cody Riley (93) ranks third.
The Bruins recorded a 95-58 win against CSU Bakersfield in the season-opening contest for both programs on Tuesday night. Jules Bernard and Johnny Juzang each scored 19 points, as Bernard tied his career high with four 3-pointers. The Bruins finished Tuesday's win with 13 total 3-pointers made (27 attempts), a higher single-game total than in any game last season. Jaime Jaquez Jr. totaled 14 points and four rebounds, while Tyger Campbell netted 10 points and four assists.
UCLA made 13 total 3-pointers on Tuesday evening, the most made-threes by any UCLA team since connecting on 14-of-22 treys on Feb. 23, 2019, in the Bruins' 90-83 comeback win at home against Oregon. Last season, UCLA made 11 three-pointers in one game (76-61 victory at Utah on Feb. 25, 2021).
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 had gone 613 days since playing in Pauley Pavilion in front of fans (prior to last Thursday's exhibition game against Chico State). Since the start of the 2019-20 season, UCLA has compiled a 25-5 record in Pauley Pavilion.
Tyger Campbell, a redshirt junior guard, averaged 10.4 points and a team-high 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 earn 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 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.
Juniors Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang have been named to the 50-person watch list for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award, as announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. All three players were selected as preseason first-team All-Pac-12 honorees in October (announced at Pac-12 Media Day). UCLA has seen two of its players previously win the Wooden Award – Ed O'Bannon as a senior in 1994-95 and Marques Johnson as a senior in 1976-77.
Starting with last Tuesday's opening game against CSU Bakersfield, the Bruins will have started the 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 and a neutral-site contest against No. 1 Gonzaga (Nov. 23). UCLA has three upcoming home games against  Villanova, Long Beach State and North Florida before traveling to Las Vegas to play in the Good Sam Empire Classic at T-Mobile Arena (Nov. 22-23).
Last season, Johnny Juzang scored a career-high 32 points in a 64-61 win at Washington (Feb. 13). Juzang's 32-point effort at Washington marked the most points in a game by any UCLA player since Kris Wilkes had 34 points (sophomore season) in a home victory versus 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).
Johnny Juzang (32 points, Feb. 13, 2021, at Washington) became UCLA's first player to have accounted for at least half his team's points in a game since Reggie Miller on Dec. 19, 1986. Miller had 38 of 73 points (52.1%) in an 81-73 loss at Washington State. Juzang tallied half the Bruins' points (32 of 64) in last season's win at Washington.
Juzang scored 28 of UCLA's 51 points (54.9%) in the Bruins' 51-49 "Elite Eight" win last season against Michigan (March 30, 2021). That marked the first time any UCLA player had accounted for at least half of his team's total points in the NCAA Tournament since Bill Walton's 44-point effort in UCLA's 87-66 win against Memphis in the 1973 NCAA Championship. Walton made 21 of 22 shots from the field in that contest, totaling 44 points and 13 rebounds.
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.
Last season, the Bruins went 15-3 when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points. In 2019-20, UCLA went 18-1 in such situations. Through his final three seasons as Cincinnati's head coach (2016-17 through 2018-19), his teams posted a 79-10 record when holding the opposition to 70 or fewer points. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, his teams have gone 110-14 when limiting the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through 165 games).
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.