Special Q&A Podcast

Hey guys,

I don’t think Ben is going to make it in for the Inside UCLA Podcast today, so I’ll be flying solo. I’ll talk a little about the recent football coaching changes, the position changes and I have an interview with Tyler Honeycutt, but the bulk of the podcast will be devoted to a Q&A. Unfortunately, we don’t have the capability for live call-ins yet, so post your questions here, and I’ll get to as many as I can.

Thanks
JG

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EXCLUSIVE: Clark Lea on his promotion

I just got off the phone with new UCLA linebackers coach Clark Lea, who was promoted from his grad assistant position to fill the vacancy left by Carnell Lake. Lea coached the linebackers last season as Chuck Bullough moved up to the defensive coordinator position, and the two worked together as well in 2006, when Lea was a GA for DeWayne Walker.

Lea was linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at South Dakota State in 2007 and 2008 and previously served as a football intern at UCLA and as a GA at Vanderbilt, where he played from 2002-04. Lea is a young (28), fiery guy, and he played a big role in the recruitment of several top linebackers, including Aramide Olaniyan and Eric Kendricks.

Check out the interview after the jump…
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Nelson out for Oregon/Oregon State

UCLA freshman forward Reeves Nelson has not been medically cleared for this week’s games against Oregon State and Oregon. Nelson will be re-evaluated early next week to determine his status for the team’s regular season-ending road trip at Arizona and Arizona State.

Nelson had laser retinopexy on his left eye to repair a slight retinal tear, presumably suffered when he fell face-first to the court after dunking against Washington State last Thursday.

With Nelson out, and teammate Brendan Lane nursing a sprained ankle, UCLA is effectively down to J’Mison Morgan, Nikola Dragovic and Tyler Honeycutt at the forward positions. Lane is still questionable, but was in a walking boot on Wednesday and will be evaluated today.

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Quick take on the Lea promotion

The promotion of Clark Lea not only gives UCLA a stable voice in charge of what will be a very young group in 2010, but it frees Chuck Bullough up to focus on the entire defense as coordinator.

Last year, Bullough also coached the linebackers, and while that group had some spectacular moments, there were times when the defensive unit looked disjointed. With Tim Hundley coaching all defensive backs – and it’s not too often the DBs are split between two coaches, so this will also unify that unit – Bullough can focus on schemes and adjustments, two aspects he improved on as the season progressed, culminating in the huge second half against Temple in the EagleBank Bowl.

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Lea promoted to LB coach

From UCLA:

UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel announced today that Clark Lea has been hired as an assistant coach. Lea will coach the linebackers and Tim Hundley will coach the secondary. He replaces cornerbacks coach Carnell Lake, who left the staff Monday due to family reasons.

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Wicks tabbed for college basketball HOF

From UCLA:

“UCLA’s Sidney Wicks and Duke University’s Christian Laettner, both of whom paced their schools to multiple NCAA championships, are among eight individuals announced today to be enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 2010 induction ceremonies will be held on Sunday, November 21, 2010, at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo.

Wicks helped Coach John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins to three straight NCAA championships from 1969-71. He was selected as the tournament’s most outstanding player as a junior in 1970 and earned at least one national player of the year award in each of his last two seasons.

“I was very excited when I was informed of my selection,” said Wicks, who will be in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday to be honored as part of the 1970 NCAA championship team. “I know this is something very special that doesn’t happen to everyone and I am very honored. To be included in the Hall of Fame with all of these great coaches, players and contributors, especially Coach Wooden and Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), really leaves me at a loss for words.”
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