Bruins hold off Gauchos, preserve perfect record


– UCLA’s 89-76 win was solid given that UCSB shot lights out early and looked like a team that could earn a March Madness berth. The key was a 27-of-36 showing at the free throw line, the first time the Bruins shot more than 30 in a game this season.

They are 8-0 for the first time since 2006-07.

– Freshman Zach LaVine led the team with 13 points at halftime, showing off his range with a number of deep threes. He still needs to improve his shot selection, but doesn’t seem fazed by a hand in his face or rushing defenders. I write more about him here. Continue reading

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Bruins move to 7-0 with win over Northwestern

UCLA maintained its perfect record with a 95-79 win over Northwestern Friday night, closing out the Las Vegas Invitational.

Sophomore Kyle Anderson was named tournament MVP and nearly had his second career triple-double. The point guard finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, four steals and a block. He also made both his 3-point attempts, chipping in to the Bruins’ absurd 13-of-16 rate from downtown. Continue reading

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UCLA rolls in dunkfest win over Chattanooga

UCLA had a chance to work on its dunking skills, and Norman Powell had five of UCLA’s 10 slams in this 106-65 win over Chattanooga.

Powell’s windmill dunk was the highlight of the evening as were the 106 points. UCLA hadn’t scored more than 100 points in a non-exhibition game in five years. And that’s because defensive-minded Ben Howland was coach.

This was a new kind of UCLA look to be sure. Kyle Anderson nearly had another triple double with 17 points 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Jordan Adams scored a team-high 22 points, and Tony Parker had a career-best 14 rebounds.

The Bruins are 5-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season, when they won their first seven games.

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Kyle Anderson drops UCLA’s first triple-double since 1995

In an 81-70 win that looked more difficult than it should have, Kyle Anderson carved out his little piece of UCLA history.

The sophomore point guard dropped a triple-double on Morehead State, the first by a Bruin since Toby Bailey logged his on Dec. 18, 1995. Continue reading

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Bruins blow out Sacramento State for third straight victory

UCLA kept its record perfect with an 86-50 blowout of Sacramento State on Monday night, the Bruins’ largest winning margin through three games this season.

Guard Jordan Adams scored a game-high 21 points, hitting four of five attempts from 3-point range and scoring seven straight during one UCLA run. He also pocketed eight steals and four rebounds. Point guard Kyle Anderson had eight points and eight assists.

Senior forward Travis Wear remains day-to-day after having an appendectomy on Oct. 28. His twin brother David had 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.

Freshman Wanaah Bail (knee) is still sidelined, as is fellow first-year forward Noah Allen. The latter is out six weeks after undergoing surgery for facial fractures.

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Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson named to Wooden watch list

UCLA sophomores Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson both made the John R. Wooden Award watch list Tuesday, the latest iteration of a relatively meaningless preseason hype ritual.

Two past Bruins have taken home the prize, given each year to the top player in college basketball: Marques Johnson as the inaugural winner in 1977, and Ed O’Bannon in 1995. Continue reading

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Basketball notes: Bruins behind in defense, rebounding

– Steve Alford said UCLA has been doing a lot of work using 15- and 20-second shot clocks, and is ahead of where they should be on offense — albeit turning the ball over too often. However, the team is behind defensively, especially on the backboard.

“Our two best rebounders have probably been Kyle (Anderson) and Tony (Parker),” Alford said, adding that the team has been much better on the offensive glass.

The Bruins were last in the Pac-12 last year with a -1.6 rebounding margin.

– Five-star power forward Kevon Looney was on campus for the last of his five official visits. He will announce his decision on Oct. 31, with Duke being the favorite. Continue reading

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Basketball notes: Steve Alford talks guard rotation, schemes


UCLA officially started practicing this past Saturday, and the first 15 minutes of Monday’s afternoon session was open to the media. The Bruins didn’t do anything intensive to start, but freshman Bryce Alford manned the point while Kyle Anderson did individual drills at the other end of the court.

Anderson said he’s playing a lot more point guard than he did under former head coach Ben Howland, estimating the increase at roughly 90 percent.

Other notes: Continue reading

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Jordan Adams talks rehab and new role as No. 1 scorer

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Jordan Adams entered his freshman season as the least-heralded member of UCLA’s No. 2 recruiting class. He quickly turned into one of the Bruins’ most effective scorers, averaging 15.3 points per game (fifth in the Pac-12) until he broke his foot in the conference tournament semifinals.

Expected to now be the team’s primary option, he’ll return to the court sometime in August. He talked this week about his rehab, his impressions of the new coaching staff, and some reflections on last season.

Q: Where are you in your rehab?

I’m close to getting back on the court. I’ve talked to the trainers and the doctors; they said early August, middle of August. … Easing back into it. They’ll let me decide when I want to officially come back. It’ll be my decision at the end, but I’m still not cleared until August. Continue reading

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