Bruin Shoe Drive For Haiti

From UCLA:

Donate shoes at the women’s basketball game Saturday or the gymnastics meet Sunday.

UCLA Athletics will be hosting a shoe drive at this weekend’s Women’s Basketball and Gymnastics home events. The shoe drive is in conjunction with Sport Chalet’s partnership with Soles 4 Souls, who have committed to providing 1 million pairs of shoes to aid in the recovery and building process in Haiti.

Bring your new or gently worn shoes to Pauley Pavilion at one or both of the following events this weekend:
Women’s Basketball Game – Saturday, January 30th at 2pm
Women’s Gymnastics Meet – Sunday, January 31st at 2pm

Shoe collection will take place from 1:00pm-2:00pm. All shoes collected will be sent to Soles 4 Souls for distribution in Haiti.

For information on Sport Chalet’s partnership with Soles 4 Souls, go to http://www.sportchalet.com/category/soles+4+souls+and+sport+chalet.do

To make a monetary donation to those in need, visit the Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org

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Weekly Answers Pt. 8

1) If UCLA gets a couple more recruits , say Jefferson, Heimuli, Pullard, and maybe Owa, who out of the recruiting clsss making a big impact next season. And who do you expect to redshirt and greyshirt? Also who may enroll early? – Anonymous
In order of potential playing time: Jones, (Owa), James, (Heimuli), Olaniyan, Marsh, Barr, Jefferson. Too early to say who’ll redshirt and greyshirt. I’ve only heard about Wade Yandall enrolling early.

2) Honeycutt getting back into it + the zone defense…do you think we have a chance to make it to the big dance? OR is the NIT in our near future? – Anonymous
With the Pac-10 so bad and UCLA seemingly finding some rhythm, I’d put it an NCAA bid at 50/50.

3) Who do you like in the Superbowl? – Anonymous
Who do I like? New Orleans. Who will win? Indianapolis.

4) Jon, is there a likely chance that UCLA can Pick up any sc commits like they did last year with R. Carroll – Lifetime Bruin Fan
Not looking too good.

5) With us seemingly in good shape at OG (Baca returning starter, Williams returning starter, Taylor, Kia and Savage returning with previous starting experience) is there any talk of one of those guys moving to DT – maybe Savage since he has previous DL experience? – Mike H class of 90
With the addition of Cassius Marsh and the possible additions of Ricky Heimuli and Sealii Epenesa, I’d say no.

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Weekly Answers, Pt. 7

1) Do you think UCLA will land Brandon Dunson, Trey Zeigler or Ray McCallum? – DK
One of the three, with Zeigler the best bet.

2) Who is this QB Clayton Tunney on the roster and where did him come from? – Anonymous
Don’t quite understand all the hoopla on him. He is a transfer from UC Davis who was on the roster almost all season as a scout quarterback. He has served an LDS mission and is 22 years old and from La Costa Canyon in San Diego.

3) What happened with Klay Thompson? Did he have an off day or did we do something right? – Anonymous
Both?

4) The zone seems to be a great thing for the bball team… Is it a function of a) the players we have, fitting them better, b) lack of zone in the Pac-10 with other teams less prepared (or maybe they can’t shoot), c) a real change in philosophy for Ben or d) a temporary fix for the inexperience of the team, with a eventual (gradual) replacement of Ben’s man-to-man over time? – Matt A

ZERO chance at replacing man-to-man, but certainly an option moving forward.

5) A follow up to Curious Guy’s question. The yelling guy never is on the band end of the court, so he can only distract shooters during one half, is this because ucla won’t let him switch because of some perception that its unfair to the other team? – loyolaxman
I just don’t think he wants to buy two tickets.

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Weekly Answers, Pt. 6

1) Would I be too optimistic to think that Hasiak will be back on the team? – Ryan
Hasiak is still in limbo – we’re all kind of just waiting. I would lean toward optimism.

2) And on a recruiting note, do you believe that we will round out the class with Pullard, Jefferson, Heimuli, Marsh and possibly Dargan/Riley? – Ryan
No on Dargan and Riley.

