Rims at Wooden Center beware: Russell Westbrook is returning to Westwood
That's right, it's Monday and it's back to work. We've been so wrapped up with the return of football, we had to slide the ol' Bruin Bites back a day. On the plus side, you now have a bunch of links to skim through to help kill the work day (because we all know how Mondays can go). Since we last checked in, we've had the regular football practice updates (for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), watched Boise State fire Gene Bleymaier, who as we discussed on Achilles' "Sports Code" post came very close to being UCLA's AD, highlighted a great Sports Illustrated piece on former Bruin ace Trevor Bauer, and Nestor put together a roundup of the various video updates from Spaulding.
With that, let's get to all the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Let's start with football. If you have been living in a cave for the last 12 months and you need the most succinct, least enlightening, most superficial review of UCLA football, you can get caught up on the major developments here.
- Sticking with football, Jon Gold has good piece on backup center Greg Capella, who is now working on filling in for injured guard Jeff Baca. Capella has dropped some weight and says he's eager to get out and run when pulling for our dynamic backfield. Losing Baca is going to hurt, but it's good to get the kid some reps before he has to take over next season for Kai Maiava.
- In a troubling trend that we highlighted following spring football and again in our fall football preview, UCLA has been struggling to replace Mr. Automatic, Kai Forbath, as the heir apparent, Kip Smith, has struggled during his time in Westwood. ESPN's UCLA reporter Peter Yoon has some quotes from punter Jeff Locke (who is being tried as the FG kicker also) and the struggling Kip on their hopes to get things squared away before the season begins.
- Just in case you missed it, freshman linebacker Mike Orloff will miss the entire season with an ACL injury. With the current depth in the linebacker corps, Orloff was not in Neuheisel's plans for this season and would have used his redshirt season with or without the injury, so this shouldn't impact the defense. Hopefully, he rehabs it properly and is ready to go for next year.
- In non-athletics news, UCLA engineers have developed a LCD screen that harvests energy from light sources, including its own backlight. Working hand-in-hand with Intel, it appears that this new technology could be a major boost to devices that use small LCD screens, such as your Droid or iPhone. In short, for Angry Birds addicts everywhere, it means your battery life might be dramatically improved.
- Speaking of academics, since the NBA is locking its players out, a handful of Bruins in the NBA have returned to campus: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Baron Davis, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Trevor Ariza. According to Yahoo! Sports, Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar might soon be joining them in Westwood. Unfortunately for us, they can't suit up for Ben Howland anymore. But, oh my, imagine the possibility of a starting line-up of B. Diddy, RW, AA, LRMAM, and KL, with JF and Ariza coming off the bench. We can dream, can't we?
- Speaking of basketball, apparently no players from the Pac-8/10/12 have averaged over 9.0 rebounds in the NBA, unless they went to UCLA. So, when it comes to grabbing boards, UCLA is the premier school on the West Coast.
- In non-revenue news, UCLA's women's soccer team is projected to improve on last year's fourth place conference finish, being picked in a conference coaches' poll to finish second behind Stanford for the upcoming season.
- Turning back to academics, CNN Money has a interesting piece on how UCLA's Anderson MBA program is trying to overhaul it's already top-tier curriculum to adapt to the changing economy and increase the percentage of graduates who find work after graduation. If only law schools were committed to real change rather than cooking the numbers for U.S. News. Sigh.
- Finally, Stephanie Kono defeated her UCLA teammate Tiffany Lua in the third round of the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at the Rhode Island Country Club. Meanwhile, Lee Lopez lost to LSU's Austin Ernst while incoming freshman Erynne Lee won her match.
And those are your Bruin Bites for the start of the work week. Make sure you avoid Lumbergh and we'll see you with more bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse mid-week.