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Roundup From BN Walk: News & Notes

We will start our Humpday walk with some cool news from the basketball program. Russell Westbrook once again shows his team-first mentality on his way out of UCLA (emphasis added):

UCLA guard Russell Westbrook is no longer attending classes, but sources said he made arrangements with several of his professors to receive incomplete grades until his NBA status is decided.

While Westbrook is expected to remain in the draft, barring an injury during workouts, and be a lottery pick, his current plan is to return to UCLA in the summer and finish those classes. That will help UCLA, which would not take as big a hit in the APR if Westbrook leaves UCLA in good academic standing. 

That’s a pretty dramatic contrast from the report concerning you know who. It’s moves like this that will allow someone like RW to cement his legacy at UCLA.

While RW will most likely not be around with us next year, LRMAM’s situation remains in flux. From Dohn:

One thing I'm hearing about UCLA power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is that he wants to remain in the NBA draft, and is willing to do so with a second-round guarantee.
However, from talking to several people, that does not simply mean being taken in the second round, but rather a team telling him they would draft him in the second round and give him a guaranteed deal, like what happened with former UCLA player Trevor Ariza and the New York Knicks.
I'm also hearing Mbah a Moute's decision on whether to return to UCLA may not be made until the day of the June 16 deadline to remove one's name from the NBA draft.
As for his showing in Orlando, the consensus from several folks there was the same as when he went there -- his athleticism and defense is good, but his shooting remains a huge question.

I am not going to prolong the debate on LRMAM we have had since last week. At this point I hope whatever LRMAM decides to do hope it all works out for him. In my book with the recruits we have coming in, we are going to be in good shape no matter what. Not losing sleep over the June 16th deadline.

Moving on – in case you missed it – fresh off winning Bru-103, Kevin Chappell won the Jack Nicklaus college player of the year award:  

UCLA's Kevin Chappell enjoyed an award-winning day on Monday, highlighted by the announcement that he was named the Jack Nicklaus award winner as the College Player of the Year.

A day after winning the NCAA championship, he traveled to Columbus, OH, to receive the Nicklaus Award, annually given to the best player in collegiate golf. He became the first UCLA golfer since Duffy Waldorf in 1985 to win player of the year honors.

Hopefully one day we will see Chappell winning the US Open and then giving a HT to the UCLA basketball team for winning the National Championship, just like Corey Pavin did out in Shinnecock Hills back in 1995. That was the probably the only I have ever rooted for a golfer in a big stage.

Speaking of Bruin legends, Kareem has moved his blog from the LAT to a new place. Thursday night’s game is brining back a lot of memories for the Big Fella, who recalled the 85 Finals as the highlight of his legendary career:

I guess you could say that Game 1 was a wake up call for us, me in particular, when we lost big to Boston (148-114). For me it just pointed out that I had taken the wrong approach to dealing with the whole length of the playoffs and I needed to be in better condition. We had a three day gap and I was able to use the time and get sharp again in terms of being in shape and ready to run the court. For the rest of the series I did very well. When you go out there and everything is on the line and you’re not prepared, that is embarrassing to you as a professional. I felt like I had let my team down. They rely on me to do my job on a certain level and then here I am when everything is on the line and let them down. So I just made them a promise that if we didn’t play well, it wasn’t going to be because I wasn’t ready to play. Luckily I was able to turn it around.

Having played the series in Milwaukee and then the series the year before that we had given away, it was very important that we played well and live up to our potential. I was very thrilled to be a catalyst in that. But it wasn’t just some kind of one man show. James Worthy and Earvin were extraordinary that series. We had a great team effort, guys coming off the bench, everything. Everybody really wanted it and worked hard to make us successful.

I think that was the highlight of my career just because of the significance of finally beating the Celtics for me personally and for the Laker franchise. That I was the key element in that winning the MVP, it really was a special time for me.

For all the young BNers who weren’t around in 85, here is how the story ended:

Here is to a same ending for Trevor and Jordan .