We are 13 days away from National Signing Day, the Men's Basketball team got a must win on the road last night, and several other Winter/Spring sports are either getting underway or ramping up. Not to worry. BN has you covered with today's Bruin Bites. Check it out!
According to Bruin Report Online, in an article that is not behind a firewall at the time of this writing, four star defensive tackle Garrett Rand (6'2.5", 275 lbs.), who has verbally committed to Wisconsin, is scheduled to take an official visit to UCLA this weekend.
According to the article, three factors mitigate in favor of the Bruins: (1) Wisconsin does not presently have a defensive coordinator, since their prior DC took a job with LSU; (2) Rand's father lives in Los Angeles; and (3) Angus McClure has continued to recruit Rand even after his verbal to Wisconsin in October.
Even though the focus of recruiting right now is on the Class of 2016, that has not kept the football staff from looking ahead to the Class of 2017. In fact, in an article that is not behind a firewall at the time of this writing, Bruin Report Online reports that UCLA made offers to three teammates out of Desoto High School in Texas, including a four star receiver, Laviska Shenault, Jr., and two big-bodied offensive linemen, Edward Ingram and Hiran White.
The UCLA Men's Basketball team notched its first PAC 12 road victory of the season over the Oregon State Beavers last night in Corvallis, 82-73. This was a "must win" game for the Bruins and they responded with a solid defensive effort.
Of concern, however, is the fact that UCLA five starters played most of the game. UCLA's reserves combined for only eight points in 44 minutes. Those type of starter minutes will not get you far in the Big Dance. Let's see how fresh the guys feel on Saturday (on three days rest), when the Bruins face Oregon in Eugene on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT, in a nationally televised game on CBS.
UCLA (12-7; 3-3 PAC 12) now sits tied for 6th place in the PAC 12.
Before the Oregon State game, ESPN's Bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, had the Bruins as the one of the "last four in." There is still a ton of conference basketball left, but another road win this weekend would go a long way to move UCLA out of a potential "play-in" game, at least for the time being.
The UCLA Women's Basketball team will look to get back into the win column tomorrow night at Pauley Pavillion against U.C. Berkeley. The Bruins (ranked #20 and #25 in the polls) will look to exact revenge against the previously-ranked Golden Bears, who beat the Bruins in Berkeley, 108-104, in a December non-conference game that went to double overtime. Tomorrow's game tips off at 6:02 p.m. PT, and the game will be televised on the PAC 12 Networks.
Women's Water Polo
The #2 ranked UCLA Women's Water Polo team kicks off its season this weekend at the UCSB Winter Invitational, where they will face #7 ranked Hawai'i and #14 UCSB on Saturday, and #17 Long Beach State and #12 Michigan on Sunday. Tough slate, but I think that this team will be up for the challenge.
The #1 ranked UCLA Men's Volleyball team swept Cal Baptist on the road last night, 27-25, 25-21, 25-12, to raise their record to 6-0, with most of those wins over highly ranked teams. Although UCLA got off to a slow start, the Bruins slowly took control, and cruised in the third set.
The Bruins next play #15 Southern Cal on Saturday at 3 p.m. PT at Pauley Pavillion, a game that will be televised on the PAC 12 Networks.
After a tough loss, 197.675-196.925, last weekend in Gainesville at the hands of the reviled Florida Gators (now a powerhouse in women's gymnastics, having won three straight national championships), the UCLA Women's Gymnastics team opens PAC 12 competition this Saturday, at 12 p.m. PT in Tucson against the Arizona Wildcats. The dual meet will be televised on the PAC 12 Networks.
The UCLA Men's Tennis team defeated the University of San Francisco yesterday, 7-0, to begin the season. The victory is notable in that it was UCLA Head Coach Billy Martin's 500th coaching victory. Congratulations Coach Martin!
As so ends another iteration of Bruin Bites. I hope you got your fix of UCLA sports. If I forgot anything or if you have any thoughts you'd wish to share, please fire away in the comments section. One day closer to the weekend . . .