Scouting UCLA

News, notes and quotes on KU's matchup with UCLA in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational today at 8:30 p.m. (CT) in the Lahaina Civic Center on ESPN while wondering if the Jayhawks can play with the same energy as they did in beating Georgetown on Monday, 67-63.

SCOUTING UCLA

UCLA, which was ranked No. 17 in the preseason AP poll, dropped its first two games at home to Loyola Marymount (69-58) and Middle Tennessee State (86-66) before beating Chaminade yesterday, 92-60. The Bruins led just 40-38 at halftime before breaking the game open in the second half with a 29-3 run.

Senior guard Lazeric Jones led five UCLA players in double figures with 19 points while senior guard Jerime Anderson added a career-high 18.
 
A loss to Chaminade would have given the Bruins (1-2) its first 0-3 start since losing its first eight games in the 1940-41 season.

Anderson leads UCLA in scoring thus far with 13.5 points per game, followed by redshirt sophomore forward Travis Wear (10.7 ppg), sophomore center Joshua Smith (10.7 ppg), Jones (9.7), redshirt sophomore forward David Wear (9.5), sophomore guard Tyler Lamb (9.0), and junior forward Reeves Nelson (7.0).

The Bruins average 72.0 points per game while allowing 71.7.

Ben Howland, who is in his his ninth year as head coach at UCLA, is 358-183 in his 18th year overall. He is 19-9 (.679) in the NCAA Tournament, including 15-6 (.714) at UCLA.

SELF ON UCLA

The Bruins enters tonight's game with some momentum after their great second half over Chaminade.

"UCLA's labored as much as anybody, but the second half they got it going and made a lot of shots," KU coach Bill Self said. "They got all their players playing. They haven't had them all together yet until second half."

Nelson, the team's leading scorer and rebounder last season, was suspended for the Middle Tennessee State game last Tuesday and also the first half against Chaminade. David Wear, meanwhile, was held out against Chaminade with a concussion suffered last week.

With or without Wear today, Self knows it will be a big game between two tradition-rich schools.

"Kansas-UCLA, that rings a pretty good bell with us and with most people," Self said.

"WINNING UGLY"

Self was pleased with KU's victory and effort over Georgetown. Junior forward Thomas Robinson led Kansas with a career-high tying 20 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double this season, while Tyshawn Taylor added 16 points and Travis Releford scored 10 on 4-of-4 shooting and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. KU won a grind-it-out game where it shot 47.1 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from three-point range, and 63.6 percent at the charity stripe.

The Jayhawks held the Hoyas to 40 percent shooting and just 29.2 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding Georgetown 37-30.

"It wasn't the most artistic thing, but I love winning ugly games," Self said. "We haven't won a lot of those the last coupe of years. This year, we're going to have to enjoy winning some ugly games because we're not always going to be fluid offensively. But that was a great win against a really good team.

"...They guys enjoyed winning that tonight. They enjoyed playing that way. They competed hard, I'm really happy for them."

Self hopes the Jayhawks can continue to compete hard and win in Maui playing UCLA today and then either Michigan or Duke on Wednesday.

"This team's got to grow up fast, but I thought tonight we took a step in the right direction," Self said.

THE SERIES

UCLA leads the all-time series with KU 10-6. However, the Jayhawks have won the last two games in each of the last two seasons (73-61 on Dec. 6, 2009 in Los Angeles and 77-76 on Dec. 2, 2010 in Allen Fieldhouse). UCLA won the previous showdown, 68-55, in the West Regional finals of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in San Jose, Calif.

The Bruins won the first eight meetings in the series (dates back to 1958), while KU has won five of the last seven. The teams have met five times in the NCAA Tournament with UCLA winning each time.

KU ranks No. 2 on the all-time college victory list at 2,040 with UCLA No. 8 with 1,710. The Bruins and Jayhawks also rank in the top 10 all time in NCAA Tournament appearances — UCLA 42, Kansas 40; NCAA Tournament victories — UCLA 96, KU 88; and NCAA Tournament games played — UCLA 131, Kansas 127.

Phog.net Top Stories