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What's Bruin: UCLA Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Fourth in the Pac-12

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Another collection of notes and news from across the Bruiniverse to catch you up on What's Bruin this Monday morning.

@UCLAWBB

UCLA Women's Basketball

At the 2015 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media last week, the Bruins tied for fourth in the annual poll of conference coaches. For the first time in 16 years, Stanford does not hold the top spot; Oregon State received all but one first-place vote on the way to claiming the #1 position. The Beavers are followed by Stanford, Arizona State, California and UCLA, with the Golden Bears and the Bruins jointly holding fourth place.

A fourth-place finish would be a moderate improvement on last season's sixth-place finish, but it's important to remember that we've been here before. In 2014, the Bruins were also projected to finish fourth in the conference by the Pac-12 coaches and were ranked in the preseason top-25 nationally, but stumbled out of the gate, finished below .500 in the Pac-12, and missed the NCAA tournament. Coach Close has to do better this time around.

It's important to add here that finishing fourth in the Pac-12 should not be our measure of success in women's basketball--or in any other sport for that matter--although Athletic Director Dan Guerrero may be perfectly satisfied with the outcome.

UCLA Football

In case you didn't notice, the Bruins gave up a lot of points against Stanford. Chris Foster at the LA Times looks at UCLA's defensive struggles for the past three games ahead of the Bruins Thursday game against California.

Also, there's this from Joey Kaufman:

Discuss.

Lastly, file this one under "Love the photo, hate the stripes:"

UCLA Men's Golf

The Bruins were in Alpharetta, Georgia this past weekend for the U.S. Collegiate Championship. UCLA finished 14th (out of 17) in the tournament after shooting 24-over. Senior Jonathan Garrick was the top-finisher for the Bruins, placing 25th.

UCLA Women's Tennis

Senior Catherine Harrison will play in the 2015 Women's USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championship at noon today in San Diego. Harrison advanced to the tournament final by beating Southern Cal's Gabrielle Smith in the semifinals. Her opponent today is Luisa Stefani of Pepperdine. Good luck today, Catherine!

UCLA Men's Tennis

Just before the opening serve in the women's final, UCLA sophomore Martin Redlicki will take the court in the 2015 Men's USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championship. Redlicki defeated Trojan Nicholas Crystal in a singles semifinal yesterday, and will battle USC's Logan Smith in today's final. First serve is scheduled for 11:30 PM at Pepperdine University.

UCLA Swimming & Diving

UCLA opened its season with a second-place tie at the SMU Classic over the weekend. Sophomore diver Maria Polyakova earned top scores in both diving events to win High Point Diver recognition.

UCLA Men's Soccer

The Bruins are back in action this evening at Drake Stadium against the California Golden Bears. The Bruins are still in contention for postseason play, but they can't afford to lose many more games, and especially not against teams like Cal. Check back this afternoon for Bruins Nation's preview and game thread.

Big Bang Theory

Lastly, congratulations to the 2015-16 Big Bang Theory Scholars.

Twenty students earned scholarships to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at UCLA courtesy of "The Big Bang Theory" Scholarship Endowment, and they had an opportunity to celebrate their achievement with the show's cast last week. As producer Chuck Lorre told the scholarship recipients, "No pressure, but we expect you to change the world." Get busy, kids!

And that's What's Bruin for this Monday morning. Go BRUINS!