Happy Tuesday. That was quite a National Championship game last night! Although I was pulling for Clemson, I have two points to make with respect to Alabama.
First, contrary to popular belief, that team can score points in bunches. You can be a run-heavy, pro-style offensive team with an average quarterback and still outscore a more offensively oriented team in a shootout. Of course, Nick Saban's gutsy onside kick helped. Does anyone here think that UCLA would make that type of call under the same circumstances?
Second, you don't need flashy uniforms to draw top talent. Alabama has the most basic (some would say boring) uniforms in college sports, with the only "details" being basic stripes on the pants. Are you listening Adidas? No more messed up UCLA stripes. No more tire treads patterns. No more iron on reflective numbers and names. If Adidas can do it with Michigan, why not UCLA? I would love for us to get back to basics next year, not only with respect to the uniform, but the play of the team as well under the new coordinators and position coaches.
That having been said, let's take check out some Bruin Bites in the world of UCLA sports.
After the National Championship game last night, Devin Asiasi, a highly regarding tight end and absolute physical specimen at the position, tweeted out his final five potential schools, and UCLA made the cut, along with Alabama, Michigan, Southern Cal, and Washington.
Top 5 #Blessed pic.twitter.com/7iUP6Og5re— Devin Asiasi ⛅️ (@asibo_) January 12, 2016
Asiasi has been considered to be a heavy lean to Southern Cal, but he was primarily recruited by then Southern Cal coach/now UCLA coach Marques Tuiasosopo. Do the Bruins have a chance to land this coveted recruit? If they do, will UCLA change its offense to more of a pro-style set to suit this type of player? We'll have some answers in 22 days on National Signing Day, February 3rd.
Take it for what it is worth (not much), but Kevin Gemmell of ESPN has released his PAC 12 football power rankings for next season and UCLA clocks in at number 7 (number 3 in the PAC 12 South). This one spot lower that where the Bruins finished this season, with only one team below UCLA jumping the Bruins, the Washington Huskies under Chris Peterson, who won their last three games and appear to be trending up.
After his offense paced UCLA to victories over the Arizona schools last month, Bryce Alford has been named PAC 12 Player of the Week. Say what you will about his defense and his decision making, there is no doubt that Alford is a pure shooter from distance. Congratulations to Bryce on this honor! The Bruins (11-6, 2-2 PAC 12) square off tomorrow against Southern Cal (14-3, 3-1 PAC 12) at Pauley Pavillion. Both teams are just outside the top 25.
The UCLA Women's Basketball team (11-4, 3-1 PAC 12) lost a tough one to Southern Cal (14-2, 2-2 PAC 12) at the Galen Center on Sunday, by the score of 71-68. Both teams travel to the Pacific Northwest to face the Washington schools this weekend. The Bruins will face the Washington Huskies at 6 p.m. on Friday, a game that will be televised on the PAC 12 Networks.
After a challenging road trip to the East Coast in which the #5 ranked UCLA Men's Volleyball team went 3-0 to kick off its season with wins against George Mason (ranked #14), Ohio State (#6), and Penn State (#10), two Bruins have been honored. Congratulations are in order for Mitch Stahl for being named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) player of week and Micha Ma'a for being named national co-freshman of the week. Way to represent the four letters, Mitch and Micha! UCLA continues it's tough road schedule to start the season at #2 UC Irvine this Friday.
The #6 UCLA Women's Gymnastics team defeated the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide in dramatic fashion on Sunday at Pauley Pavillion, in a come-from-behind squeeker, 196.550 to 196.300 for a .250 margin of victory. The result was in doubt until the final routine of the competition, with UCLA's Sadiqua Bynum scoring a 9.95 on the floor exercise, cementing the win. The Bruins travel to Gainesville this Friday for a huge test against the #2 Florida Gators, winners of the last three national championships.
Thanks for reading today's Bruin Bites. Please add your thoughts and comments in the comment section.