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What’s Bruin: Lonzo Ball Says Alford “Gave Him the Keys” at UCLA

That and much, much more in today’s What’s Bruin.

Kent State v UCLA Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Welcome to a humpday version of What’s Bruin. There are several interesting stories in the UCLA sports universe today. Let’s get right to them.

UCLA Men’s Basketball

It‘s no secret that Lonzo Ball played only one season for the UCLA Bruins. Not coincidentally, it was arguably Steve Alford’s best season coaching the Bruins. UCLA won 31 games, the most during Alford’s tenure, and made the Sweet 16, tying for the deepest Alford has ever taken a team in the Big Dance. Who was really behind that team’s success?

Yesterday, ESPN published a story about Lonzo Ball being a more “vocal” leader on the court for the Lakers. Buried at the end of the story, was an interesting quote by Ball:

“At UCLA, it was pretty cool. [Former UCLA head coach Steve] Alford kind of gave me the keys and told me to take the team as far as I could.”

Read this how you may.

Although it is certainly not on the level of Baron Davis’ we were “the only team to make the tournament without a coach,” it certainly can be interpreted that Alford didn’t do much coaching two seasons ago.

UCLA Men’s Volleyball

After a road trip that saw UCLA lose in straight sets to Cal State Northridge, and win in straight sets against Midwestern small schools, McKendree and Lindenwood, the #6 Bruins (4-1) return home to face the #12 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos tonight. First serve at Pauley Pavilion is at 7 pm PT.

UCLA Women’s Water Polo

This weekend, the #4 UCLA women’s water polo team will begin it’s quest for another NCAA Championship. The Bruins will play five games at the UCSB Invitational, starting on Friday night. Keep your eyes peeled for more UCLA Women’s Water Polo coverage here at BN leading into the season opener.

UCLA Women’s Soccer

UCLA’s Hailie Mace, drafted #2 overall in the NSWL College Draft by Sky Blue FC apparently made her intentions known to the club that, if drafted by Sky Blue (based in New Jersey, and who play their games at Rutgers), she would not report. Mace is now exploring other options in Europe. Mace’s decision was likely not helped by Sky Blue’s controversial treatment of its non-star athletes, as described in this expose, and others.

UCLA Men’s Soccer

Although UCLA’s Frankie Amaya and Anderson Asiedu were drafted in the MLS Superdraft last week, the Bruins striker Mohammed Kamara has chosen to take a different path. Kamara signed with SC Paderborn 07, which was just promoted to 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of German football. Paderborn is hopeful that Kamara can help the club retain second tier status and perhaps elevate them to promotion to the first tier.

Quick Hitters

And, that’s What’s Bruin this Wednesday.

Enjoy the day and Go Bruins!