Ugly headlines for Tuesday but we are not the ones making them. Let's start with the following assessment on last night's debacle from the game's Manager of the Year:
"It was clearly their night from the get-go," Savage said. "They deserve to win the game. They dominated us, I think, in every phase, really. So it's one game. And it's the best two out of three, and we have bounced back. We have bounced back all season."
Here is to the Bruins bouncing back but I am not all that hopeful. The team has pleasantly surprised us all season long as they responded to demoralizing sweep by ASU and the losses against Cal State Fullerton. I don't see them coming through in this series though.
USC seems to be lot more locked in and focused at this stage than our team, which might have been looking to ride on our pitching staff. Sure they got lot of fluke hits and also took advantage of our fielding woes but the key was how their hitters battled and manufactured runs. They kept fighting Cole by touching his pitches and taking him deep into the count. They just look lot more determined and tenacious than our hitters.
Our hitters have had a great post-season over all but I think the law of averages is finally catching up with them. Anyway, game 2 is tonight at 4:30 pm PST (ESPN) with Rob Rasmussen getting the start for the Bruins.
Moving on to football, the LA Times has few more details on the background behind the arrests of Richardsons and Shirley:
The three face felony charges for allegedly stealing a female student's backpack that contained about $1,200 worth of contents, said Nancy Greenstein, spokeswoman for the campus police, on Monday. The backpack was taken from a storage locker outside the dining area of the Hedrick Hall dormitory.
Police were called and there was evidence, believed to be video surveillance, that implicated the three incoming football players. They were booked into county jail and released Thursday morning, records show. The Richardsons, who are cousins, were each released on $20,000 bail. Shirley was released without bail.
UCLA officials still don't have anything new from their end:
"We're still looking into the situation," UCLA spokesman Marc Dellins said. "When we have all the information, we'll make a comment at the appropriate time."
If there is any validity to the charges against Richardsons and Shirley, IMHO they should be disciplined with lot more than just game suspension. Game suspension doesn't do much for freshmen like Richardsons who were projected to red shirt any way. If there is any truth to these charges, these kids should be taken off the team and school and told to transfer to a JC and prove themselves to be good citizens for at least one semester or more, before being considered for rejoining the program. Again, if these charges are true, multiple game suspensions will not do much.
Sticking with football, Ted Miller named Rahim Moore as the 7th best player in the conference:
Making the case for Moore: Moore is well on his way to becoming a consensus preseason first-team All-American. He not only led the nation in interceptions last year, his 10 picks were the most for any FBS player since 1993. He's a leading candidate for the Thorpe Award (best defensive back) and might even get Nagurski Award (best defensive player) consideration, seeing that he's on the preseason watch list. Moore has started every game since his true freshman year -- 25 games -- and was the Bruins first true freshman to start every game since Matt Ware did in 2001. His 13 career interceptions is already No. 7 on the school's all-time list. If Moore improves his run support -- reviews are mixed there -- he likely will be a first-round draft pick this spring, if he opts to leave early.
Sounds about right. Lastly, as noted in the fanshots already, UCLA released its tentative basketball schedule yesterday:
UCLA's 2010-11 men's basketball schedule is highlighted by non-conference contests in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York, during Thanksgiving weekend; a road game at Kansas in the Pac-10/Big 12 Series (Dec. 2) and the return of Steve Lavin, who will bring his St. John's Red Storm team into Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 5, 2011.
In all, the schedule features seven games against teams that were in the field of 65 in the 2010 NCAA Tournament and another possible two games against NCAA Tournament teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
While the field for the 16-team NIT Season Tip-Off (Nov. 15-26) has not been announced, the UCLA Bruins will host the West Regional (Nov. 15-17). The Bruins will play on only two of the three days of the West Regional and then will either advance to the Semifinals in New York or the Consolation Rounds, depending on the outcome of Regional play.
The Bruins will also play in the 17th annual Wooden Classic on Saturday, Dec. 18 at Honda Center in Anaheim (opponent to be announced at a later date). This will be UCLA's eighth-consecutive Wooden Classic appearance and 14th overall (9-4 in prior contests).
You can read the full details here. I don't really care about the expected whining about not having marquee teams on the home schedule. I think it is set up well for a team that is expected to grow and develop through the OOC part. At least that is the idea, provided guys like Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson, Tyler Honeycutt, Reeves Nelson, and Josh Smith are putting in the necessary work this off-season.