Roundup From BN Walk: News & Notes

We will being our BN walk with what is turning out to be daily Morgan watch. Gary Parrish from Sportsline.com reports that Morgan-to-UCLA announcement is ‘expected before the end of the week’:

[T]he second Brady was fired, various schools began quietly recruiting Morgan away from LSU, and most believe the Tigers didn't lose their prized prospect Tuesday as much as they lost him in the two-month span during which they did not have a coach.

For two months, other programs were able to reconnect with Morgan's AAU coaches and others in his inner circle. So even though it's considered proper form to not recruit signed prospects until they are granted a release, it should come as no surprise that it has long been speculated that Morgan would enroll at UCLA if Johnson released him.

An official Morgan-to-UCLA announcement is now expected before the end of the week.

As for Morgan Center they are staying quiet re the whole process until there is any news. Here is the official statement UCLA sent to reporters yesterday:

UCLA does not comment on prospective student-athletes until such time as he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent or written offer of financial aid.

Again in the case of Morgan if he were to come to UCLA he would do so by singing a "written offer of financial aid" not a NLI.

Meanwhile, the injury bug continues to eat into our QB depth chart. This time is Rasshan, who is having surgery. From the LA Times:

UCLA quarterback Osaar Rasshan will undergo surgery on his left knee but is expected to be ready for training camp in August.

Rasshan, who will be a junior, was bothered by what was called tendinitis throughout spring practice. He will be the third Bruins quarterback to undergo surgery in less than a month.

Sounds like OR will be ready by August. This is why it was so important to get Kevin Prince into camp early. Neuheisel and Chow needs to have as many options as practicable in that position given the health of QBs from last year. BTW also the same report mentions that Chane Moline is going to have surgery on his left wrist (IIRC it's the same wrist he injured this past season). So good luck to both Chane and OR. 

We will end with an interesting article in the Daily Bruin, where Gregory Ching takes a deeper look into our baseball team’s statistics to make sense of our subpar season to date:

The team’s overall batting average on balls in play, which is a statistic that measures a player’s batting average based on the number of balls put in play without counting strikeouts, sacrifice flies or home runs, is .333. This means that, compared to the team’s overall batting average of .272, the number of balls put into play that are falling for hits is high for the Bruins.

A high average of this kind is usually an indicator of luck and porous opposing team defense. The Bruins’ figure of .333 is actually lower than the average .348 of all the other Pac-10 teams, suggesting that perhaps the Bruins are running into a bit of tough luck when facing opposing defenses.

However, the difference between UCLA’s balls in play average and batting average, .061, which is higher than the .045 difference among the conference, could also mean that the Bruins just aren’t making contact with the ball as well as other teams.

UCLA’s opponents’ balls in play average stands at .306, a figure that may indicate the UCLA defense is not playing up to its potential by not converting balls in play into outs. The Bruins rank fifth in the Pac-10 in errors committed but are tied for fifth in fielding percentage; the numbers provide no definitive answer as the Bruins rank in the middle of the pack in defense.

Another metric used to evaluate a team’s performance is its Pythagorean record, which is based on the number of runs scored and allowed throughout the season. This statistic is a better predictor of future success because runs often come in random bunches and skew a team’s record.

However, there are certain factors, such as strong relief pitching, that can tilt a team’s actual record north of its Pythagorean record. For instance, the Arizona Diamondbacks scored fewer runs than they allowed last season but still managed to win the National League West – their strong bullpen was a key to their success. This should be positive news for the Bruins; they’ve accumulated 26 wins and 23 losses. UCLA has scored 300 runs and allowed 260 this season, indicating a Pythagorean record of 28-21.

Upon further examination, the Bruins’ Pythagorean record in conference play of 9-9 roughly correlates to their actual 8-10 conference record. Both of these measures indicate that the Bruins are slightly better than their record indicates, but the small sample size of conference play may be a factor that will skew the results.

Read rest of the analysis here.

Either way if the Bruins were to make one last run at this year’s playoffs, they will have to wrap up their home season with a series win against Washington State this weekend. And they can certainly use all the help they can get from us: alums, students, fans who live around LA. So if you haven’t done it yet, please make plans to head out to the Jackie Robinson Stadium.

GO BRUINS.

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