UCLA bookended the penultimate day of practice at San Berdoo with some all too familiar mistakes. The team started off the morning session with a low energy level. Coach Mora had a unique way of getting them back on track- he restarted practice beginning with stretching. In the second session, Coach Mora ended practice early due to a "lack of effort", "lack of focus", and "lack of discipline". Yikes.
Miguel Melendez at the Daily News summed what many of us Bruins fans feel:
Mora means business, and he's not putting up with any of the juvenile crap anymore. This is his time to mark a stamp on the program. It's time to change the culture of this program buried in obscurity, and on his watch it's not going to remain the same. (Emphasis mine)
I'll get to Mora's post practice interviews after the jump. First, I think it's important to address Mora's "stamp", as Melendez puts it. Practicing up-tempo in the heat is fine. Kicking the team off the field is fine. Coach Mora has done a lot of good things while in Westwood. What he hasn't done is shown us proof of a culture change. Not yet.
Most Bruins fans know this team is loaded with talent. Maybe the team isn't as deep on the offensive line and at the corner positions as we would like, but there is talent, nonetheless. Proof of a culture change is results on the field. Coach Neuheisel talked about a culture change too. He came to Westwood and recruited his ass off. He brought a new offense and introduced the "passion bucket". Despite that, he didn't produce results. I like what Coach Mora is doing, but let's get some wins, dammit.
Mora following the morning practice:
Mora following the evening practice:
Freshmen Fabian Moreau played on the defensive side of the ball for the first time this Fall, playing cornerback. The move was experimental, but Moreau did show some promise. Coach Mora spoke pretty highly of the idea of Moreau at CB:
"He looks like a lot of really good corners I’ve been around," Mora said. "He’s fluid. So we just figured we’d take a look at him. Nothing is permanent, but when you see an athlete like that you want to try to utilize his abilities."
Moreau stands 6'0 tall, but is a little light. I like the idea of experimenting with him at CB, but he definitely needs to put on some weight.
On the injury front, Shaq Evans and Damien Thigpen sat out much of practice due to apparent hamstring issues. Otherwise, there were no new injuries to report.