It was the ESPN Pac-12 blog’s turn to hand out grades for the 2016 edition of UCLA football. Kyle Bonagura didn’t hand out an F, but your kid would still be grounded if he/she came home with this report card.
The bottom line, though, is that 4-8 is 4-8. Coaches say it all the time, "It’s a results-based business," and the Bruins didn’t come close to the standard they expect from themselves and which was expected from outside observers. They didn’t come close to playing to the level of their talent, which is what drove fans crazy.
The Bruins are largely living off the win at Kentucky, arguably the best win by any team on this list. Although they have eight RPI top-100 wins, they only have one other win over a team in the current bracket projection. UCLA has the weakest schedule of any of the one-loss teams, but it hasn't hit the meat of its relatively thin conference schedule. The Bruins can add to their quality win list, and maybe hold on to this spot, when they host Arizona on Saturday.
Also at CBS Sports, Gary Parrish spoke to some NBA scouts who, granted anonymity, dished on the 2017 NBA draft class of point guards.
Ball has been tremendous in every way. The 6-5 freshman turned a program that produced a losing record last season into a legitimate national title contender, and I'd make him a First Team All-American if the season ended today. Everybody likes him. I hope that's clear. But Ball is the least athletic prospect of this four-prospect group (even if he is more athletic than most previously realized), and the mechanics on his shot aren't ideal (even if he is shooting 43.0 percent from 3-point range). Are these things major red flags? No. Ball will likely go in the top five, and definitely in the top 10, no matter what. But if the question is why most NBA people appear higher on Fultz than Ball, those are the reasons. There's not much to nitpick with Fultz. But there are a few (small) things with Ball.
Matt Cummings in the Daily Bruin writes about TJ Leaf’s sense of humor, his work ethic, and his gaining prominence.
Then UCLA played Kentucky, and Leaf exploded onto the national stage with 17 points and 13 rebounds in the Bruins’ victory. As Wildcat coach John Calipari put it afterward, Leaf "manhandled" the then-No. 1 team in the country.
He’s been doing it to team after team this year, averaging 16.8 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 64.1 percent, including 51.3 percent from 3-point range.
And finally, with a Pac-12 rival coming to town on Saturday, ESPN’s Jay Bilas asks if Arizona can slow down UCLA: