Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
News and notes from UCLA practice as the Bruins continue to prepare for the Baylor Bears.
Bruins are going through somewhat of a typical game week of preparations before heading out to San Diego this week - except they are staying a day ahead of their normal schedule. For example, what the Bruins usually practice on Tuesdays, they did it today. Here is Coach Mora talking about the practice schedule and number of other general issues after practice today (HT Bruin Sports Report):
Coach Mora wants to get majority of "mental work" done and get the Bruins prepared before they head to San Diego (where there will be usual bowl week "distractions"). Other highlights from Mora comments:
- Mora was asked about the Baylor defense, which has struggled this season (as noted in the OC Register - ranked "117th in scoring defense, 122nd in pass defense, and 90th in rush defense"). But he didn't take the bait from the reporters looking for a gotcha quote except to say the Bears have a bunch of fast athletes" and are "very capable."
- He is expecting a "barn burner" in San Diego (which immediately triggered the Jim Harrick sound-bite of "barn barner" in those classic Jim Healey radio shows back in the day (RIP Jim).
- Coach Mora is not expecting it to be that difficult for the players such as Steven Manfro and Devin Lucien, who have been out for a while to get themselves reintegrated into the team flow given they have had an extra week of practice.
- He was asked about the progress of the offensive line and not surprisingly he has been pleased with what he has seen so far. Although, we'd love to see Jeff Baca go out with a strong game without committing any costly penalties.
The reporters also prodded Mora about Barr but he didn't have anything new to offer.
Speaking nothing new to offer Chris Foster has a lame report in the LA Times, in which he concern trolls about next season about Bruins not having Jet Ski and Jeff Locke and giving us a worthless prognostication based on EA Sports. The only useful tidbit from Foster's report was a comment from guard Greg Capella, who has been taking his time to return rehabbing from concussion related injuries. Capella reportedly may be back this spring. Good luck Greg.
I will end with a fun video from Ralph on the official talking about how seniors are preparing for their last game. WATCH Jet Ski talking about it being "bitter sweet" and missing the Bruin Walk:
Damien Holmes talked about taking his last final and saying how it was an intense experience. No word on whether he and others did a toast at the inverted fountain. Do our students still do that?
Seriously, we are going to miss those guys and here is to them going out with a huge win, "closing out strong" and getting Coach Mora his 10th win in his first year at UCLA.