Roundup From BN Walk: News & Notes

Once again we will start our walk by checking in on our baseball team today and the news is not good. Per Andrew Howard in the Daily Bruin the team suffered yet another frustrating loss last night at Jackie Robison stadium once again giving up an early lead:

The latest disheartening loss came on Tuesday against No. 8 San Diego (38-13, 15-3 WCC), a 5-3 defeat in a season that is coming closer and closer to its end.

The Bruins (24-21, 7-8 Pac-10) scored three runs in the first inning, but were silent the rest of the night.

"(We) had some opportunities and didn’t cash in on them," said catcher Ryan Babineau, who knocked two of the three runs in on a two-out triple. "At this point in the season, in our position, when you have an opportunity to win a ball game, you have to do that."

One such opportunity came in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Bruins down 4-3. The Bruins had two men on and no outs with shortstop Brandon Crawford coming to the plate. Crawford failed to get the bunt down to advance both runners into scoring position and struck out swinging. After Babineau popped up to second, Cody Decker pinch-hit for left-fielder Mickey Weisser and struck out swinging, stranding the runners on base.
By all accounts given the early expectations of this season the performance of our team has not been up to par. I will be very interested in hearing rye’s takes as we go through rest of the season. And FWIW the team maintains the season is not loss and they can still make the playoffs. From the same article:
A UCLA season that began with a No. 1 preseason ranking and high hopes for a deep run in the playoffs has been marred by inconsistent play. Yet despite the failure to live up to the lofty preseason standards set forth by the media and the team itself, the Bruins remain adamant that the season is not over and the playoffs are still a possibility.

"Our RPI is in the top 50," Savage said. "We have to go and win these series. There are three series left. I really feel that we have to play well the next three series and win all three of them for us to have an opportunity to get in. We know what we have to do. We control our own destiny."
Seems like this weekend’s series against Oregon State is shaping up as a make or break series for the Bruins. If they drop this series against the Beavers, we might find ourselves in worse position than Team Clinton.

Anyway, moving on there hasn’t been new development on the Morgan front. Although Painter in the DN reported these thoughts from Ronnie Morgan, J’Mison’s brother yesterday:
"He's planning for sure to attend UCLA next year," said Ronnie Morgan, J'Mison's brother, said Tuesday. […]

Asked whether he thought LSU would grant the release, Ronnie Morgan said: "They haven't made an (official) decision yet, but they say they're going to (grant the release)." […]

Ronnie Morgan said J'Mison liked the team atmosphere at UCLA on his recruiting trip.

"I see UCLA on TV at least 30 times a year," Ronnie Morgan said. "I just think coach Howland can get him right and get him ready for the league. The new coach coming in did turn out the Lopez brothers. Either way, I think he would've been all right."

If LSU grants a release, Morgan could play for UCLA this season.

If LSU doesn't grant the release, Morgan would have to sit out a year according to NCAA transfer rules.
FWIW per LSU as of yesterday the school officials still had not received paperwork from Morgan wrt his request for release. So again everyone will have to hold tight and see how this plays out before getting too excited.

Moving over to fool in addition to Ben Olson Craig Sheppard also had surgery (shoulder). Sheppard has had tough luck at UCLA suffering one injury after another. I hope the rehab goes well for him. For what he has gone through and the work and dedication he has shown to our program, he deserves to have a great senior year. Good luck Craig.

Lastly, NCAA came down on number of schools (which includes some usual suspects) yesterday based on their Academic Progress Reports (APR). Here are the highlights from UCLA’s APR:
An APR of 925 projects to an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of approximately 60 percent. Schools that fall below the 925 mark in a sport are subject to immediate and/or historical penalties which include loss of scholarships.
All of UCLA's 24 sports have a four-year APR above the 925 cutoff. Twenty-one of the programs have APRs over 950.
Eighteen of UCLA's 24 programs ranked in the top 50 percent of their respective sports. Softball ranked in the top 10 percent.
Twenty of UCLA's 24 programs had a higher APR than the average of all Division I public institutions (a 21st was tied) in their respective sports.
Not too shabby considering unlike other schools there are no opportunities to get into UCLA by going to some shady high school programs with online diplomas or maintain eligibility by taking classes from a Senora Ross or majoring in Leisure Management. Great work by the compliance/academic officials at Morgan Center and let’s hope they keep it up.

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