UW has won four of its past five with UCLA, which features three outstanding freshmen starters in Jordon Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad.
GAME: Washington (13-9 overall, 5-4, Pac-12) at UCLA (16-6 overall, 5-3 Pac-12). WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m., Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 133rd (UCLA leads 92-40). STREAKS: UW W 1; UCLA L 2. RANKINGS: Neither school ranked. COACHES: Lorenzo Romar, Washington; Ben Howland, UCLA. TV: ESPN. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
After scoring a season-low 53 points in a 56-53 loss to Arizona last week, the Washington Huskies followed up with a season-high 96 in a 96-92 victory over Arizona State. The 43-point, two-game swing is Washington’s largest since a 46-point turnaround two years ago (102 vs. Oregon State, 56 vs. Stanford) and was made possible, in large part, by Shawn Kemp Jr.
Sophomore Kemp, who averaged 3.4 points over his first 12 contests after returning from an injury (torn patella tendon, left knee), had a career-high 18 points against the Sun Devils and is averaging 12.3 over his last three games. Should that continue, Kemp’s offensive surge will play an important factor for UW in the second half of the Pac-12 season which, for the Huskies, starts Thursday night at recently renovated Pauley Pavilion.
Kemp didn’t get a lot of minutes when he returned to the team, but his last three games have validated Romar’s belief, first expressed after the Huskies returned from a European tour last summer, that the 6-foot-9 Kemp had the potential to become Washington’s best inside scorer.
“He’s doing now what we thought he could do,” Romar said this week. “He just had a setback because he was hurt. Shawn gives us a dimension we didn’t have at the beginning of the season.”
Romar said he will start Kemp against the Bruins (third start of season), who have been nationally ranked this season but have dropped their past two and are coming off a 75-71 overtime loss to USC.
This is an extremely young and talented Bruins team. UCLA’s trio of freshman starters — Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad — have accounted for 52.7 percent of the Bruins’ total points (891 of 1690) and 45.0 percent of the team’s total rebounds (378 of 840).
Muhammad ranks second in the conference in scoring (18.4) with Adams seventh at 15.2. Anderson is sixth in the conference in rebounds (9.0) and Larry Drew leads the league in assists (8.0).
Muhammad has scored 20 or more points nine times and in those games UCLA has gone 8-1. The freshman from Las Vegas scored a season-high 27 points in consecutive games in December, in victories over Fresno State (Dec. 22) and then-No. 7 Missouri (Dec. 28).
Not only has the 6-foot-7 Anderson, likely to be guarded by Kemp, logged six double-doubles, but the freshman from Fairview, NJ., is the only Pac-12 player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (6th, 9.0 rpg) and assists (7th, 3.6). Anderson is averaging 9.4 points and has compiled a 1.8 assist turnover ratio, the third-best mark among Pac-12 players. He’s also sixth in the conference in steals per game, having registered 38 in 22 contests (1.7 spg).
The Huskies will begin the second half of conference play with a 5-4 league record. In his 11 years at Washington, Lorenzo Romar has produced six 20-win teams. But in those 11 seasons, Romar has reached the conference halfway point with a league record above .500 only six times.
Washington has a 5-5 record against the RPI Top 100, but a 1-5 mark against the RPI Top 50 (UCLA is ranked 45th) and an 0-3 record against AP ranked teams. While the Huskies have a single quality win against RPI #25 Colorado, they also have four bad losses to RPI #166 Oregon State, RPI #161 Utah, RPI #125 Nevada, and RPI #178 Albany.
SERIES: Dates to Dec. 30, 1936, when the Huskies recorded a 52-31 victory over the Bruins in Los Angeles. Washington has won four of the past five meetings, but lost the last one 75-69 March 3, 2012 at Pauley Pavilion. C.J. Wilcox led Washington with 22 points, Terrence Ross added 18 and Tony Wroten 14. Washington had a chance to win the Pac-12 title outright, but a flurry of late turnovers gave UCLA the victory. Lorenzo Romar is 11-10 all-time against UCLA, while Ben Howland is 7-12 against UW.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (324-210 overall, 231-120 UW) is coming off a year in which the Huskies won the Pac-12 regular-season title. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times and won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011). Romar, who signed a 10-year contract extension in April 2011, won his his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16, 2011. He had his 300th career victory and his 100th as a conference coach on Jan. 21, 2012. Romar was selected the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
Romar played for the Huskies under head coach Marv Harshman during the 1979-80 seasons (served as team captain his senior year), and had a five-year NBA career with Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). He became a college head coach at Pepperdine in 1997, where he coached for three seasons, then spent three years (1999-02) at St. Louis University before taking the Washington job in 2002-03.
2012-13 Washington Statistics
UCLA NOTES: UCLA opened the season with 10 consecutive victories and then lost three of its next four . . . The Bruins are coming off a 75-71 OT loss to USC . . . UCLA ranks first in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (76.8), 11th in scoring defense (69.2), third in scoring margin (+7.6), 2nd in field goal percentage (46.5), 11th in 3-point percentage (32.6), 3rd in rebounding (38.2) and first in assists (17.3) . . . Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad are among 12 players who have been named to the Wayman Tisdale Award National Freshman of the Year midseason watch list. UCLA is the only program to have at least three freshmen selected to the award’s midseason watch list. Michigan and UCLA are the only teams with at least two players on the watch list, as released by the U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association Jan. 31.
UCLA HEAD COACH: Ben Howland is in his 10th year as head coach of the Bruins. In his first nine years, Howland guided the Bruins to six NCAA Tournament appearances, three consecutive Final Four appearances (2006-08) and three conference regular-season titles (2006-08). Howland has been a Conference Coach of the Year in three different leagues, Pac-10 (UCLA), Big East (Pittsburgh) and Big Sky (Northern Arizona). A native of Lebanon, OR., Howland is a graduate of Weber State University (Ogden, UT).
COMING UP: The Huskies play at USC Sunday and will return to Alaska Airlines Arena Feb. 13 to host Oregon.
University of Washington 2012-13 Schedule
(Rankings From Associated Press)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/11/12||@vs. W. Washington||—||—||W||88-78||0-0|
|11/17/12||*vs. Seton Hall||—||—||W||84-73||2-1|
|11/18/12||*vs. Ohio St.||—||4||L||77-66||2-2|
|11/24/12||vs. Colo. St.||—||—||L||73-55||2-3|
|11/28/12||vs. Saint Louis||—||—||W||66-61||3-3|
|12/13/12||at Seattle U.||—||—||W||87-74||5-4|
|12/15/12||vs. Jackson St.||—||—||W||75-67||6-4|
|12/20/12||vs. Cal Poly||—||—||W||75-62||7-4|
|12/22/12||vs. N. Illinois||—||—||W||67-57||8-4|
|1/23/13||at Oregon St.||—||—||L||74-66||12-7|
|2/16/13||vs. Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|4/6/13||#Final 4 Semi||—||—||—||—||—|
|4/8/13||#Final 4 Champ.||—||—||—||—||—|
@=Exhibition; *=Hall of Fame Classic; ^=Pac-12 Tournament; #=NCAA Tournament