Q: How much heat is on Dan Guerrero and Gene Block with the Steve Alford hire? Regardless of win/loss he is not of the stature UCLA is used to, especially when the precedent was set by John Wooden.
Considering UCLA just gave Guerrero a new extension, I don’t think he’s in jeopardy unless more goes wrong. Way too much money to terminate him without cause ($734,774 for every year left on his contract) and probably not enough reason to do it with cause. Colorado canned Mike Bohn pretty suddenly, but even that was two years after he signed his extension. I don’t think a chancellor’s job would be in danger over a coaching hire.
Q: How close are you and other beat writers to the status on basketball recruiting? Top targets? Current standing of UCLA with them and how close they are to signing?
The full-time recruiting guys more on top of this, but four-star point guard Josh Perkins seems to like UCLA. He also wants to commit somewhere by the end of the summer, his father told Scout.com.
Q: Who are some of the undrafted football players that have a shot at making a pro team?
I can see Joe Fauria landing somewhere even if Detroit cuts him. Needs to work on his blocking, but the right team could figure out ways to use him as a red-zone target.
Q: The biggest knock on Jerry Neuheisel, is lack of arm strength. How much can Coach Alosi improve this?
While arm strength can certainly be improved through workouts, I feel like Jerry is a guy who isn’t going to top out as a big thrower.
Q: With seven highly rated linemen joining the team in the fall, do you see any of the current linemen transferring out, looking for playing time?
Probably want to wait until all of them get here before speculating to much, but if they’re as good as advertised, yes.
Q: Do you know of any of the current football team members that will be taking a medical retirement?
No one definite, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lacy Westbrook does at some point. I wouldn’t mess around after a brain aneurysm, even if trauma usually isn’t the main cause.
Q: Is UCLA’s pitching good enough to win this thing? Won’t they have to hit better?
They’ll likely have to hit a bit better unless opposing teams keep making errors or leaving runners on base. John Savage has done a terrific job with this team already though, regardless of what happens next.
Q: Who is your favorite journalist?
Such a tough question. I’ll limit myself to those still relatively active. Gene Weingarten at the Washington Post is excellent, which is why he has a pair of Pulitzers. My favorite of his covers parents who forget their children in cars. The Post’s Eli Saslow is also very good, and shines regardless of subject matter.
Some other names, in no particular order: GQ’s Tom Junod, Esquire’s Charles Pierce and Chris Jones, ESPN’s Johnette Howard, the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson, SI’s Gary Smith. Drew Magary is hilarious, though his role at Deadspin usually doesn’t involve heavy reporting. Katie J.M. Baker has done impressive work at Jezebel and elsewhere.
Mike Silver and Adrian Wojnarowski at Y! Sports are the best on their respective beats, and Dan Wetzel might be the most versatile guy in sports reporting. His coverage of both Steubenville and Sandusky was outstanding.