Nearing the end of his lone season at UCLA, senior point guard Larry Drew II carved a place at the top of the program’s record books. The North Carolina transfer set a new single-season assist record with his fourth on Saturday against, feeding the ball upcourt to forward David Wear for an open dunk at 13:10 in the second half. He broke Pooh Richardson’s old mark of 236, set in 1989.
Drew entered the game ranked third in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.38) and assists per game (7.8).
No. 23 UCLA (22-8, 12-5) at Washington (17-13, 9-8)
Tipoff: 11 a.m., Hec Edmundson Pavilion TV/Radio: CBS/AM 570
At a glance: If UCLA wins, it will clinch a share of the Pac-12 championship and get either the No. 1 or 2 seed in the Pac-12 tourney (depending on whether Oregon wins or loses at Utah).
The Bruins haven’t beaten Washington on the road since 2004, but Hec Ed hasn’t been as intimidating as usual this year. Six teams, including three outside the top 150 in RPI, have won there by an average of eight points. The Huskies hadn’t lost more than two games at home in a season since 2007-08. Continue reading →
Looks like ESPN College GameDay was memorable for Jay Bilas. The network’s analyst, who was in town last Saturday for UCLA’s win over Arizona, has pegged Bruin point guard Larry Drew II as his choice for Pac-12 Player of the Year.
UCLA earned itself a solid 74-69 victory against Arizona Saturday night, a convincing win that keeps the Bruins controlling a share of the Pac-12 lead (game story here). The Bruins also clinched a first-round bye in the conference tournament, and will finish no lower than a third seed. Look for them to finally be ranked again for the first time since January.
At a glance: Both Arizona and UCLA need a win to boost their chances at a Pac-12 Championship. Oregon currently sits in first place at 12-4, and has road games left against Colorado and Utah. The Ducks, who now have point guard Dominic Artis again, likely won’t drop both.
As it stands, the Bruins can still claim a share of the conference title as long as they win out. Oregon’s head-to-head tiebreaker will give them the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament assuming UCLA finishes with the same record. Continue reading →
At 6-foot-9, 275 pounds, Parker is UCLA’s lone true big man — an asset that, if developed, would solve one of the Bruins’ most glaring woes. He’s yet to become that frontcourt salve, a combination of poor health and inconsistent play keeping him off the floor.
That changed a bit Sunday, as he pick-and-rolled his way to eight first-half points in a 75-59 win at USC. When UCLA tips off against Arizona State at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the freshman will get another chance to earn minutes.
“It’s just teaching him to play with physicality,” coach Ben Howland said. “He’s got a great lower body. He’s got good strength. He’s got good hands.”
The downsides? His defense, while improving, isn’t where it should be. He dribbles too often in the low post, giving opposing defenders a chance to block his shot. Continue reading →
UCLA’s comfortable win over USC kept its Pac-12 title hopes alive. The Bruins sit just a half-game back of Arizona and Oregon for the conference lead, and will play the Wildcats again at home on Saturday. Pauley Pavilion will host ESPN’s College GameDay as a lead-up, with doors opening at 5 a.m.
UCLA’s offense looks about as good as it has all season, and enters halftime with a comfortable 47-26 lead over USC. The Bruins opened the game with seven straight points, and haven’t really allowed eased off yet at the Galen Center.
They’re outshooting the Trojans by a wide margin (58.6 percent to 33.3) but most impressive are their 13 assists on 17 field goals. Continue reading →
UCLA (19-7, 9-4) at USC (12-14, 7-6)
Tipoff: 12:30 p.m., Galen Center TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net/AM 570
At a glance: Ben Howland is just 13-9 against USC, and another loss would mark the third time he’s suffered a season sweep against the Trojans. USC has only swept the Bruins six times in the past 52 years.
Also at stake is UCLA’s chance at a Pac-12 championship. Should they lose on Sunday, the Bruins would fall into fourth place in the conference — trailing Oregon and Arizona (tied at 11-4) as well as Cal (10-5). Continue reading →