With our baseball team's season having come to an amazing end, salvaging what would have been an otherwise championship-less year for UCLA, we are now officially in the dog days of summer (never mind the 100+ degree heat most of California finds itself suffering through), which means there is very little UCLA sports action to report on. Fortunately, we're only a month or so away from the beginning of fall football camp, but if past summers are any indication, it will feel like a very long July. So, with that said, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news floating around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with, as usual, football, our SB Nation colleagues at Mountain West Connection have put up a Nevada preview of the season opening game against our own UCLA Bruins. While they call Lou Spanos' squad a "struggling defense" (someone should ask Matt Barkley about that) and note since-dismissed safety Tevin McDonald as a "key returning starter" (oops!), it is an interesting read to see what Nevada fans see when they look at our team. Interestingly, they seem to be a bit too optimistic, with their readers thinking Nevada will drop the Bruins at the Rose Bowl by a 75% to 25% margin (as of this writing). Well, I imagine Jim Mora and Company will have something to say about that.
- Flipping over to our national-title winning baseball team, the Modesto Bee profiled the two key Central Valley Bruins in UCLA's championship run, starting pitcher Nick Vander Tuig from Oakdale and third baseman Kevin Kramer from Turlock.
- Jumping over to hoops, former UCLA one-and-done
Adidas mercenarybasketball player has apparently chosen to wear the #0 for the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, in describing his reasons, he naturally sounded completely clueless, stating that "nobody wears zero in the league, so I might as well wear zero." Never mind that there are currently 14 NBA players who wear #0, that Gilbert Arenas was popularly known as "Agent Zero" and that there is a certain true-blue UCLA Bruin who not only wears #0 but is an NBA All-Star, with a 2012 London Olympics gold medal to his credit. I suspect our favorite former Flaming Mohawk,Russell Westbrook, will have a thing or two to say about being a "nobody" wearing zero in the NBA. Ironically, zero is pretty appropriate for Shabazz; as in zero, the total contribution Shabazz Muhammad made to UCLA basketball history.
- Finally, the Contra Costa Times took note of Operation Mend, an outstanding program at the UCLA Medical Center designed to help reconstruct veterans injured during their military service in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. It's great to see this kind of stuff happening at our alma mater, and it seems like the results so far have been encouraging, both for UCLA as well as our wounded, but not broken, heroes.
Alright folks, those are your various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse as we begin our slog through the dog days of summer. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, additions, and various opinions on all things UCLA.