Let's start this Friday roundup where we left off yesterday: football recruiting. UCLA released a video last night featuring Angus McClure, Bruins' Director of On-Campus Recruiting. McClure gave the lowdown on how UCLA coaches during the month are combing all over the country to look for recruits:
We should also note that UCLA will have on campus football camps for recruits during the summer which will also help our recruiting efforts. Given how successful this staff has been in last three years, we should feel pretty confident about their strategic plan during the coming months. When the Bruins take the necessary incremental step forward during the football season, it will only boost their efforts this coming Fall.
Speaking of recruiting, noticed couple of really interesting tweets from Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh last night (emphasis added):
A lot of attention goes to our players on the field and in the classroom. But I am most proud of the moral character they display each day.
Our players live clean, do right and so much more. Tavita Pritchard, Tom McAndrew, Andrew Luck - too many to name. Special thx to Jim Stump.
Hmm.I didn't know who Jim Stump was. I had to look him up. He is listed as an "Advisor" to the Sports Challenge, which is part of Stanford's "Office for Religious Life". He has been referred to as a "spiritual mentor to athletes at Stanford."
Interesting for Harbaugh to give him a shout out." Anyway, I wonder if Harbaugh might be indirectly referring to other programs? Anyone have ideas? The tweets just stood out as a little interesting to me. More after the jump including notes on hoops and baseball.
Sticking with the recruiting theme, let's switch over to hoops. UCLA is ranked No. 15 on ESPN's final men's college basketball recruiting rankings. The ranking is the highest of any school in the Pac-10. Official site's What's Bruin Blog posted ESPN's notes on our incoming class:
"Josh Smith (Covington, Wash./Kentwood), No. 20 in the ESPNU 100 and the No. 2 center, has as much upside as any big man in the country. At 6-9, 320 pounds, he is nearly unstoppable in the paint when he's in shape and determined. He can be a force on the defensive end with his shot-blocking and rebounding. He is remarkably agile and light on his feet and offensively, he has terrific hands and possesses savvy beyond his years. He has NBA talent if he keeps his weight in check and stays focused. Tyler Lamb (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), No. 29 in the ESPNU 100 and the No. 5 SG, is a versatile off guard who can fill the stat sheet in so many ways and finds a way to make his team better every night. He should be an immediate contributor due to his all-around game. Junior college point guard Lazeric Jones (Cartersville, Ill./Logan Community College) is very explosive and good at slashing through defenses with either hand. Combo guard Matt Carlino (Bloomington, Ind./South) has range out to 20 feet, is a good rebounder, a solid passer and has a high basketball IQ."
Note that UCLA is not done with its recruiting efforts yet. UCLA is currently interested in the Wear Twins who are now recruitable athletes following their release from North Carolina. Bruins also looking into SF Remi Berry, provided he has satisfied the requirement of core courses that would make him eligible to come into UCLA. So this recruiting class might have more additions before it is all said and done.
Elsewhere, Stanford is ranked number 18 and Cal was the other Pac-10 school to finish in the top-25 at number 24. Kentucky was the overall number 1 class and I am sure Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Husky fans are feeling all warm and fuzzy about that.
Oh and since we are talking about Pac-10 hoops brace yourself everyone. I have some terrible news via Diamond Leung at tWWL's College Basketball Nation Blog:
Percy Miller, better known in hip hop circles as Lil' Romeo, will not return to USC for his junior season, coach Kevin O'Neill told the Los Angeles Daily News. [...]
When USC played Stanford on the road, one Cardinal fan brought to the game a handmade sign complete with Lil' Romeo magazine photos and heart-shaped cutouts.
The fan expressed disappointment about not being able to taunt Miller, who had not made the trip with the team. USC coaches, after all, seemed to always have trouble finding ways to use him on the court.
This is a tough blow to the Den. They will have to come up with something else for Just$C next season. I doubt it is going to be all that hard.
Moving over to baseball, as Rye posted yesterday the Bruins start a significant baseball series this afternoon against Cal Bears up at Strawberry Canyon road. The series has ramifications on UCLA's chances to hold a super regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The series also is a huge one for the Cal Bears as they are making their own tourney run. ICYMI norcalnick has a good read on the series over at California Golden Blogs.
From the previews it sounds like the games have the potential to shape up as pitching duels. Hopefully our bats will feed off the mojo served up by Cody Keefer's heroics from this past weekend. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:30 pm PST (a bit early than usual Friday matchups). We will have a game thread up for those who will be following the action via GameTracker/radio.
Finally, wanted to end with a follow-up note about ucla7477's powerful post on his Dad getting his UCLA degree last weekend. The post obviously struck an emotional nerve in this community. It's reach well beyond our online water cooler. The post (along with many other stories and two UCLA videos) was linked up in the Official Blog of the Manzanar Committee.
It is very cool to see how so many others wrote on the powerful event but also humbling for us to get associated with something so meaningful way beyond sports. Thanks to ucla7477 and all other members of BN who continue to make this place something very special. Happy Friday.