Just last week, I started Bruin Hoops Bites with a lament about the likely lack of news until practice starts on October 3. Those were the good old days. The wheels fell off since then. In the space of four days, we got the news that the NCAA declared Jonah Bolden ineligible and Jon Octeus was denied admission to the grad school. Ajax covers the Bolden announcement here, gbruin has the Octeus announcement here, and I have analysis here. Might as well have said: and your starting lineup is Powell, Parker, Hamilton, Looney and Bryce Alford; we will only have nine scholarship players and we're not sure if Bail or Golomon will see the floor; if you're any good show up to Pauley - we need a tenth for practice.
The first PAC-12 Net telecast will be the Arizona Red-Blue exhibition game on October 18. Hooray! Snark aside, we probably won't see an event like this in our lifetime at Pauley. The relatively sedate open practice is the closest thing we've got.
The OOC schedule was announced two months ago, but here's a quick review. UCLA opens with an exhibition vs. Azusa Pacific on October 31 - no TV or on-line coverage announced yet. The regular season starts on Friday, November 14 against Montana State at Pauley - the first of four cupcakes. Then our old friend Tyler Lamb's Long Beach State team drops by on November 23 -- they were 15-17 in the Big West last season.
The schedule takes a tough turn after that, starting with a trip to the Bahamas to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis. First up is Oklahoma. North Carolina or Butler will be up next (winner or losers bracket). The other side of the bracket has Wisconsin, Florida, Georgetown and UAB.
The only marquee game at Pauley this season will be Gonzaga on December 13, and then it's off to Chicago to face Kentucky.
The league schedule starts on the road Friday, January 2 at Colorado and then on to Utah the following Sunday.
Once again, there is a significant sprinkling of Wednesday and Saturday games and 6PM start times at Pauley.
Arizona is in a class by itself this year. I thought we were a lock for second, but with this week's loss of two players, we'll be fighting with Utah, Colorado Stanford for the next three places. I suppose there is an advantage to having one pairing with the Arizona schools again this year albeit on the road.The Washington's are our other one-shot deal. Same holds true for Arizona.
The league schedule is favorable to us.
Last week, I had Brown, Ingram, Zimmerman, Bragg, Comanche and Koumadje left on our recruiting board. Since then, Comanche committed to Arizona and Zabsblog reported that Florida State is the strong leader for 7'4" Koumadje. Earlier in the summer, it had been reported that Koumadje would be transferring to Southern California to finish his high school career, but he ultimately stayed in Florida, and that now appears have been the end of the Bruins' hopes for him.
There are other players still mentioning UCLA: Ivan Rabb, Caleb Swanigan and Brandon Sampson, but it's late in the process, we don't appear to be the leader for any of them and some of these players might wait until April to announce.
When it rains it pours. This has been a bad week for Bruin Basketball.
Late Update: Stephen Zimmerman's in-home visit was last night, and all four coaches showed up. You can sense the desperation. Finally -- a wake up call to the gang that couldn't shoot straight.