Ann Meyers Drysdale is extending her influence on UCLA basketball. Having been named Chair of Hoops for Youth, she’ll lead a program that enables underprivileged children who have likely never seen college basketball in person to attend UCLA basketball games.
Myers Drysdale, a member of the UCLA 1978 national championship team, went on to a prolific career as a broadcaster and member of the front office for the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. She was the first woman to receive a four-year athletic scholarship to UCLA.
“UCLA basketball is in my blood,” Meyers Drysdale said. “I know how magical it is to be part of the tradition of UCLA basketball and I want others to have the opportunity to experience that tradition first-hand as well.” Continue reading
UCLA shooting guard Prince Ali had surgery on his left meniscus Friday, according to the school’s athletic department, and isn’t likely to be ready for the season opener Nov. 11. The 6-foot-3 sophomore suffered the injury July 8 playing basketball in open gym.
Ali was a key reserve last season, but an increase in his role this coming season wasn’t a certainty given the arrival of Naismith High School Player of the year, freshman point guard Lonzo Ball.
Ali, a four-star recruit from Weston, Fl., averaged 3.9 points in 11.8 minutes per game as a freshman. The speculation is that Ball’s arrival will shift Bryce Alford from point guard to shooting guard. Ali was likely to serve as Alford’s primary backup. Continue reading
The Wooden Legacy, a three-game tournament likely to provide the UCLA men’s basketball team’s best nonconference opponent this coming season outside of Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan, revealed its bracket on Thursday. UCLA will open the four-day event against Portland on Nov. 24.
On Nov. 25 the Bruins will face either Dayton, a 2016 NCAA tournament team, or Nebraska, which finished 11th in the Big Ten last season. On Nov. 27, the Bruins will take on one of four teams from the other side of the eight-team bracket: Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, New Mexico and Cal State Northridge.
Last season Texas A&M won the SEC, Virginia Tech went to the NIT with a 20-15 mark in the deep ACC, New Mexico State finished fifth in the Mountain West and CSUN was 10 games under .500. Continue reading
The program’s first trip to Kentucky’s Rupp Arena and a pair of games against reputable Big Ten programs headlined the UCLA men’s basketball 2016-17 nonconference schedule released Tuesday.
Of 13 nonconference opponents including Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio State, only three remain unknown. The Wooden Legacy, an eight-team tournament beginning on Thanksgiving, includes three UCLA contests yet to be determined against a field of Texas A&M, Dayton, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland and Cal State Northridge.
Despite a nonconference slate last season dotted with matchups against the likes of Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga and Kentucky, UCLA went 9-5 during the portion of the season where it showed the most promise. Tying the worst conference record in school history, a 6-12 mark good for 10th in the Pac-12, is what the Bruins are hoping to avoid this season.
“We’re confident that this nonconference schedule is not only going to go a long way towards helping our team prepare for Pac-12 play, but ultimately it’s going to pay dividends for us in March,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Over the last three years, we’ve upgraded our program’s non-conference schedule, and this year is no exception.”
A year ago this time, Nate Meadors was a senior at San Gorgonio High School without a single major conference scholarship offer. The precipitous ascent of over the last 12 months could land him in the UCLA secondary rotation as a true freshman.
Meadors played out of position his final year of high school, but the athleticism he displayed as a quarterback led to an onslaught of scholarship offers including Notre Dame, Oregon and several other Pac-12 programs. The safety’s choice of UCLA looks good so far.
After enrolling in the spring, Meadors made significant inroads during spring practice. The 6-foot, 190-pound freshman has put on 10 pounds since joining the Bruins and likes his chances to earn playing time this season.
“That was the whole reason I came to spring practice, was so I could get a better edge, better for me so I could play as a true freshman,” Meadors said. “I think I’m doing pretty well so far and once I get all the plays down, I’ll be really good.” Continue reading