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Roundup From BN Walk: News & Notes

We will start our Saturday with the baseball team, which started its weekend on a perfect note up in the Bay Area. The Bruins blanked the Bears by a score of 8-0:

Left-hander Tim Murphy struck out 10 hitters in a complete-game shutout Friday afternoon, leading the UCLA baseball team past No. 15 California, 8-0, at Evans Diamond. Murphy (5-6) notched his second consecutive victory and extended his scoreless streak to 16.2 innings.

The Bruins (30-24, 12-10) took sole possession of third place in the Pac-10 standings by scoring all eight runs with two outs. UCLA scored twice in the top of the third and broke the game open with a six-run seventh.

California right-hander Tyson Ross (7-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs and six hits in 6.2 innings. Ross registered six strikeouts and issued four walks. The Golden Bears were led at the plate by first baseman David Cooper, who was 2-for-4 with one double and one single.

The Bruins became the first team this season to shut out California (32-18-2, 11-11 Pac-10). With the win, UCLA reached the 30-win plateau during the regular season for the third consecutive year.

UCLA was led at the plate by catcher Brent Dean, who went 2-for-5 with two RBI and one run. Dean registered both of his base-hits in the Bruins' six-run inning. Second baseman Alden Carrithers went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs, and shortstop Brandon Crawford was 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI.

A great performance by Murphy. He is absolutely en fuego. He also hurled .2 scoreless innings in his last outing, a 10-0 victory against Washington State (May 16), registering eight strikeouts before earning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. He now has a team-leading 107 strikeouts this season. Hopefully some of Murphy's magic will rub off on Charles Brewer today who is taking the mound at 1 pm PST.

Meanwhile, the golf team came up short finishing second in the NCAA championship . Also Junior Tiffany Joh finished second in the playoffs for the individual crown. Doesn't matter. Still a great season for Tiffany and her team-mates. They will come back and go at it again next season.

Moving on to Ben Ball here is the report in the LA Times re. signing of J'Mison Morgan. Jeff Eisenberg in the Press Enterprise provided the following interesting angle on who might have played a role in getting to  Westwood:

The UCLA coaching staff pursued Morgan aggressively through back channels once it became clear that he might be available because the Bruins needed a big man to help offset the near-certain loss of freshman Kevin Love. The coaching staff also got a big assist from incoming recruit Malcolm Lee of Riverside North, who developed a rapport with Morgan during AAU camps and repeatedly called the big man the past few months in hopes of persuading him to come to UCLA.
"Malcolm kept saying, 'You've got to come down here with me. I need a big man," Morgan said. "I was really comfortable with Malcolm, so that made a big difference."

Guess Malcom turned out to be a more effective recruiter than Kevin Love who last year had tried to recruit his buddy Kyle Singler to UCLA. :-) Joking Kevin. BTW Dohn reports that Love is signing w/ an agent officially quashing any microscopic hope anyone might have been holding on to for his return to UCLA. Good luck Kevin.

Anyway, more on the Morgan signing from the DN :

The 6-foot-10, 260-pound Morgan, who is the second-rated center in the nation by, brings a low-post presence the Bruins lost in Love.

Although not expected to be as dominant, nor polished or productive as Love, Morgan could challenge Alfred Aboya (if he returns for his senior season instead of leaving to pursue a master's degree) for the starting spot.

And Morgan also compares to Love in one regard - the ability to gain notoriety from playing at UCLA.

"It's where I feel the most comfortable. I like the program and the exposure I will have out there," Morgan said. "(UCLA's) style of play is inside-out, and I like that and it should suit me. Most of the time I'll catch the ball first and it gives me a chance to score, and if not, I can pass the ball out."

So much for over excited (involved) parents' comments/posturing to highlight their kid's position in the NBA draft negatively impacting UCLA. Kids like Morgan don't live in a vacuum. I am sure they have access to the internets and talking heads on TV/sports talk radio. Not to mention they and their coaches are plugged into the national recruiting/prep community comprised of college, AAU, and high school  (& professional) coaches (and scouts). No matter what chatter is coming out via MSM, they know what playing in Coach Howland's program is all about. Otherwise we wouldn't see this kind of movement towards our program from elite recruits like Morgan (and now interest from Stepheson).

Now the only thing we can hope for is DC and his back court mates to make better entry passes to inside to get our inside-outside game going early in the season. A healthy Mike Roll, who is the best entry passer in the team will make a difference. And I am sure kids like Holiday, Lee, and Anderson will also bring a whole new dimension to our back-court.

Meanwhile in football details on CRN's K came out in the LAT:

UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel can receive up to $1.75 million a season in salary and bonuses, plus a $1.5 million home loan and other perks, according to the terms of a five-year contract finalized last week.

The contract also includes safeguards for the university. Neuheisel will not be eligible for performance bonuses if the program is put on NCAA probation and must return previous bonuses if the team is "subsequently sanctioned for NCAA violations in which coach was directly involved, that coach facilitated, condoned, or ignored about coach knew or reasonably should have known."

Colorado was put on a two-year probation in 2002 for violations that occurred while Neuheisel was the Buffaloes' head coach.

According to the contract, Neuheisel will receive annually $250,000 in base pay and a $1 million personal service fee.

More on all the coaches salaries if you are interested on Dohn's blog.

We will put up a double header open thread in a bit today for both our softball and baseball teams. Enjoy your Saturday.