UCLA women’s tennis wins school’s 111th NCAA championship

For the second time in six months, UCLA will need to update its championship displays.

The athletics program earned its 111th NCAA title on Tuesday, extending its own record when the women’s tennis team beat North Carolina, 4-3, in Athens, Ga. Sophomore Kyle McPhillips clinched the trophy with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Carolinae Price.

It was the team’s second-ever national championship, and followed a season that featured a 29-0 record in doubles play. The Bruins won their first team title in 2008.

The UCLA women’s soccer team won NCAA championship No. 110 in December.

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Brett Hundley does his best Terry Tate impression

In a short for UCLA’s annual Spring Sing, Brett Hundley became UCLA’s campus enforcer — a nice play off of the famous Terry Tate Reebok commercials.

Fullback Luke Gane, featured as Hundley’s hype man, is part of the Spring Sing company. He also played the Joker two years ago in a team talent show short with quarterback Jerry Neuheisel.

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UCLA’s season opener at Virginia scheduled for 9 a.m. PT

UCLA will start its 2014 season bright and early.

The Bruins’ opener at Virginia will tip off at 9 a.m. PT, and be broadcast on ESPN. They fell into an 18-point hole at Nebraska last season in a similarly early start before rallying back, but also were also still grappling with the death of receiver Nick Pasquale.

The Cavaliars are coming off a 2-10 season and a winless trek through its ACC schedule.

UCLA last opened a season on ESPN in 2008, when it beat No. 18 Tennessee in a 27-24 overtime win at the Rose Bowl.

No other kickoff times have yet been released.

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Pac-12 links: AT&T’s deal for DirecTV could expand Pac-12 Networks’ reach

» AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV for $48.5 billion could finally make Pac-12 Networks available on the latter, but not until 2015 or 2016.

» Oregon State didn’t make the splashiest hire in Wayne Tinkle, but the Beavers also aren’t taking a major risk.

» After a weekend tryout, the Green Bay Packers signed former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. Lyerla went undrafted earlier this month, his troubled history weighing down his physical talents. Continue reading

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Four-star recruit Jaason Lewis decommits from UCLA

Four-star prospect Jaason Lewis has decommitted from UCLA, leaving the Bruins with six names in the class of 2015.

Lewis told Rivals.com that he reopened his recruiting due to family reasons. Rated a top-20 athlete nationally, the Virginia Beach product said he is still considering UCLA along with every other school on his list.

At 6-foot-4, 246 pounds, Lewis would have likely played running back as a Bruin. Three-star tailback Bolu Olorunfunmi committed to UCLA in March, roughly a month after Lewis did.

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Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation hosts eighth annual Celebrity Golf Classic

The eighth annual Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic takes place on Monday at the Riviera Country Club. The event is the main fundraiser for the Count on Me Family Foundation run by Mora and his wife, Shannon, which benefits children who are in need and at risk.

This year’s golf event will include actors Joel McHale and Kevin Nealon, as well as several former NFL players such as Jonathan Ogden and Rod Woodson.

The 11 charities that received partnership grants in the most recent cycle include Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the Special Olympics of Southern California, Washington and Georgia.

The foundation takes donations via PayPal, and also has an Amazon Associates program that donates up to 8.5% of your Amazon.com purchases.

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NBA combine roundup: Zach LaVine wows with athleticism

To understand just how well Zach LaVine did at this week’s NBA Draft Combine, take a look at these numbers: first, second, eighth, fourth, third.

That’s what he placed in strength and agility drills among 59 participants, doing so with — respectively — a 10.42-second lane agility drill, a 2.8-second shuttle run, a 3.19-second three-quarter sprint, a 33.5-inch standing vertical, and a 41.5-inch max vertical. No one else placed top-10 in all five.

The NBA combine doesn’t usually move draft stock as much as the NFL’s does, so top prospects often sit out of drills. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid all sat out completely this year, not even traveling to Chicago for interviews and measurements.

That said, this is exactly the type of environment LaVine was going to use to his advantage. Continue reading

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UCLA to host Fresno State at Rose Bowl in 2018

UCLA has almost found enough nonconference opponents for the next five years.

The Bruins have beefed up their schedules significantly since head coach Jim Mora arrived, and the latest addition is a 2018 date with Fresno State. UCLA will host the Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl on Sept. 15 that year, a week after it visits Oklahoma to start a home-and-home series.

Fresno State is 20-6 in two seasons under Tim DeRuyter, but has yet to win a bowl game.

UCLA’s 2018 season opener is not yet filled.

The Bruins also have home-and-home series scheduled against Texas A&M, Rutgers, Michigan and LSU. See the rest of their future nonconference slates after the jump. Continue reading

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Linebackers Myles Jack, Eric Kendricks make Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list

Can UCLA pull off a repeat?

Linebackers Myles Jack and Eric Kendricks were both named to the 42-man watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy — which Anthony Barr won last year. Kendricks, a senior, also made last year’s preseason list.

One of the sport’s major national awards, its stated criteria is “to give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance from a defensive college player.”

Jack and Kendricks were two of the Pac-12′s 11 nominees. USC, Stanford and Washington each also placed two names on the list.

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UCLA football, men’s basketball APR scores trending up

Both UCLA football and men’s basketball teams have earned their highest academic progress rates in a decade.

The former scored a four-year APR of 979 for the 2012-13 academic year, second in the Pac-12 behind Stanford. The program’s multi-year score has improved each year since it recorded a 915 in 2004-05.

Basketball was seventh in the conference at 969 — a significant improvement from the 951, 942 and 948 it scored in the three prior academic years.

Head coach Jim Mora earned a $50,000 bonus for having the football team reach an APR of at least 930, and a graduation success rate of more than 56 percent. Steve Alford earned a $10,000 bonus for having the men’s basketball team clear an APR of 925.

To compete in the NCAA postseason, teams must have a minimum four-year APR of 900 or a two-year average of 930. Starting in 2014-15, that bar rises to 930 and 940.

The five UCLA teams that earned perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000 were baseball, women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, women’s water polo and women’s golf — which also scored perfectly on its four-year average. Continue reading

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