LOS ANGELES – No. 5-ranked UCLA (16-2, 7-0 Pac-12) will play at Arizona State (15-3, 6-1) this Thursday evening in a Pac-12 showdown that will be nationally televised on FS1. Game time at Desert Financial Arena is 7:30 pm PT (8:30 pm MT, in Arizona). The Bruins have won their last 13 consecutive games and have opened 7-0 in Pac-12 play for the second time in three seasons.
Venue: Desert Financial Arena
Tipoff Time: 7:30 pm PT (8:30 pm MT)
TV Talent: Aaron Goldsmith (play-by-play), Casey Jacobsen (analyst)
Radio Broadcast (UCLA Sports Network): AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS XM, SIRIUS XM App Channels: Ch. 132 or 197, Ch. 959
BRUINS AT ARIZONA STATE
This Thursday’s road game will mark UCLA’s first contest of a three-game trip away from home. UCLA and ASU split a pair of regular-season contests last season, with each team winning on its home court. The Bruins have won four of the last five meetings against Arizona State, having swept the season series (2-0) in 2020-21. Arizona State defeated UCLA in Tempe last season in triple overtime (ASU 87, UCLA 84). Last year, the Bruins carried a 16-2 overall record into Arizona, as UCLA prepared for matchups at Arizona (Feb. 3, 2022) and Arizona State (Feb. 5, 2022).
This marks the second consecutive season in which UCLA has won 16 of its first 18 games. Last season’s UCLA squad opened the regular season with 16 wins in 18 games, ultimately advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. The Bruins last opened a basketball season with 17 wins through 18 games in 2016-17 (starting that year 19-1, through 20 games).
Led by point guard Tyger Campbell (13.3 ppg, 4.7 apg), UCLA has registered an assist-turnover ratio of 1.57-to-1, which ranked No. 10 in the nation through Sunday, Jan. 15. The Bruins have committed fewer turnovers than their opponent in all 18 games this season. Through Sunday’s contests, UCLA ranked No. 2 in the nation in turnover margin (+7.2 per game), the best turnover margin among any Pac-12 program (Arizona State was second in the Pac-12 at +1.7 per game).
KEY NOTES ABOUT UCLA
– The Bruins have won their last 13 consecutive games since losing back-to-back contests to No. 19-ranked Illinois (79-70) and No. 5-ranked Baylor (80-75) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Through Monday’s games, the Bruins were one of just six NCAA Division I schools to have won their last 10 or more straight games. In order, those current winning streaks include Charleston (18 games), Florida Atlantic (16), UCLA (13), Gonzaga (11), Xavier (11) and Kansas (10).
– Senior Jaime Jaquez Jr. has led the Bruins in scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg) and is one of five players in the Pac-12 Conference to rank among the top 10 leaders in both scoring (No. 4) and rebounding (No. 8). Jaquez Jr. currently ranks among UCLA’s all-time “top 25” leaders in scoring (1,444 points) and rebounds (665). He totaled 23 points, 13 rebounds, a career-high five blocks, and four steals in UCLA’s 68-54 win over Colorado on Saturday evening.
– The Bruins have limited the opposition to 57.1 points per game during the 13-game winning streak (holding the opposition to 28.6% from 3-point range). Looking at recent lengthy winning streaks, UCLA had one 10-game streak late during the 2016-17 season and opened the 2016-17 campaign with 13 consecutive wins (UCLA finished that season 31-5). The Bruins won 14 straight games in February and March of 2008, culminating in a third consecutive Final Four appearance.
– Three weeks ago, the Bruins notched their first “road sweep” of Washington State and Washington since the 2016-17 season. UCLA has opened Pac-12 play with seven straight wins (four home games, three road contests). Overall this season, the Bruins are 4-0 in true road games (Stanford, Maryland, Washington State and Washington) and 5-2 in seven games played away from home. UCLA returns to the road at Arizona State on Thursday night.
– The Bruins ranked No. 3 in the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings (KenPom.com), through games played on Sunday, Jan. 15. UCLA has compiled the No. 15-ranked offensive efficiency and are No. 4 in the defensive efficiency category (one of five schools to rank among the top 15 in both categories). Ranked No. 5 in the AP poll and USA Today Sports Coaches poll, UCLA has been ranked in each of the last 30 AP polls (since the start of the 2021-22 season).
