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The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 5, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Scouting report: UCLA

UCLA guard Jordan Adams (3) drives past Washington's C.J. Wilcox (23) during the first half the Bruins' 61-54 win at Alaska Airlines Arena on March 9, 2013. (Photo credit: Joe Nicholson - USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA guard Jordan Adams (3) drives past Washington’s C.J. Wilcox (23) during the first half the Bruins’ 61-54 win at Alaska Airlines Arena on March 9, 2013. (Photo credit: Joe Nicholson – USA TODAY Sports)

Scouting report: UCLA
Game info: 6 p.m. Thursday at Alaska Airlines Arena (10, 000 capacity).

TV: ESPN2 (Dave Pasch and Bill Walton).
Radio: KJR 950 AM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).

Record: 22-7, 11-7 Pac-12 (second).
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: UCLA and Washington.

Coach: In his first year with the Bruins, Steve Alford is a Pac-12 Coach of the Year candidate because he’s steadied a program that had veered off course in terms of off-the-court issues and failed to meet the high expectations of its fans and alums. He replaced Ben Howland, who had been at UCLA for 10 years and guided the Bruins to six NCAA tournaments and three Final Fours.

Alford has an impressive resume as well. In 23 years, he’s compiled a 485-242 record (.667). Before landing the UCLA job, he spent six seasons (2007-13) at New Mexico where he was 155-52 (.749), including three NCAA tourney appearances. Prior or New Mexico, Alford coached eight years (1999-07) at Iowa where he was 158-106 (.589) with three NCAA tourney appearances. And Alford got his Division I start at Missouri State where he had a 78-48 (.61) record in four years (1995-99), including a NCAA tourney Sweet 16 run in 1999. Alford began coaching in 1991 at Division III Manchester College and spent four years (1991-95) there.

As a player, the 6-2 guard led Indiana to a 1987 national championship. He was a first-team all-Big Ten three times and was Indiana’s all-time leading scorer when he graduated. Alford played four years in the NBA before retiring in 1991. He’s led his teams to at least 22 wins in each of the last seven seasons.

Prediction: Picked to finish second in a preseason poll in the Pac-12 by media who cover the conference. UCLA received one of the 23 first-place votes.

Series: UCLA leads 90-40 in a series that began Dec. 30, 1936. UW coach Lorenzo Romar, a former Bruins assistant from 1993-96, is 2-8 against UCLA in Los Angeles and 11-12 all-time. Alford is 0-2 against Washington, including an 82-64 loss in the 2010 NCAA tournament

Last meeting: Then-No. 23 UCLA beat Washington 61-54 at Alaska Airlines Arena, which clinched an outright Pac-12 regular-season title for the Bruins on March 9, 2013. It was UCLA’s first win in Seattle since 2004, snapping Washington’s eight-game home winning streak against the Bruins. The Huskies led 31-30 at halftime and they were ahead 47-45 lead with 7:56 left. The score was tied 52-52 when Washington’s offense stalled and the Huskies were outscored 9-2 over the final six minutes.

Previous game:UCLA overcame an 11-point, second-half deficit last Sunday, outscoring Oregon State 45-31 in the second half to win 74-69 at Pauley Pavilion in the regular-season home finale. Jordan Adams scored 20 of his team-leading 24 points in the second half.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

kyle-anderson-blog— Nicknamed ‘Slo-Mo,’ sophomore Kyle Anderson plays at a deliberate pace that’s deceptive and difficult to defend. He’s not overly athletic or quick, but he’s long, crafty and surprisingly explosive. At 6-9, he’s a polished playmaker and perhaps the most unique player in college basketball.

No player in the country has averaged as close to a triple-double as Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 6.9 apg). Through games played Sunday, March 2, he was the nation’s only player averaging at least 10.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 6.0 apg. In addition, he is the only major Division I player to rank in the top five (in his conference, BCS conferences only) in rebounds, assists and steals (1.8 per game) and be among the top 15 scorers.

Anderson is the first NCAA Division I player to average at least 14-8-6 since Ohio State’s Evan Turner finished with 20.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg and 6.0 apg in 2009-10.

Anderson is the first UCLA player to average at least 10-5-5 since Bill Walton finished his senior season (1973-74) with 19.3 ppg, 14.7 rpg and 5.5 apg.

Anderson (13-12-11) is one of four UCLA players to ever register a triple double. The others include: Walton (25-16-11), Toby Bailey (23-10-10) and Jelani McCoy (15-10-11).

Last week, Anderson was suspended from Thursday’s double overtime loss to Oregon for violating an unspecified team rule. He returned Sunday. Anderson hasn’t said it, but he’ll likely leave UCLA after the season and enter the draft. He’s considered a first-round prospect. The former McDonald’s All-American arrived in 2012 with plenty of hype and was overshadowed somewhat last season by teammates Shabazz Muhammad, the Pac-12 co-freshman of the year. With Muhammad gone to the NBA, Anderson took over.

