Q: What is your gut feeling on whether or not Brett Hundley stays? Should he decide to bolt for the NFL, who do you see as starting QB next year? Does Mariota’s announcement that he’s returning for his junior year at Oregon affect BH’s decision? If he leaves, will Devin Fuller get a chance to be quarterback? Do you see a big dropoff from Hundley to the next QB?
A: I think he stays, though I could see a team reaching for him in the first round based on potential. Marcus Mariota’s return to Oregon does thin out the quarterback class, however, as does Zach Mettenberger’s torn ACL. Even Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, a potential No. 1 overall pick, isn’t a complete lock to declare for the draft.
If Hundley does leave, the job will go to Asiantii Woulard, who has major upside. Unless he makes significant strides in spring and fall, however, he wouldn’t be close to what Hundley would do as a third-year starter. Devin Fuller won’t be moving back to quarterback; he’s much more useful as a receiver.
Q: What is the deal with the Wear twins’ slump? Senior leadership works better when your seniors aren’t worse than the underclassmen.
A: David Wear’s production is almost identical to last season, whether you look at minutes (23.4 in 2012-13 to 23.9), points (7.1 to 7.0) or rebounds (5.0 to 5.0). His shooting percentages are up slightly, but normal year-to-year fluctuation would account for that. There’s also no significant difference when you look at advanced statistics like offensive rating and rebounding percentage. He is who he is at this point.
Travis’ points per game (10.9 to 5.5) and rebounds (5.2 to 2.2) have been roughly halved, but he’s also dropped from 28.9 minutes per game to 18.8. Though his shooting percentage is down, what has hampered him the most is defense. After averaging 3.7 fouls per 40 minutes in each of his last two seasons, he’s up to 7.4. We can attribute some of that right now to him working back from his Oct. 28 appendectomy. It’ll be a concern if he doesn’t improve by the end of the calendar year.
Q: Do you know the attendance at the Coliseum (UCLA vs USC)? How many were there for UCLA?
A: Official attendance was 86,037, up slightly from the 83,277 who watched the rivalry game at the Rose Bowl in 2012. I eyeballed roughly a tenth of those at the Coliseum on Nov. 30 wearing blue. Maybe an eighth at most.
Q: Even if the start date for construction is still unknown, is there an estimate on how long it will take to build the new football facility once they put shovels in the ground?
A: Nothing I’d regard as firm, since so many details have yet to be finalized. The players even met with the people from the architecture firm a few weeks ago to provide some input. Some basic construction has already begun in the area next to Pauley Pavilion though: trees cleared out, some low walls, etc.
Q: What is the updated status on Torian White? Is it any closer to being resolved?
A: The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office says the case remains under investigation, so the status is the same as it has been since White’s Nov. 17 arrest on suspicion of sexual assault.
Q: How the hell did Myles Jack not win the Paul Hornung Award for most versatile? He played physically demanding positions on each side of the ball and excelled at both, as a true freshman.
A: Age isn’t among the criteria for the award, but otherwise I’d agree. The only reasons I can think of: 1) Odell Beckham Jr’s kick returns helped LSU all season long, while Myles Jack’s rushing only helped UCLA through the last four; 2) LSU is a more prominent program, which perhaps boosts Beckham in the category of making “a significant impact during big games.”
Q: Which will occur first in 2014: Anthony Barr eating a bowl of dolsot bibimbap or Jim Mora scarfing on pan fried lo bak gao?
A: Smart money’s on the latter. If necessary, I could personally bring Jim some takeout dim sum.