After Art Briles praised UCLA as a very disciplined team during Wednesday’s press conference, Jim Mora was asked what was key to shaping his team.
He chalked it up generally to the demands he and his staff put on the players, but made clear that fall camp in San Bernardino laid the foundation for everything the Bruins have become, allowing them to be isolated from distractions with the added bonus of extreme heat. Mora said he wants to have the team go back every year.
“They’re still young men,” he said. “They’re developing. They still think they have limits and we need to push them beyond those limits.”
Somewhat unprompted, he dismissed the idea that UCLA’s nation-leading 123 penalties is evidence against discipline — taking a dig at conference officials along the way.
“Some of those penalties are discipline penalties,” Mora said. “Some of those are, we play hard, we play violent and we play through the echo of the whistle. Some of them are horrible calls. We all know the Pac-12 has the reputation for being a little over the top in throwing that flag.”
Pac-12 teams make up four of the five most-penalized squads in the country, so this wasn’t exactly a guarded secret. Still, it was one of the few times this season Mora has commented on it so explicitly.