He’s in the running for several postseason awards, including Pac-12 MVP, the John R. Wooden Award, the Oscar Robertson National Player of the year trophy and the Bob Cousy award, given to the nation’s top point guard.

Jordan Adams was the least heralded of a touted four-man recruiting class in 2012 that included Muhammad, Anderson and Tony Parker. However, the 6-5 shooting guard could have the biggest impact if he stays a little longer at UCLA. Thursday marks Adams’ 62nd game with the Bruins and he needs seven points to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Only six previous players in UCLA history have scored 1,000 career points in 61 or fewer games. The list includes: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Walton, Don MacLean, Gail Goodrich, Tracy Murray and Jason Kapono.

Adams has scored in double digits 50 times in 61 career games, including 25 of 28 this season. He’s logged at least 20 points in 22 career games, including 11 this season.

He’s averaging a team-high 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds per game, 2.3 assists and a Pac-12 best 2.9 steals while shooting 47.0 percent from the field (157-334). His career scoring high is 30 points. Last season, he became the only player in UCLA history score at least 20 points in his first four games as a freshman. His season ended in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal after suffering a broken right foot.

Adams and Anderson were suspended last Thursday, which leads to speculation about a rift with Alford. It’s also unclear if Adams will return next season. Despite his spectacular scoring, he doesn’t generate much buzz as a NBA prospect.

OVERVIEW:

— Thursday will be a homecoming for freshman guard Zach LaVine, who starred at Bothell High. He was recruited by the Huskies and had offers from Gonzaga, Louisville and Texas. The 6-4 guard averages 10.7 points and 2.6 rebound as a reserve. Due to his freakish athleticism and ability to shoot three-pointers, many believe LaVine could be taken in the first round – and possibly the lottery – if he were to declare for the NBA draft.

— UCLA is guaranteed at least a No. 4 seed and a first-round bye in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament. The Bruins can lock up the No. 2 seed with a pair of wins this week.

David and Travis Wear are nearly identical in every way. The 6-10 senior forwards average 6.8 and 6.9 points respectively. David is a slightly better rebounder (3.9 per game compared to 3.3) while Travis is a more adept play maker (1.2 assist average compared to 0.7). This is their third season with the Bruins since transferring from North Carolina.

Normal Powell is often the forgotten man in the lineup partly because he had a marginal impact during his first two years when he averaged 5.3 points. This season, his 11.2 scoring average ranks third on the team.  Powell, a 6-4 guard, has played more games for UCLA (97) than anyone on the team.

— Freshman guard Bryce Alford is a chip off the old block. His dad was a big-time scorer and the younger Alford showed signs last week that he can light up a scoreboard as good as anybody in the family. In his first start, Alford tallied a career-high 31 points in a double overtime loss to Oregon. It was the most points for a UCLA freshman since MacLean had 41 on Dec. 1988. Alford is averaging 8.3 points, 2.8 assists and 1.8 rebounds as a reserve.

— It’s been a roller coaster career for Parker, a former McDonld’s All-American, who has been yo-yoed in and out of the lineup the past two seasons. He averaged just 2.4 points and 6.3 minutes last season partly because the 6-9, 275-pound forward had trouble staying in shape. He returned this season at 255 pounds and he’s averaging 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 17.1 minutes.

— UCLA finishes the regular season on the road where they are 6-5 this season, including a 4-3 mark in Pac-12 games.

— Alford had a reputation as a coach who favors slow-paced offense, but UCLA is 10th in the nation with an 82.6 scoring average.

— Seven players have scored at least 20 points in a game, including six who have done it this season.

— The lineup (below) has started 19 of the past 20 games and posted a 14-5 record.

STARTING LINEUP:

C – David Wear, 6-10, 230, Sr., 6.8 ppg., 3.9 rpg., 49.7 FG%, 81.8 FT%, 45 3FG%
F – Travis Wear, 6-10, 230, Sr., 6.9, 3.3, 1.2 apg., 50.0 FG%, 85.2 FT%, 53.3 3FG%
G – Kyle Anderson, 6-9, 235, So., 14.9, 8.6, 6.8 apg., 3.2 tpg., 1.8 spg., 49 FG%, 48.9 3FG%
G – Jordan Adams, 6-5, 220, So., 17.4, 5.5, 2.3 apg. 2.9 spg., 47 FG%, 83.8 FT%
G – Norman Powell, 6-4, 215, Jr., 11.2, 3.0, 1.8 apg., 1.3 spg., 54.0 FG%

Comments | More in Scouting reports | Topics: UCLA


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