UCLA coach Mick Cronin explained the rigorous challenges his team is facing this unprecedented college basketball season.,“The only time (the team) is together is on the bus, that’s when they’re enjoying being a college basketball player,” Cronin said Tuesday.,Center Jalen Hill, who’s been away from the team for weeks, will not be with UCLA (14-5, 10-3) against Arizona, as well as versus Arizona State on Saturday.,More challenges for players include: no off-court team activity, no in-person meetings with academic counselors or tutors, no social life on campus, and no hanging out with Cronin, either.,Following Thursday’s matchup with Arizona, UCLA will have just four games left before the Pac-12 tournament begins March 10.

It was USC’s strongest suit in 2019-20, when the Trojans were ninth nationally in opponent field-goal percentage.,In 2020-21, USC is sixth nationally in opponent field-goal percentage while shaving 2.8 points per game off their opponent scoring average and ranking seventh in the country in blocked shots.,USC can one night shoot a respectable 34.6% from 3-point range on 26 attempts – see last weekend’s win over UCLA – and the next game not make a 3-pointer until late in the second half.,Despite the inconsistency, USC is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring and in a virtual tie with Stanford and Colorado for the highest field-goal percentage in the conference.,From game to game, USC knows the scoring is going to come from at least freshman center Evan Mobley and graduate transfer guard Tahj Eaddy, the two Trojans averaging double-digit points.

Quarterbacks coach Dana Bible has decided to retire after three seasons at UCLA.,With the Bruins, Bible has helped with the progression of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who started as a true freshman and has led the team during the past three seasons.,Thompson-Robinson had a 156.29 pass efficiency rating, the best mark by a UCLA starting quarterback since 2005, in five starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.,No decision has been announced on a replacement for Bible, but former UCLA quarterback and current wide receivers coach Jerry Neuheisel might be a candidate.,Neuheisel, the son of former UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, was brought on as a graduate assistant in 2018 and worked closely with the quarterbacks and receivers.

Jules Bernard had 20 points and nine rebounds, and first-place UCLA survived a scare from last-place Washington to win 81-76 for its sixth straight victory.,LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jules Bernard had 20 points and nine rebounds, and first-place UCLA survived a scare from last-place Washington to win 81-76 for its sixth straight victory.,Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 15 points, and Cody Riley had 14 points and eight rebounds.,The Huskies were led by Quade Green with 25 points.,Hameir Wright added a career-high 15 points and seven rebounds.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Isaiah Mobley scored a career-high 18 points, Evan Mobley added 17 points and Southern California routed Washington 95-68 on Thursday night.,The Trojans, who are 10-2 overall and  4-1 in the Pac-12, won their fifth in a row overall, and their fourth straight league game for the first time since 2018.,The Huskies fell to 1-10 overall and 0-6 in league play.,They were led by Erik Stevenson with 16 points.,Jamal Bey added 11 points in the team’s seventh straight loss overall.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones didn't hold back in the aftermath of the Crimson Tide's 52-24 dismantling of Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.,They had won 16 in a row dating back to the 2019 season, and then the bottom fell out in consecutive losses by a total of 41 points to Clemson in the ACC championship game and Alabama in the CFP semifinal.,That loss likely kept the Sooners from making their fifth College Football Playoff appearance in the past six years, but they finished the season on an eight-game winning streak, including a 55-20 rout of Florida in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.,The Wildcats played Ohio State tough in the Big Ten championship game before losing 22-10 and then put an impressive bow on the season with a 35-19 win over Auburn in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl.,They beat Georgia and played Alabama down to the final minutes in the SEC championship game, but had trouble stopping teams on defense all season and lost their last three games, including a 55-20 setback to Oklahoma in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.