It's been an interesting half-week so far here at Bruins Nation. We kicked it off with a break-down on why UCLA is a premier destination for young basketball wing (shooting guard and small forward) players to come if they want to excel in college and the NBA. Shortly after, Ben Howland scored a big commitment from the next talented wing player to come to Westwood: Jordan Adams (in large part, no doubt, to new assistant Korey McCray's recruiting efforts). On that same theme, we shouldn't overlook the simple fact that UCLA has produced the most talent currently in the NBA. We followed up by noting that UCLA remains a top-tier athletic program in the eyes of many across the nation, a fact apparently lost by the hacks at Morgan Center. Finally, in case you missed it, Ryan broke-down Richard Brehaut's decision to play baseball during the summer.
So, with that said, let's get to your bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Starting with the university as a whole, ESPN is profiling Division I-A football programs located in major cities with a NFL team (and they threw L.A. in as a bonus apparently. Although it's a rather simplistic summary of UCLA, it does rightfully point out that UCLA isn't just a basketball school (although that's what it's known for) but had a glorious history in football in the past.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a nice, quick piece on the newest Bruin basketball commit, Jordan Adams, and the instrumental role that new UCLA assistant coach Korey McCray played in recruiting Adams to Westwood. Moreover, the AJC breaks down how and why bringing McCray on staff was shrewd move by Ben Howland to boost his national recruiting profile.
- Sticking with newspaper profiles, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune has a summary and recap of Patrick Cantlay's sizzling performance at the U.S. Open with an accompanying profile of Cantlay. If you missed the U.S. Open and just want to know the basics of Cantlay's performance, look no further.
- Jon Gold has a nice piece of Honeycutt and Lee, discussing at some length the struggles and work that both guys are putting in, just to be able to try-out for an NBA team, including repeated cross-country flights.
- Despite people constantly writing UCLA's football program off, the Tucscon Citizen compiled the data from 33 years of Pac-10 football competition, and surprisingly, UCLA did very well in that span. In light of the statistics compiled by the Tucson Citizen, it again begs the question of why UCLA football often seems to be a secondary thought in Westwood (especially in Morgan Center, where they don't seem to get that college football is the revenue king).
- Alexandra Wallace's now-infamous racist rant is making a rather delicious return: as the LA Weekly noted, the Palace Restaurant and UCLA Munchies has partnered up to form Ching Chong Ling Long Gourmet Takeout, a delivery service for UCLA students in dire need of Chinese delivery. Nice to see something positive come from a few individuals trying to fight racism with humor.
- Turning to more somber news, UCLA tragically lost one of its brand-new graduates this week. The Santa Monica Daily Press is reporting that 24 year old brand-new UCLA graduate Melissa Del-Aguila was killed when she was struck by a taxi cab on Wilshire Boulevard at around 2 a.m. According to the LAPD, it appears Del-Aguila was out celebrating her graduation with friends at various local bars when she walked in front of a taxi while attempted to hail it. Very sad news to see a young Bruin lose their life just as it was getting underway.
- Finally, sticking to the somber ending theme, Tulare County authorities are continuing their search for another recent UCLA graduate who is missing after falling into the Kern River during a graduation trip. 22 year old UCLA graduate Scott Neacato was last seen being swept down the river. If you have any information, please contact the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.
That's your Bruin Bites for the middle of this work week. Recent grads, stay safe out there. Fire away with your mid-week thoughts.