UCLA holds off Ducks in back-and-forth road thriller

Oregon pressured Kyle Anderson all night, and it resulted in the UCLA point guard tying a season-low in points. What the Ducks couldn’t do was limit his contributions elsewhere.

Anderson hit just one field goal in the Bruins’ 70-68 road win, but made several key plays late in a game that see-sawed wildly for 40 minutes. With under a minute left, the sophomore cut down the right side of the lane, drawing an extra defender before dishing the ball to a wide-open Jordan Adams.

The shooting guard hit the layup and drew the foul, tying the game at 68 on the ensuing free throw. When Anderson front-rimmed a jumper on the next possession down, Adams quickly reached out to force a held ball — giving UCLA one more chance with 8.5 seconds left.

Adams lost the ball on a baseline drive, but it bounced right to forward Travis Wear for the go-ahead jumper. Continue reading

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What to watch: UCLA at Oregon

UCLA (16-4, 5-2) at Oregon (14-5, 2-5)
When:
6 p.m., Thursday, Matthew Knight Arena
TV: ESPN2 (Bill Walton, Dave Pasch)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Tracy Murray)

No. 1: Point guard matchups. Backup Johnathan Loyd, the team’s assist leader, will be limited and in a mask after breaking his nose earlier this week. That leaves a bigger load for Dominic Artis, who started last season but was suspended for the first nine games of his sophomore campaign for selling school-issued apparel.

Despite rejoining the first five, however, Artis has not logged more than 20 minutes in his last five games. He has made more than two field goals in only one of his ten appearances, and is shooting just 35.3 percent from the field. Continue reading

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Tony Parker not frustrated by mercurial sophomore season

UCLA forward Tony Parker has tripled his playing time, going from 6.3 minutes per game as a freshman to 18.9 as a sophomore.

Other than that, he said, there isn’t anything else new about his second go-round with the Bruins.

“I play,” he said. “That’s the difference. That’s the only really big difference, is I play.”

That alone has been enough to keep him patient. Parker insisted this week that he isn’t frustrated by his up-and-down season under first-year head coach Steve Alford, one captured in his performances this past week: a career-high 22 points against Stanford, followed by 0 points against Cal.

He committed two fouls in 85 seconds on Sunday against the Bears, and said he should have adjusted his play more quickly to what the officials were calling. Continue reading

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Adoree’ Jackson has UCLA in top four

Five-star prospect Adoree’ Jackson announced his final four last night: Florida, LSU, USC and UCLA. Ranked No. 6 in the country by Rivals.com, the 5-foot-10, 172-pound athlete is the top uncommitted player left on the board.

The Gardena Serra product can be an impact player as a cornerback, receiver or returner. He has one official visit left, but has not said where he will take it.

Jackson is also a state long jump champion, and has Olympic aspirations for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

Of his four finalists, Florida has by far the strongest track and field program. Continue reading

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Alford talks up Oregon’s speed

UCLA’s Thursday trip to Oregon will pit the Bruins against the team most capable of matching their pace. The Ducks are 21st in the country in adjusted tempo, second in the conference to Steve Alford’s squad (15th).

“They play a lot of guards,” Alford said. “They usually have four guards in their lineup. Sometimes it looks like they have five guards in their lineup. … Our transition defense is going to come to a test.”

Oregon, which has lost four of their last five, rank 15th in adjusted offense — five spots above UCLA — but rank 130th in adjusted defense. Only Washington and Oregon State are worse in the Pac-12.

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