Q: What do you think our chances are for getting either Jordan McLaughlin or Quentin Snider? If not them, is there anyone else we are in the running for?
McLaughlin will likely commit to USC when he announces on Wednesday; UCLA didn’t really prioritize him over the past few months. Snider is more of a toss-up, though he seems like a Illinois lean after taking a visit there. UCLA still has a chance to sway him. If the Bruins strike out on both, which is a distinct possibility, their point guard recruiting for 2014 looks dire.
Q: What are the Bruins doing to acclimate themselves for what will be a local 9 am PDT kickoff on Saturday in Lincoln? Morning practices? Getting out to Lincoln by Thursday afternoon?
UCLA has held morning practices for most of camp and the season, and usually starts lifting before 6 a.m. Mora moved a few practices earlier this week to help them acclimate, but he’s not too concerned with the time difference given the team’s usual routine.
Q: Of the freshmen that played against Nevada, which ones are the coaches raving most about. Please don’t spare me of the details.
Lots of guys on the defense. Myles Jack and Eddie Vanderdoes should both be starting by the end of the season, and likely sooner. Kenny Clark and Kylie Fitts will both carve out significant roles for themselves on the defensive line. Deon Hollins wasn’t great in his first game, but he got lots of playing time and should eventually develop into a very good rush linebacker. On offense, Alex Redmond is a physically gifted lineman and looks like the real deal at right guard.
Q: I’d like your take on the media’s coverage of the heat Lane Kiffin is taking vs. the coverage the sane media gave Ben Howland, Rick Neuheisel, and Karl Dorrell. All three UCLA coaches were defended vehemently by the media, both local and national. Meanwhile, both local and national media have jumped on the “fire Kiffin” bandwagon.
I think a lot of it stems from just how unlikable Lane Kiffin is. He’s not only cold to the media, but also prone to paranoid scheming, shirking of accountability, and outright lies. Outside of professional responsibilities, I’ve also heard stories of him being very standoffish when approached by rival fans, even when those fans are friendly. Couple that with a very lackluster coaching record, and the seat gets pretty hot.
Howland wasn’t exactly cuddly with the media, but he was a good coach who had three straight Final Fours on his resume. Neuheisel had baggage in both Washington and Colorado before coming to UCLA, but he was a smooth talker who quickly secured himself a media job. Dorrell was just kind of quiet and unassuming.
Q: After hearing that Nebraska gave up over 600 yards to Wyoming, what do you think our chances are of winning especially after the sad news of Nick passing away. Can we now say the monopoly in Los Angeles is officially over?
I think UCLA’s chances are decent. Its offense can stick with just about any defense, and I don’t expect the defense to start as slowly as it did in the season opener. The Bruins also have two games’ worth of film on Nebraska this season, vs. essentially nothing on Nevada. Pasquale’s death could provide a bit of extra motivation, but I think the emotional toll of that makes it a bit of a wash for this Saturday.
It’s safe to say the monopoly is over, even if UCLA hasn’t officially seized control.
Q: What’s the scoop on the knucklehead who was on the phone during Jim Mora’s press conference eulogizing Nick Pasquale? What news media was this person from? Did the media station apologize, or at the very least, acknowledge the blunder?
NBC4 issued an apology Monday night.
Q: Do you think that Jim Mora could get UCLA an on-campus football stadium? Is he interested in getting one?
I’m sure he’s interested in the same way that I’m interested in a new mansion, but there are too many logistical and financial barriers to constructing an on-campus stadium. There just isn’t much free space on campus, and the local residents would fume at the idea of increased traffic.
Q: Are you doing the chat on this site for every football game?
Yes! Do come join, though deadline and other responsibilities will usually distract me from actually chatting for certain stretches.