No. 5 UCLA Prepares to Face Long Beach State
LOS ANGELES – No. 5-ranked UCLA (8-1) returns to action this Thursday against Long Beach State (4-7) in a non-conference game that was added to the schedule this week. Game time is 4:30 p.m. (PT). The Bruins' team will have gone 25 days between games, due to COVID-19 protocols within the men's basketball program. UCLA has compiled an 18-1 all-time record against Long Beach State. The Bruins have won each of their past seven matchups against the Beach, with each of those contests having taken place in Pauley Pavilion.
PLEASE NOTE: Thursday's contest between UCLA and Long Beach State will be limited to families of team members, due to additional COVID-19 safety precautions. Guests should not come to Pauley Pavilion for the game. UCLA's game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network, while the Bruins' radio broadcast will be available on AM 1150 in the greater Los Angeles area.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom
Game Time: 4:30 p.m. (PT)
Television: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Mike Montgomery (analyst)
Radio Broadcast (UCLA Sports Network): AM 1150
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channels: TBD
SIRIUS Internet Channel: TBD
ABOUT THE BRUINS
• The Bruins have gone 8-1 and are ranked No. 5 in the AP and Coaches' Polls this week.
• UCLA returns to the court after a 25-day span without any games, since defeating Marquette on Saturday, Dec. 11.
• UCLA has shot 39.0% from 3-point distance, the No. 1 3-point percentage among Pac-12 teams (through Jan. 3).
• The Bruins rank No. 2 in the Pac-12 assist-turnover ratio (1.60) and No. 10, nationally, in that category (through Jan. 3).
• Guard Johnny Juzang has averaged a team-best 16.6 points per game (he's averaging 4.9 rebounds per contest).
• Guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. has averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in the team's first nine games.
• Head coach Mick Cronin has gone 49-23 at UCLA (currently in his third season as UCLA's head coach).
• UCLA went 22-10 last season, including a 13-6 mark in Pac-12 play (finishing in fourth place in the league).
• Eleven of UCLA's 15 players were either born-and-raised in Southern California or attended high school in the area.
• The Bruins went 5-1 in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, earning the program's 19th all-time appearance in the Final Four.
VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: The Bruins secured an 100-79 victory against Long Beach State in the third game of the season (Nov. 15, 2021). Five Bruins scored in double figures in that win, with Johnny Juzang leading UCLA with 25 points. Jules Bernard made 4 of 5 attempts from 3-point range and finished the contest with 22 points.
VERSUS CALIFORNIA: UCLA will play at California on Saturday, Jan. 8 (Haas Pavilion, 5 p.m. PT). The Bruins have registered an all-time record of 143-103 against Cal, including a pair of regular-season wins to sweep the season series in 2020-21. UCLA has won the last eight consecutive games against California (Jan. 5, 2017 through last season).
BACK IN ACTION: The Bruins paused all team activities (due to COVID-19 protocols) in mid-December, prompting the cancellation of games scheduled against Alabama State, North Carolina and Cal Poly. In addition, consecutive home games against No. 8 Arizona (Dec. 30) and Arizona State (Jan. 1) were postponed. UCLA's scheduled game at Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 6 has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within Stanford's program.
TUESDAY'S MEDIA AVAILABLITY
Coach Cronin, Jules Bernard and Jaime Jaquez Jr. spoke to the media (via Zoom) prior to UCLA's practice on Tuesday in the Mo Ostin Basketball Center.
Coach Cronin's Zoom Session | Jules and Jaime's Zoom Session
THROUGH NINE GAMES
UCLA has compiled an 8-1 overall record, the program's best start through nine games since the 2016-17 season, when the Bruins began the year with 13 consecutive wins (all in non-conference action). Within the previous 10 seasons (back to 2011-12), UCLA has won at least eight of its first nine contests in two seasons (2016-17, was 9-0; 2013-14, was 8-1). The Bruins have been tabbed No. 5 in this week's AP and Coaches' Polls, the program's highest in-season top-25 rankings at this point in the season, since the 2016-17 campaign (UCLA ended that season with a 31-5 overall record).
AWAY FROM HOME
The Bruins have registered two non-conference road wins (73-51 at UNLV, and 67-56 at Marquette), improving their record to 3-1 in road and neutral site games. This marks the first season since 2004-05 in which the Bruins have played at least two non-conference road games (that year, UCLA played at Michigan State in December and at Notre Dame in late February). Now in his third season as UCLA's head coach, Mick Cronin has guided the Bruins to a 20-18 record in games played away from home (road games, neutral sites) and to a 29-5 record in home games.
UCLA'S LAST GAME
The Bruins recorded their third consecutive win with a 67-56 victory at Marquette on Saturday, Dec. 11 (played at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis.). Jaime Jaquez Jr. logged his fifth career double-double (his second this season) with a 24-point, 12-rebound effort. Jaquez Jr. scored 14 of his team-high 24 points in the first half and made each of his first three attempts from 3-point range (he shot 7-for-16 in the game and was 3-for-5 from 3-point distance). Tyger Campbell and Johnny Juzang each finished with 12 points. Juzang had a team-leading three steals and Campbell finished with eight assists.
