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What's Bruin: UCLA Basketball Is Back!

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It's the start of another work week, and for UCLA Football, there's plenty of work to do before the upcoming game against Stanford. UCLA's basketball teams are busy at work too, with official practice starting last Friday. We report on all of it and more in this Monday morning edition of What's Bruin.


UCLA Men's Basketball

As reported by DCBruins, UCLA Men's Basketball held its first practice of the season on Friday. According to Steve Alford, the 2015 Bruins have a higher level of versatility that any of his other UCLA teams. Alford also mentioned the possibility of playing Tony Parker and Thomas Welsh at the same time. For more on the Bruins first practice and Steve Alford's initial comments on the upcoming season, I highly recommend DCBruins' article.

UCLA Women's Basketball

UCLA Women's Basketball is back too! The Bruins had their first practice of 2015 on Friday, and it featured Coach Close's two new star recruits--6'1" Kennedy Burke from Sierra Canyon High School, and 6'4" Ashley Hearn from Sachse High School in Roulette, Texas. There was a third new face at practice, too: 6'1" guard Nicole Kornet, who has recently transferred to UCLA from Oklahoma. Kornet will have to sit out this season, but the Academic All-Big 12 first teamer is a great addition to Coach Close's program.

Actually, there was a fourth new face putting up shots on Friday, but I don't think he'll be suiting up this season:

UCLA Football

We can all agree that Saturday was a huge disappointment for fans of UCLA Football. However, I think everyone needs to remember that we're just two games into the Pac-12 season, so it strikes me as a bit early to make big statements about how the season is going to play out.

On the other hand, writers like Pete Thamel over at Sports Illustrated get paid to make provocative statements. In case you haven't heard of Sports Illustrated before, it's a swimsuit magazine that occasionally covers sports.

Following the Bruins loss to ASU, Thamel shared his "three thoughts on the upset," which probably meets his monthly thoughts quota. His conclusions? Although "[t]he No. 7 Bruins entered the day in the national title conversation," UCLA "got exposed as a pretender."

Interestingly, another of Thamel's "three thoughts" is that "UCLA is too beaten up to contend this year." While that may prove to be correct, it's odd that Thamel didn't acknowledge that fact prior to the game. After all, if UCLA has suffered too many injuries to contend this year, then Thamel should have known that before the "upset" that "exposed UCLA as a pretender."

In real UCLA Football news, Chris Foster has a nice feature on senior Jordan Payton, his quiet leadership role with the Bruins, and his entrepreneurial interests.

Speaking of Payton, if you think he's worthy of the Biletnikoff Award, be sure to cast a vote for him.

UCLA Men's Golf

UCLA Men's Golf is in Wisconsin this week for the Erin Hills Intercollegiate. In the opening round on Sunday, senior Jonathan Garrick shot a 4-under 68 to lead the 13th-ranked Bruins to third place after the first 18 holes. Round 2 is set for today, with pairings yet to be announced.

UCLA Men's Tennis

The Bruins are taking part in the ITA Men's All-American Championships this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sophomore Martin Redlicki won his qualifying match this morning (6-3, 6-4), and senior Karue Sell will play later today. UCLA Men's Tennis fans can follow the action from the Michael D. Case Tennis Center via live video.

UCLA Athletics

In case you missed it, eight new members of the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame were honored at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

The official induction ceremony was on Friday at UCLA's Covel Commons.

Congratulations to Annett Davis (Women's Volleyball, 1991-94), Danny Farmer (Football & Men's Volleyball, 1996-99), Billy Martin (Men's Tennis, 1975 & UCLA Men's Tennis Coach, 1994-), Paul Nihipali (Men's Volleyball, 1994-97), Jan Palchikoff (Women's Rowing, 1973-75/Swimming & Diving, 1971-74), Janice Parks (Softball, 1986-89), Eric Valent (Baseball, 1996-98), and Richard Washington (Men's Basketball, 1974-76)!

Bruins In The News

Former UCLA All-American volleyball player Kevin Wong has proposed the construction of a world-class volleyball facility in Honolulu.

UCLA basketball legend Ed O'Bannon won another victory in court last week when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower ruling that NCAA rules with respect to student-athlete compensation violate antitrust laws. However, the court also ruled against a plan for deferred compensation.

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