Q: Was Tony Parker hurt in the second half? Some are saying that is why he didn’t play more after a coming out party in the first half.
A: Ben Howland said Parker got tired as USC was making a run. Also said the officials got on Parker for getting “chippy,” but mostly attributed the limited minutes to fatigue. He also basically said that Parker would be relied on to produce similarly against Arizona State. Travis Wear’s official status is day to day, but I doubt he’ll be ready by Wednesday.
Q: How much of this “can’t get the recruit in” is a PR stunt to tow the “Harvard of the West” fantasy? Yes, UCLA is a good school but its educational profile (namely its academic ranking) is not much different now than during the 90’s. If anything you would think the mess up in Sacramento would push the school to develop other sources of revenue, ergo admit a wider range of recruits.
A: Not sure if this is what you’re suggesting, but I don’t think the school is purposely not letting recruits qualify in order to pump up its academic standing. Even if that were a goal, UCLA’s reputation is tied closely enough to athletics that I doubt turning away recruits would build any “Harvard of the West” aura.
Q: Are there any walk-on players that can reasonably contribute in the event anyone else gets hurt?
A: Sooren Derboghosian is the first one off the bench after the scholarship players, and has totaled only seven minutes this season. If a reasonable contribution is, say, replacing 70 percent of a missing player’s production, I’d say no. UCLA will be in trouble if it loses anyone else. That said, we see the walk-ons so little that it’s hard to peg their abilities with certainty. Maybe someone would surprise.
Q: What’s the latest on Don MacLean’s jersey retirement? Have you spoken to anyone within the AD Dept., or the AD himself regarding this oversight and the growing outcry from Bruin basketball fans?
A: I’m not currently aware of any plans for more jersey retirements, but I’ll try and find out more about that process.
Q: With a quarterback playing wide receiver, do you think we’ll see the kind of plays where Brett Hundley throws a quick out to Devin Fuller, who then passes? Or maybe a reverse with pass? I remember one flea-flicker this past year, but not many real trick plays other than that.
A: Maybe, though speculating on trick plays is almost pure guesswork at this point. Devin Fuller seemed intent on still competing on quarterback, so using him in packages might be a good way to balance that.