10 STEALS, 10 BLOCKS
UCLA totaled 15 steals and 11 blocks last Saturday in the team’s 68-54 win against Colorado. That marked the first time since Feb. 9, 2012, in which the Bruins totaled at least 15 steals and 11 blocks in a game. The Bruins also had 15 steals and 11 blocks in a 72-61 win against Stanford at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Feb. 9, 2012. Since the start of the 2010-11 season (425 games), UCLA has had at least 10 steals and 10 blocks in just five games. The Bruins totaled 17 steals and 12 blocks in the team’s season opener in 2010-11 (versus Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12, 2010).
UCLA’S ROSTER CONSTRUCTION
The Bruins returned five of their primary 11 contributors from last year’s team. UCLA went 27-8 overall last season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. Key returners include seniors Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Kenneth Nwuba and David Singleton and junior Jaylen Clark. Each of those student-athletes played in at least 20 games in 2021-22. All five competed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament (the First Four to the Final Four). UCLA also has returned two redshirt freshmen in forward Mac Etienne and guard Will McClendon, who both missed last season with knee injuries (torn ACL).
The Bruins have gone 5-2 in seven total road and neutral site contests, this season. In addition to a 74-49 double-digit win at Washington on New Year’s Day (Sunday, Jan. 1), the Bruins also notched an 87-60 victory at Maryland on Dec. 14. Other substantial road wins, as of late, included a 67-56 win at Marquette in Dec. 2021 (UCLA led at halftime, 35-21) and at Oregon State in March of 2022 (UCLA won that game, 94-55). Playing at Stanford this season (Dec. 1, 2022), the Bruins raced to a 17-0 lead and won by an 80-66 margin. Against Maryland, UCLA led 39-11 with 3:30 to play before halftime.
– Last season, UCLA went 13-7 in road/neutral site games. Since the start of the Bruins’ 2021-22 season, UCLA has compiled an 18-9 record in 27 games played away from home.
Senior Jaime Jaquez Jr. has been named as one of 25 top players in the nation to the midseason watch list for the Wooden Award. He entered the weekend ranking No. 4 in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.4 ppg). Jaquez Jr. ranks No. 28 on the Bruins’ all-time scoring list and No. 25 on UCLA’s all-time rebounds list (652 total rebounds). Only 10 former UCLA players currently rank among the top 25 in both career scoring and rebounding (Jaquez Jr. could soon become the 11th UCLA player in that notable stat category). Jaquez Jr. has averaged 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in 114 career games.
TOP POINT GUARD
Senior Tyger Campbell opened the season on the watch list for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, having been named one of five finalists for that award last season. He has averaged 13.5 points and 4.8 assists per game in all 17 contests for the Bruins this season. Campbell currently leads all Pac-12 players in assist-turnover ratio (2.79). He has become one of eight UCLA players to have logged at least 1,000 career points and 500 career assists in the Bruins’ uniform (the assist stat has been regularly tracked at UCLA since the start of the 1973-74 season).
JAYLEN THE SPARK PLUG
Junior Jaylen Clark has been a key contributor for the Bruins. He has averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game (17 contests). Clark has entered the week as the Pac-12 leader in steals (45 steals, 2.65 spg). In addition, the 6-foot-5 guard has totaled 33 assists and 16 made 3-pointers. Last season, Clark had a five-game stretch as a sophomore (Feb. 2022) where he had averaged 14.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.4 steals (UCLA went 4-1 in those five contests).
PRECISION FROM 3-POINT RANGE
Fifth-year senior guard David Singleton has averaged a career-best 10.2 points per game (18 contests). He ranks third among all Pac-12 players in 3-point shooting percentage (44.0%), having connected on 37 of his 84 long-range attempts. In addition, Singleton’s career 3-point percentage (43.9%) currently ranks No. 4 among all UCLA players in program history. Singleton ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 last season in 3-point shooting percentage (45.1%) and as a true freshman in 2018-19 (46.7%). He has now made at least 37 attempts from 3-point distance in each of his five seasons on the court at UCLA.
