It might be the dog-days of summer, but it's been a busy half-week since we last checked in with Bruin Bites. BruinWriter raised a very interesting topic of conversation about UCLA's QB competition between Prince and Brehaut while Ryan questioned Morgan Center's sudden silence on its plans for all of the money its coming into as a result of the Pac-12's new TV deal. Telemachus recapped our Bruins' proud history and detailed how we ended up being the nation's top athletic university with 107 NCAA championships. Speaking of that proud history, UCLA added eight more deserving Bruins to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. Nestor broke down dueling media narratives and disparate media treatments between two Pac-12 coaches with nearly identical records: our own Rick Neuheisel and Washington's Steve Sarkisian. On the basketball front, we took note of DC's Southern California roots and the difference between him and Jrudas Holiday, and DCBruins broke down our wing prospects for the upcoming basketball season.
Let's get to your bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse for the end of another sunny California weekend:
- We'll start with the bad news on the recruiting front: despite catching fire on the recruiting trail of late, Neuheisel wasn't able to reel in local offensive guard Travis Averill from Servite, losing him to the Smurf Turf of Bosie State. His profile on Scout can be seen here. The silver lining is that Rick is constantly looking to re-stock our oft-injured offensive line.
- Switching over to basketball recruiting, top recruiting target Shabazz Muhammad put on quite the show (40 points) at the Adidas Invitational Tournament in Indianapolis this past week, with Howland on hand to view the performance. Unfortunately for Ben, the rest of college basketball's elite were also there to see Shabazz, with Coach K, Bill Self, Rick Barnes, Roy Williams, and Cheat-apari all in attendance. According to Shabazz, as of now, he's still "wide open" on his college decision.
- Following up on last weekend's Bruin Bites' recruiting notes, UCLA recruiting target Dominic Artis, the PG who transferred from Richmond's Salesian to Findlay Prep in Nevada, has been turning heads at the
LeDoucheLeBron James Skills Academy. The Bay Area product is considered a top target for the Golden Bears but with Artis moving to Findlay Prep and starting to reel in offers from basketball's higher-end programs (read: us), it has Cal sweating over losing a kid out of their own backyard.
- The Desert Sun has a quick opinion regarding golf sensation Patrick Cantlay's decision (thus far) to pass on the money he could be making right now to stay at UCLA and remain an amateur. The bottom line: they find it refreshing.
- For those of you in the Valley, West L.A., and Santa Monica, you probably already know, but this upcoming weekend (July 16-17), CalTrans will shut down the 405 between the 101 and the 10, in what has popularly become known as Carmageddon. So, if you're planning on visiting Westwood next weekend, good luck and bring a few books to read while you're stuck in traffic on surface streets.
- Of course, Carmageddon will have a major impact on UCLA (although fortunately, only summer session is in and there's no athletic events on campus), but the campus is preparing for the 405 closure. Critical facilities, like UCLA Medical Center (both the Ronald Reagan Medical Center on campus and the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica) are planning on providing temporary room and board to staff on or near campus so they won't have to be stuck in a long commute trying to make it into work and lining up extra helicopter crews since ground ambulances will have a hard time fighting through the congested surface streets.
- Among those stuck in the traffic next weekend thanks to Carmageddon will be high school students from around the United States attending the annual performing arts summer camp on campus. For those kids, at least when they return to their communities, they can tell people they suffered through real-live L.A. traffic (like the rest of us).
- Moving on to other news, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News (I wish he would move south and be our beat writer instead of the lame hacks assigned to the UCLA beat currently) has a really good piece on the new Pac-12 TV deal and the corresponding details for football scheduling.
- Following up on a prior Bruin Bites note, walk-on football player Luke Gane finally fulfilled his wish of meeting former Florida Gators legend Tim Tebow. It sounds like Gane had a great time (HT to very classy Tim Tebow and the Make-A-Wish Foundation), and hopefully Tim shared some QB tips to Luke to pass along to our much-maligned QB corps.
- Finally, let's close this weekend's Bruin Bites out with a couple of alumni notes. The San Diego Union-Tribune has a nice profile of former track and field runner Kira Jorgensen Abercromby and how she took her ability to run and translated it into a UCLA degree, which in turn, led to higher education, a job with NASA, and a job as a professor at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. In other words, take notes kids: UCLA will take you places if you want to go places.
- In other alumni news, Troy Aikman played beach football with a bunch of locked-out NFL players, Maurice Jones-Drew says his knee injury from last season won't slow him down this year (if there is a season this year), and Arron Afflalo, being the natural leader we saw during his days in Westwood, is taking on the mantle of leadership in the post-Melo era in Denver, urging the Nuggets to pick up their game. Man, I miss having AA in the blue-and-gold.
There you go folks. Fire away with your thoughts on your notes from around the UCLA-iverse.