With the weekend coming to an end, it also means an end of the one-day sabbatical our football team enjoyed yesterday from Coach Mora's San Bernardino fall camp. To get the week started, there's a handful of tidbits that are football-related, along with a pair of interesting basketball developments (but nothing that will make Alford look any better as a hire, sadly). So, with that said, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with basketball (for a change), the most interesting development surrounding the rookie class (and of one relevant to Bruin hoops fans) is that UCLA's former Gucci-sporting
Adidas-funded mercenaryone-and-done swingman Shabazz Muhammad may not even begin the season on a NBA roster, with Timberwolves' president Flip Saunders telling a Minnesota radio program that Shabazz may be sent down to the Iowa Energy, the Wolves' D-League affiliate, as punishment for being kicked out of the NBA's rookie transition program. You have to imagine it's tough instilling discipline in a player who has been coddled by a helicopter dad more interested in breeding the perfect athletic specimen than a son, raised in the AAU self-hype-machine, and coached by a desperate college coach who was willing to throw away accountability to win. Starting the season off in a small-town dual-use arena in Des Moines with second-tier players instead of a top-of-the-line NBA arena with a future perennial All-Star (and fellow Bruin) should be a real eye-opener for UCLA's most recent one-and-done).
- In case you missed it, former UCLA linebacker Patrick Larimore wrote a great post for USA Football'sAmerica's Game Blog on a subject important (and close to home) for him: concussions and brain injuries in football. Larimore, who was forced to take a medical retirement due to concussion issues does a really great job with the piece, which isn't a surprise for a guy who is starting an online community to raise awareness of brain trauma injuries in sports.
- As for fall camp, in case you missed out, the official site announced that the final day of camp in San Bernardino would also feature "Meet the Team" day as well, with the Bruins being available to sign autographs and meet fans after the final practice at CSUSB. Practice is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m., with the team meet-and-greet set to begin around noon.
- Finally, closing out our Monday morning Bruin Bites with another hoops notes: following up on N's FanShot yesterday, ICYMI, it appears that former UCLA center Josh Smith (the big man from Washington on the hardwood, not the speedy transfer from Colorado on the gridiron) will get one last chance to redeem himself and display the immense potential he has in the low-post. As Sports Illustrated's Andy Glockner explained, Smith, now with Georgetown, will have a chance to drop the pounds, pick up his footwork, and show NBA scouts that the potential won't be unrealized at the highest level. While it didn't work out in Westwood, let's hope John Thompson III can unleash the same magical touch his dad had with big men and turn Josh into a dominating post presence.
- Side note: has anyone else noticed that if two UCLA Bruins share a name, one a football player and one a basketball player, things do not go very well for the hoopster in Westwood? Besides Josh Smith and Josh Smith, can you guess the other pair of recent vintage? If you guessed Nikola Dragovic and Nikola Dragovic, you're a winner. And boy, who doesn't feel bad for the football Nikola that got stuck sharing a name with theBelgrade Bricklayer?
Alright folks, those are your various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse as we get ready to head into another work week, which is also the final week of fall camp in San Bernardino. Fire away with your comments, additions, and various opinions on all things UCLA in the comment thread. And, as always, if you're planning on heading to CSUSB to see practice, share what you see and hear!