Freshman forward Adem Bona has averaged 8.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17 games this season. One week ago, Bona was honored as the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week for the second consecutive week. Over UCLA’s last five games, he has averaged 11.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. Bona has shot 65.2 percent from the field this season, which ranks No. 3 among all Pac-12 players. In the Bruins’ two home victories last week, Bona averaged 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He finished with three blocks in the Bruins’ 68-54 win against Colorado.
UCLA has made at least one 3-pointer in its last 771 games. That 3-point streak began after the Bruins went 0-for-14 from 3-point territory in a 78-63 loss at No. 2-ranked Stanford on Feb. 3, 2000 (Maples Pavilion). UCLA has made at least three 3-pointers in 314 of 323 games since the start of the 2013-14 season. The Bruins made a school single-game-record 19 three-pointers, on 31 attempts, in a 104-89 win at Colorado on Jan. 12, 2017. UCLA’s previous 3-point record was set earlier that season, as the Bruins made 18 of 30 attempts in the regular-season opener against Pacific (Nov. 11, 2016).
HISTORY & TRADITION
The 2022-23 school year marks the 104th season in which UCLA has fielded a men’s basketball team (first season was 1919-20). In addition, this is the 57th season in which the Bruins have called Pauley Pavilion their home. The arena opened at the start of the 1965-66 season, and UCLA spent the next 46 seasons playing home games in Pauley Pavilion. The arena was closed for an 18-month renovation during the 2011-12 school year, re-opening in Nov. 2012. In all, the Bruins have won a nation-leading 11 NCAA Championships and have advanced to the NCAA Final Four 19 times.
HOME GAMES, PAC-12 CONTESTS
– The Bruins went 14-1 at home last season, winning their final eight games in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA has won its last 19 home games (including the most recent victories over Utah and Colorado). Last season, the Bruins’ only loss at home was an 84-81 overtime setback against Oregon (on Thursday, Jan. 13). Since taking over as UCLA’s head coach (fall of 2019), Mick Cronin has led the Bruins to a 49-6 record in all games played in Pauley Pavilion.
– With the COVID-19 pandemic prompting teams to close their arenas to fans, none of UCLA’s home games in 2020-21 were played in front of a crowd. Likewise, three of UCLA’s games in January of 2022 were played before no fans (arena was limited to players’ family members only). Including a seven-game home win streak to close the 2019-20 home schedule, UCLA has won its last 30 home contests with fans in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.
– Since the start of the 2020-21 season, UCLA has compiled a 35-11 mark in the Pac-12 (13-6 in 2020-21, and 15-5 last season). The Bruins have won 28 of their last 30 home games in Pac-12 action (the Bruins lost to USC in March of 2021 and to Oregon in overtime last season on Jan. 13, 2022). The Bruins won their final seven home Pac-12 games in 2019-20, during Coach Cronin’s first season as UCLA’s head coach.
– UCLA has gone 11-0 in home contests this season. The Bruins have six home Pac-12 games remaining on the schedule (next home game is against Washington on Thursday, Feb. 2). This season, the Bruins will not play Oregon State in Pauley Pavilion (and won’t travel to play at California). UCLA opened its Pac-12 schedule in early December with wins at Stanford (80-66) and at home versus Oregon (65-56).
THE BRUINS WHEN …
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, the Bruins have gone 92-17 when leading at halftime (through 182 games). During that span, UCLA has gone 27-41 when trailing at halftime (3-2 when tied at the break). UCLA’s largest halftime deficit overcome in that stretch has been 16 points – UCLA trailed at home against Oregon, 44-28, on Feb. 23, 2019, and outscored the Ducks in the second half (62-39) to win, 90-83. When the Bruins have built a 10-point lead (or larger) at any point in the game, UCLA has gone 97-12. When trailing by 10 or more points in a game, UCLA has gone 18-42.
LIMITING THE TURNOVERS
Through games played on Sunday, Jan. 15, the Bruins ranked No. 5 (nationally) in fewest turnovers per game (9.8). UCLA has committed nine or fewer turnovers in 11 of 18 games this season. Last year, UCLA concluded the season ranked No. 2 in fewest turnovers per game (8.9), while Wisconsin ranked No. 1 in that category (8.7). UCLA committed just one turnover in the 75-68 win over USC last season (March 5, 2022), the fewest turnovers by a Pac-12 team in one game (on record). UCLA has consistently recorded assist and turnover stats since the start of the 1973-74 season.