Notes and quotes: Norman Powell scores season-high 21 at USC

Norman Powell scored a season-high 21 points in UCLA’s 83-73 win at USC last night, 10 of which came in the first 7:08 of the second half as part of his team’s 27-6 run.

It’s not the first time the junior has played the spark plug role this season. In a 70-68 win at Oregon, he scored eight of UCLA’s first 10 points of the second half. In a 69-56 win at Colorado, he scored 19 and forced Buffs guard Askia Booker into early foul trouble.

What made his latest outing a bit different was the return of his shooting stroke. He entered the game shooting 18.4 percent from beyond the arc, but made 2-of-4 against the Trojans. It was the second time this season that he drained multiple 3-pointers.

His eight field goals on Saturday were also a single-game record for a UCLA player in the Galen Center, which was built before the 2006-07 season.

Powell’s improved play has come with increased playing time — though why that uptick hadn’t come earlier is still a pertinent question. The guard has played at least 30 minutes in three of his past four games. He had only cleared that mark in two other games: the first two of the season, against Drexel and Oakland. Continue reading

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UCLA dismantles USC with 107-73 blowout

At the halftime buzzer, Jordan Adams soared up next to the basket and tipped in a wayward 3-point attempt — giving UCLA a commanding 24-point lead at the break.

Some 30 seconds later, officials waved off the two points after a review. It was about the only break USC caught all Sunday afternoon, as the Bruins thoroughly dismantled them 107-73 at Pauley Pavilion.

The scoring total was UCLA’s largest this season, and tied for its highest total ever against the Trojans as well as the second-highest margin of victory. Continue reading

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USC coach Andy Enfield is definitely talking the talk

Well, Andy Enfield has definitely made Los Angeles college basketball a lot more interesting.

Last month, the first-year USC coach quipped in practice that anyone who wanted to play slow could head to UCLA.

For the record, the Bruins are currently ranked 50th nationally in adjusted tempo, according to kenpom.com. The Trojans are 172nd.

A new profile in Men’s Journal featured more biting one-liners from the 44-year-old. Continue reading

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Steve Alford notes ‘big difference’ in L.A. rivalry

Last week, Andy Enfield’s in-practice comments on UCLA’s “slow” play picked up steam in the national media. Naturally, it was the first question asked of him at Thursday’s Pac-12 Media Day.

He and UCLA coach Steve Alford both insisted that there was no bad blood between them, mentioning how much respect they had for one another. Alford offered similar thoughts again on Monday before the Bruins’ afternoon practice.

But when asked if he has a better grasp on the city’s rivalry, he pointed something else out.

“It’s hard to say. I know that there’s a rivalry,” Alford said. “Obviously, you’ve got two Pac-12 schools that are in the same town. You understand that. Do I understand there’s still a big difference in the basketball side of it? Yeah, I think there’s still a big difference there.” Continue reading

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Andy Enfield addresses his comment that UCLA plays ‘slow’


Say this for Andy Enfield: he knows how to make headlines. The USC coach first came to national prominence while guiding Florida Gulf Coast to a thrilling, dunk-filled run to the Sweet Sixteen.

Now in Los Angeles, he’s trying to build up a long-struggling Trojans program while seizing attention away from UCLA — a traditional basketball power trying to find its own way under new coach Steve Alford.

According to the San Jose Mercury-News, Enfield stopped a recent USC scrimmage and told his players they weren’t executing his “Dunk City” offense the way he wanted.

“We play up-tempo basketball here,” he said. “If you want to play slow, go to UCLA.” Continue reading

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Five-star guard Isaac Hamilton admitted to UCLA

After back-to-back misses on Wednesday and Thursday, the Bruins swung back with a big-time commitment.

Rivals.com broke the news this morning that five-star guard Isaac Hamilton has been admitted to UCLA, a welcome salve for the Bruins after missing out on four-star point guards Jordan McLaughlin and Quentin Snider. Originally signed with UTEP, Hamilton will need a waiver to play the upcoming season.

Ranked the No. 14 player in the 2013 class, the St. John Bosco shooting guard was originally a coup for coach Tim Floyd and the Miners. Top recruits in the west don’t often leave the region, and when they do, it’s to places like Durham or Lexington — not El Paso, which hasn’t seen an NCAA tournament win since 1992. Continue reading

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