Through games played on Monday, Jan. 3, UCLA ranked No. 10 in the nation and second in the Pac-12 in assist-turnover ratio (1.60, with 144 assists and 90 turnovers). Tyger Campbell has totaled 38 assists and nine turnovers in nine contests. Jules Bernard has registered 21 assists and eight turnovers, while Jaime Jaquez Jr. has totaled 22 assists and 14 turnovers. Campbell's assist-turnover ratio of 4.2-to-1 ranked No. 4, nationally, through games played on Monday, Jan. 3. Campbell has averaged 12.6 points, 4.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds in nine games, shooting 45.2% from the field.
BRUINS IN LEAGUE PLAY
Last season, UCLA went 13-6 in Pac-12 play and logged an 8-1 record at home in league action. In fact, the Bruins have won 16 of their last 17 home games in Pac-12 play (that lone loss came against USC, 64-63, on March 6, 2021). UCLA won its final seven home Pac-12 games in 2019-20, Coach Cronin's first season as the Bruins' head coach. Since the start of the 2016-17 basketball season, the Bruins have registered a Pac-12 record of 60-31.
Four of UCLA's veteran players – Johnny Juzang (16.6 ppg), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (14.8 ppg), Jules Bernard (13.0 ppg) and Tyger Campbell (12.6 ppg) – have all averaged at least 10 points per game, through nine contests. Juzang has scored in double figures in all nine games, netting a season-high 25 points against Villanova (Nov. 12) and Long Beach State (Nov. 15) in back-to-back outings. Jaquez Jr. registered a season-high 24 points (and grabbed 12 rebounds) in the Bruins' 67-56 win at Marquette (Dec. 11). Jaquez Jr. ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and leads UCLA with 11 steals.
SHOT MAKERS: The Bruins made 40 of 78 shots against Long Beach State on Monday, Nov. 15, the team's most made field goals in one game since connecting on 40 of 74 attempts in the season opener against Purdue Fort Wayne on Nov. 6, 2018. Johnny Juzang led the Bruins in that category, sinking 11 of 21 shots versus Long Beach State.
Tyger Campbell, a redshirt junior guard, has averaged 12.6 points and a team-leading 4.2 assists in nine games. He has made 19 of 40 attempts from 3-point range (47.5%) and 18 of 21 free throw attempts (85.7%). Campbell was honored as a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last year. He has become the first UCLA player since Darren Collison (2006-09) to serve as the team's primary point guard for three straight seasons. From 2011-12 through 2018-19, UCLA had seven different players who served as the team's "starting" point guard. Campbell played (and started) all 63 games the past two seasons.
Listed as a preseason All-America selection by nearly every national media outlet, Johnny Juzang has averaged a team-best 16.6 points per game this season. He averaged a team-leading 16.0 points in 27 contests last season. He 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).
HOME COOKIN': Johnny Juzang scored 19 points in the Bruins' season opener (Nov. 9, vs. CSU Bakersfield). He added a team-high 25 points against Villanova, and registered 25 points against Long Beach State (Nov. 15). Each of those single-game point totals were higher than any other game in Pauley Pavilion for Juzang, last season. His previous single-game high (scoring) in Pauley Pavilion was 17 points versus Washington State on Jan. 14, 2021.
Selected a second-team All-Pac-12 player in 2020-21, Jaime Jaquez Jr. (along with Tyger Campbell & Johnny Juzang) was picked as a "first-team" preseason All-Pac-12 selection in Oct. 2021. Jaquez Jr., a 6-foot-7 guard/forward, has averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds through nine contests. Last season, he averaged 12.3 points and a team-best 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). Last season, Jaquez Jr. scored in double figures in 21 of UCLA's 32 games.
Senior guard Jules Bernard has averaged 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in the Bruins' first nine games. Bernard totaled a team-leading 18 points at UNLV on Saturday, Nov. 27. He scored 22 points and logged a career-high seven assists in UCLA's 100-79 win over Long Beach State (Nov. 15). Bernard sank the game-tying basket with 25 seconds to play in the second half against No. 4 Villanova (Nov. 12, helping tie the game at 67-67). He has played in a team-leading 104 career contests, including all 32 games (28 starts) last season. He has registered career averages of 8.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
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 as a sophomore against Arizona (Jan. 26, 2019, in Pauley Pavilion). 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).
50 PERCENT: 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.
Under third-year head coach Mick Cronin, the Bruins have gone 21-7 in games decided by five points or fewer (includes all overtime games, regardless of score margin). In 2019-20, the Bruins went 7-3 in those 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 39-14 in such contests.
70 POINTS OR FEWER
Over the past two seasons (2020-21 and 2021-22), UCLA has gone 21-3 when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points (15-3 last season, 6-0 record in such situations this year). In 2019-20, the Bruins logged an 18-1 record in such situations. 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. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, his teams have gone 115-14 when limiting the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through 179 games).
65 POINTS, OR FEWER: Through three seasons as UCLA's head coach (2019-20 through 2021-22), Coach Cronin has guided the Bruins to a 34-2 record when UCLA has held its opposition to 65 points or fewer. UCLA has gone 4-0 this season (allowing 65 or fewer points), went 14-1 last season, and was 16-1 in 2019-20.