3) Looks like Chase Stanback is doing alright with UNLV: 10 and 5. He didn’t look too good at UCLA, did one year make a difference? – anonymous
One year, yes, and his role is drastically increased. Everyone’s numbers go up in increased minutes.

4) Could USC run of success in recruiting be over, considering UCLA has chances with recruits that are no longer considering USC such as Cassius Marsh, and Ricky Heimuli? – Anonymous
I wouldn’t say it’s over, but UCLA certainly is not as far behind as it was a few years ago. Like I said a few weeks ago, USC still has Broadway and Park Place, but UCLA put hotels all around.

5) What is the difference between an official and unofficial visit? Are there certain things you are not allowed to do on an unofficial visit? – UCLAVES
Officials are paid for by the school, unofficials by the student. Here’s a good explanation I found: http://www.ncsasports.org/blog/2009/11/04/the-truth-about-official-visits/

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Weekly Answers, Pt. 5 – Early Edition

1) Scout has Owa going to Oregon or Nebraska. Do you think we have a chance with him, still? – issixit
Yes, UCLA has a chance, but I still see him going to Nebraska.

2) They also put D4 at USC. What about all the hoopla in the previous two weeks about him being a UCLA lean? – Issixit
I think Riley was always for a reason NOT to go to USC, rather than a reason TO go anywhere else.

3) Finallly, do you have any contact with Biggins at ESPN or Brandon Huffman at Scout, or are you all trying to out-do each other? – issixit
I have never spoken with Biggins, but I can undoubtedly say that without Huff’s help, I would be completely lost this season. I have only known him for a short time, but he has become a valued and trusted resource. More than that, he’s become a friend. He, Tracy and Robert Kuwada do a fantastic job over at Scout, and while I certainly don’t enjoy being so thoroughly beaten on recruiting news, I consider only consider the other newspapers my “competition.”

4) Okay, we’ve seen the Bruins up and down a bit and seen most of the PAC-10. Who wins the league and where does the basketball team finish? – BruinBall

Cal wins the league, UCLA finishes tied for third.

5) Bruins went pretty hard at recruiting Adbul Gaddy, but he honestly didn’t look like he’s was that big an impact player (so far). Thoughts and his performance versus UCLA? – Bruinball
He had a mediocre game against UCLA – led the team in steals and assists but scored just two points – but there were flashes. He’ll be a player.

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Leading the Charge

UCLA head coach Ben Howland again mentioned the team’s willingness to take charges against the Cougars, a point of emphasis in practice that had fallen by the wayside.
Nelson and Keefe each took a charge against Washington State, eliciting an excited reaction from Howland on the sideline.

“Before the game on Saturday he kept talking about it every practice,” Nelson said. “I looked over at the bench when I took my charge. He talks about Alfred (Aboya) sometimes, just the toughness, do whatever you can do to make the team win.
“But it’s not really instinct to want to get run over.”

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The Middle of the Pac

Despite a five-game losing streak earlier in the year, disappointing losses to Arizona and Stanford that followed big wins, and a crushing defeat to cross-town rival USC, the Bruins are very much alive in this topsy-turvy season.

At 4-3 in conference play – and 9-10 overall – UCLA is in the thick of the Pac-10 race, with five teams at 4-3, one game behind Cal.

“We’re in position, we’re in the driver’s seat,” UCLA senior forward James Keefe said. “We can still make a season out of this. I just think it’s up for grabs. When we had that huge losing streak, there was a lot of indifference. Everyone’s not happy when you’re losing. That was just turmoil. We’ve got a couple wins, a couple big wins, and I think everyone is realizing we can do something.”

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Free? Throws

Free throws have been anything but this season for the UCLA men’s basketball team.
In fact, they’ve been quite costly.

The Bruins rank dead last in the Pac-10 in free-throw shooting percentage at a .613 clip, after hitting .724 percent last season.

The foul struggles have left the players confused and the coaches frustrated, as even extensive work in practice – as much as 200 free throws in a day for some players – has not translated to the games.

“I don’t have an answer for that, that’s not an easy answer,” senior forward James Keefe said. “We work on it a lot in practice. I don’t think we have bad shooters on this team. A lot of the guys that are missing, I’m confident when they go up to the line. I don’t know what it is – I think it’s just something that will come around.”

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