Let's start with a look at next season where the UCLA schedule is starting to take shape. According to Dohn, UCLA and Kansas are on the verge of completing a deal that would see the two historic programs face off in '09-'10 and '10-'11.
An agreement is close to being completed for UCLA and Kansas, two of the most successful programs in college basketball history, to play in each of the next two seasons as part of the Pac 10/Big 12 challenge, sources said.
The programs have combined for 16 national titles (11 by UCLA), and they last met in the 2007 NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight, with the Bruins winning 68-55.
With the Bruins already due to travel to South Bend for our return game with Notre Dame next year I expect Kansas to visit Pauley next season and the Bruins to visit Lawrence in 2010. Dohn also has a note on next season's preseason tournament.
Also, the Bruins are scheduled to play in the eight-team Anaheim Classic next season, sources added. The tournament is played at the Anaheim Convention Center during Thanksgiving weekend.
This will provide the Bruins to play quality competition, get exposure on ESPN and get credit for neutral court wins in a building that should be filled with blue and gold. The neutral court games will be a big RPI boost and will help with our quest to stay out west in March of 2010.
Here's what we know of our schedule for the next two years:
2009-2010- Anaheim Classic, @ Notre Dame, Kansas (could be home or away, bet on home)
2010-2011- @ Kansas (again could be home, but bet on away)
In addition, I've heard that we're looking to get in the Preseason NIT in 2010 and w're eying a return to Maui in 2011.
Dohn came through with an update on the Pauley renovation too. The UC Regents approved $6.5 million to be spent on preliminary plans for the renovation and according to the report given to the Regents, the project will cost $175-185 million. Here's what else Dohn had to say.
UCLA still must raise $68 million for the project.
And according to the report, the renovation will include "a below-grade addition at the north side of the structure" for "new basketball locker rooms, sports medicine, media, equipment storage space, and a new multi-purpose reception and meeting facility; and an enclosed concourse at the perimeter of the building with new lobby, restroom, and concession space."
If you want to check out the report that was given to the Regents, you can do so here. This is more detailed than anything we've seen before, but we're still a long ways off from walking into a renovated Pauley. As has been said here before, the Pauley renovation could define DG's legacy at UCLA so let's hope he gets it right. I'm willing to wait a little longer for them to get it right, but at some point it's got to get done. If we begin next basketball season without any concrete plans I'll be worried, but for now I'm taking a wait and see approach.
On a final note, while last night's game was certainly disconcerting, it's not the end of the world. We've had performances similar to last night's before and it hasn't stopped us before. CollegeHoopsNet.com took a look at the Pac 10 the past five years and confirmed what we already know. The Bruins have been the class of the Pac 10 for the last five years, tough early season losses or not.