The Bruins now say that last week's turnaround -- marked by impressive victories over California and Stanford -- began with Coach Ben Howland calling the team's three senior starters into his office for a meeting.
UCLA had just dropped a tough game at Washington and Howland said: "We felt we were at a crossroads."
His message was two-fold: The team needed to show more intensity. Darren Collison, Josh Shipp and Alfred Aboya needed to lead that effort.
"Just that we have to be more vocal," Aboya said. "Approach this thing differently. Get everybody ready."
The center said that he and his teammates offered a suggestion of their own, expressing a desire to run more motion to get everyone involved at the offensive end.
UCLA responded by forcing a combined 40 turnovers and averaging 89 points over the next two games.
"Everyone follows the seniors," forward James Keefe said. "There's been a big difference in intensity in practice and games."
USC will probably be without forward Marcus Johnson tonight because of a shoulder ailment.
Johnson, who has provided a spark off the bench the last four games, was scheduled to speak with the team's doctor Tuesday night after undergoing an MRI exam in the morning. The injury is believed to be a strained rotator cuff.