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Tuesday News & Notes

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We will start with some hiring in olympic sports. UCLA has some new coaches. From the Trojan Times:

Shannon MacMillan, a former standout with the U.S. women's national soccer team, has been hired as assistant coach at UCLA, Coach Jillian Ellis announced.

[...]

UCLA hired Derek Freeman as men's golf coach. He was an assistant coach with the team last season.
Good luck to Coaches MacMillan and Freeman. I am sure they are going to put together (or maintain) powerful programs that will be in contention for championships year after year. It happens in every program except for the ones led by Karl Dorrell and Kathy Olivier.

Also speaking of soccer and championships, apparently the "Yankees" of the English Premier League has been holding training sessions at UCLA:
The target is not on Chelsea’s back this year. Well, not as much. The English Premier League equivalent of the Yankees has been known for its extravagant purchases of high-profile players and the expectations that come with them. But this year is a little different. The lineup is just as stacked and the expectations high, but something is not normal.

The Blues’ roster that made the journey to UCLA for the preseason training session has undergone far less drastic changes than it did last season, and it is a team just down the 405 that made the highest-profile signing – the Los Angeles Galaxy.

With Chelsea beginning its preseason in Westwood for the second straight season, the players and manager Jose Mourinho fielded as many questions about David Beckham as they did about their own team.
Guess I was not as big soccer fan as I thought I was. I though it was the Manchester United ("The Red Devils" and Mr. Spice's old team) who were the Yankees of English Soccer? No? Anyways if any of you are around Westwood and are checking around this training camp, feel free to post about it in the diaries. There are lot of soccer fans including yours truly on BN, who would love to read about it.

Getting back to our sport as some of you have already noted, the Ben Ball warriors have an opponent for the Wooden Classic: Davidson:
Davidson, ranked No.23 in preseason polls, is making its first appearance in the Wooden Classic. The Wildcats are returning all five starters, three of them seniors, and eleven lettermen from last year’s 29-5 club that won its second straight Southern Conference Tournament.

The Wildcats have appeared in the last two NCAA Tournaments.

The team is lead by high-scoring sophomore guard Stephen Curry (21.5ppg, 40.8% 3PT) who is playing this summer for USA Basketball's U19 team, and senior playmaker Jason Richards (13.5ppg, 7.3apg).
That was from Bruin Basketball Report.

Now I know some of you were hoping we play a big name team like a Kansas or Kentucky or some other name team from a power conference. For my own selfish reasons I would love to see marquee match-ups with the top teams in power conferences. Davidson doesn’t fit that profile. However, it is exactly the type of quality, well coached, low profile teams UCLA will probably face in the first couple of rounds of the big dance.

Given the incredible quality of the Pac-10 (in which the darlings of Trojan Times – aka the gap closers – will probably finish in the lower half of the conference), I think it is a very good idea to expose the team to well coached mid majors for conference and tourney prep.

Coach Howland doesn’t always schedule sexy games. However, there is a method to this madness. Despite all the whining and concern UCLA had a great RPI last year. And I think after it all shakes out our schedule will have our boys ready for the Big Dance.

I trust Coach Howland. He knows what he is doing (unlike you know who).

GO BRUINS.