Norman Powell says UCLA ‘closer’ this year


Junior guard Norman Powell said this year’s UCLA squad feels closer than it did last season.

“We’re doing more team-building activities, which means a lot more time together,” said Powell, who thought about transferring out until Ben Howland was fired. “Everybody’s helping one another. The freshmen don’t feel left out. … We’re closer as a family.”

But what team-building activities? “Pass the orange” was one.

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Basketball notes: Steve Alford talks guard rotation, schemes


UCLA officially started practicing this past Saturday, and the first 15 minutes of Monday’s afternoon session was open to the media. The Bruins didn’t do anything intensive to start, but freshman Bryce Alford manned the point while Kyle Anderson did individual drills at the other end of the court.

Anderson said he’s playing a lot more point guard than he did under former head coach Ben Howland, estimating the increase at roughly 90 percent.

Other notes: Continue reading

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8th annual Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic scheduled

The eighth annual Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic has been scheduled for May 19, 2014. As it was this past spring, the event will take place at the Riviera Country Club. It is the biggest fundraising event for the Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation, which benefits children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, who are mentally and physically-challenged children, or otherwise at risk.

The W Hotel in Westwood will host a VIP party the night before the golf tournament. For more info, visit countonmefoundation.org.

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Xavier Su’a-Filo (sort of) explains choosing UCLA

In today’s football notebook, Utah native Xavier Su’a-Filo talked about what it means to finally play in his home state as a collegiate athlete. A former state champion, his return will happen in the same place where he helped Timpview High to its third straight state title.

He also touched on his decision to leave the Beehive State for Los Angeles four years ago:

“I feel like the morning of signing day, UCLA felt like the right place for me. I couldn’t exactly explain to you why I felt that way. Even when my freshman year came, I was still a little curious why. I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”

He didn’t waver after his mission ended. Continue reading

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