UCLA: Jrue Holiday

Basketball: UCLA-USC recent rivalry rewind

January, 8, 2011
There are no seniors on UCLA's roster, meaning only juniors Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson know the feeling of beating USC. In advance of Sunday night's game at Galen Center, we take a brief look at how the last five meetings played out:

Feb. 14, 2010 - USC 68, UCLA 64

The Trojans finally beat the Bruins at the Galen Center (opened in 2006) behind senior Dwight Lewis' 23 points. UCLA had four players score in double figures and held a ridiculous 46-25 rebounding advantage, but USC pulled away to sweep the regular season series for the first time since 2004.

Jan. 16, 2010 - USC 67, UCLA 46

As ugly as it gets for Bruins fans. The 21-point loss was UCLA's worst to USC at Pauley Pavilion since the venue opened in 1965. The boo birds flew all over the place that day. Perhaps coach Ben Howland summed it up best, saying afterward, "I’m embarrassed for our team. I feel embarrassed for the program, the former players and coaches. It’s really all I can say about this. It was embarrassing."

Mar. 13, 2009 - USC 65, UCLA 55

UCLA, then ranked No. 15, had aspirations of heading into the NCAA Tournament with momentum. Instead, it was DeMar DeRozan's coming-out party, as the star freshman scored 21 points and grabbed 13 boards to pull off the upset in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals. The Bruins shot a meager 27 percent from the field; senior Darren Collison had just four points. The Bruins lost big to Villanova in the second round of the tournament.

Feb. 4, 2009 - UCLA 76, USC 60

Using Howland's patented -- and now rare -- stout defensive play, UCLA forced 23 turnovers and led by as many as 25 points. Former USC coach Tim Floyd described it as a "great spanking." Guard Jrue Holiday said, "Stopping them on the defensive end, that's our bread and butter."

Jan. 11, 2009 - UCLA 64, USC 60

The No. 10-ranked Bruins won for the third time in as many games at Galen Center, using a combined 55 points from starters Collison, Nikola Dragovic, Josh Shipp and Holiday. Perhaps the most fiery moment, though, was when then-freshman Drew Gordon caught Daniel Hackett's jaw with an elbow.

Basketball: How will UCLA close out 2010?

December, 30, 2010
A few notes to preview Friday's crucial game against Washington, the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 title:


Washington (9-3, 1-0 Pac-10)
C Aziz N'Diaye (5.3 points, 6.3 rebounds)
F Matthew Bryan-Amaning (14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds)
F Justin Holiday (12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds)
G Isaiah Thomas (15.3 points, 3.8 assists)
G Abdul Gaddy (9.0 points, 3.9 assists)

UCLA (9-4, 1-0 Pac-10)
C Joshua Smith (10.1 points, 6.8 rebounds)
F Reeves Nelson (14.7 points, 8.0 rebounds)
F Tyler Honeycutt (14.8 points, 8.1 rebounds)
G Malcolm Lee (12.8 points, 2.0 assists)
G Lazeric Jones (11.3 points, 3.5 assists)


Reeves Nelson vs. Himself -- If we've learned anything about UCLA this season, it's that sophomore forward Reeves Nelson is his own worst enemy. The yin and yang tattoo on his left shoulder says it all -- it's about balancing his two energies. At times he's the most determined player on the floor, hustling and battling for every rebound and loose ball. Other times, he's way off (a combined 13 points in the games against Montana and UC Irvine serving as proof). And when he's going good -- as he was in the second half of the Bruins' 80-71 win against Washington State on Wednesday -- UCLA appears to be an entirely different offensive machine. He turned it on Wednesday, scoring 13 of his 21 points after the break to help the Bruins erase an eight-point halftime deficit.


Washington was ranked as high as No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Nov. 22, but has not appeared in the top 25 since Dec. 6. ... The Huskies, 73-67 overtime winners at USC on Wednesday, have not swept an L.A. road trip since 2006 (which is also the last time Washington won at Pauley Pavilion). ... Washington leads the Pac-10 in nearly every category, including scoring (89.1 points per game), scoring margin (+21.0) and three-point field goal percentage (41.9%). ... Senior forward Justin Holiday, the older brother of former UCLA guard Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers), led North Hollywood Campbell Hall to the state Div. IV championship. ... There are two other local products on Washington's roster -- sophomore forward Tyreese Breshers (Los Angeles, Calif./Price) and junior forward Darnell Gant (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw).


One of the lone bright spots from last year's disastrous 14-18 season was former walk-on Mustafa Abdul-Hamid's buzzer-beater that gave UCLA a thrilling 62-61 win over Washington at Pauley Pavilion. Adbul-Hamid is currently playing for KK Hemofarm in Serbia.

Jrue Holiday looks, sounds more comfortable

July, 6, 2010
Jrue Holiday has shaken the nerves.

Following a 10-point, five-assist performance in an NBA Summer League game Tuesday, the former UCLA combo guard and current Philadelphia 76ers point man spoke about his evolution, about his confidence, about becoming a more polished player.

"I'm a lot more comfortable," Holiday said in a postgame interview on NBATV while sitting courtside after the Sixers' win over the Boston Celtics. "That year under my belt has really helped me. I'm trying to be real mellow."

On Monday, Holiday scored 23 points to go along with eight assists.

The 6-foot-4 guard posted respectable numbers as a rookie last season, averaging eight points and 3.8 assists in 24 minutes per game. It wasn't much different from his lone year at UCLA, which ended with a second-round exit from the NCAA Tournament. As a Bruin, Holiday scored 8.5 points and dished out 3.7 assists per game -- numbers that were good enough to make him the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Philadelphia's offense is his offense -- something that could not be said at UCLA, where Darren Collison had control. His current role might have changed drastically had the Sixers landed the No. 1 pick through the lottery, a slot that was eventually filled by fellow point guard John Wall. Instead, the Washington Wizards received the top selection and Philadelphia -- which sent Holiday to the lottery as its representative -- was No. 2 and chose former Ohio State standout Evan Turner.

"He's kind of like a raw Brandon Roy," Holiday said in regards to Turner. "Really calm, especially since last year I was out here real nervous."

Nerves and ball-possession don't mix well, especially for a young, upstart team like Philadelphia. Holiday has the ball in his hands a lot more now, though he admits he needs to become a better decision-maker and passer. Out of bad habit, the 20-year-old from Chatsworth often leaves his feet to pass.

"Every time I do it, I want to beat myself up," he said.

Holiday added that new coach Doug Collins has talked to him about becoming one of the team's leaders, despite his young age and inexperience.

"At the end of the game, [Collins] wants the ball in my hands," Holiday said.

That just wasn't the case during his brief time in Westwood.

Former UCLA guard Collison nets career-high

March, 8, 2010
In case you missed it, former UCLA standout point guard Darren Collison dished out a career-high 20 assists in the New Orleans Hornets' 135-131 win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Collison's rookie season has taken off since New Orleans' all-star leader Chris Paul was sidelined with a knee injury in late January. He is averaging nearly 19 points and nearly nine assists in 25 starts.

Monday's stellar performance may have left Bruins fans wondering where this double-double machine was last season when UCLA exited the tournament in the second round.

The same goes for Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who averages nearly 17 points and eight assists per game.

Perhaps these two were not used correctly during their time in Westwood. Perhaps their numbers have benefited by the fast-paced style of the NBA.

Whatever Collison and Westbrook's success -- along with the continued progression of Arron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar and Jrue Holiday -- may be attributed to, it only raises the standard by which coach Ben Howland's current batch of underachieving guards is judged upon.

That may not be fair to Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson, but that's just the way it is.



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