UCLA forward Jonah Bolden out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery

UCLA forward Jonah Bolden will be out for six to eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday morning.

Bolden, who is expected to start in 2015-16, had the operation to repair a slight meniscus tear in his right knee. He is expected to make a full recovery, according to a team spokesperson.

The former four-star recruit will need to fill a major void for the Bruins, who lost 6-foot-9 power forward Kevon Looney to the NBA draft. Bolden had signed as part of the 2014 class, but was ruled ineligible to play as a freshman due to issues with his high school transfer from Australia.

At 6-foot-10, Bolden could potentially play either forward spot for UCLA.

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UCLA spring camp position review: Defensive line

Enjoy watching Kenny Clark and Eddie Vanderdoes while you can. Both could be signing NFL contracts by this time next year.

UCLA will enter this fall with arguably the best defensive line duo in the conference, a pair that last season combined for 108 tackles, including 11 for loss. All-Pac-12 nods aren’t the most accurate measures of talent and/or performance, but of the eight defensive linemen that made first or second team last fall, Clark is one of two that return. (The other is Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, who like Clark is making NFL mock drafts as a potential first-round pick.) Vanderdoes followed right behind as an honorable mention.

Clark in particular was vital to the Bruins’ run defense, and is about as stout a nose tackle as you can find in college football. Looking back at his impact the last two seasons, it’s incredible that UCLA was considering redshirting him back in August 2013, during his first camp in San Bernardino. There were several times last fall when opposing offenses noticeably directed the ball away from the middle, where he and Vanderdoes stood as imposing obstacles. Continue reading

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Q&A: Former UCLA guard Darren Collison reflects on his NBA career

Darren Collison scrambles for a loose ball against Memphis' Antonio Anderson during UCLA's 78-63 loss in the 2008 Final Four. (Eric Gay/AP)

Darren Collison scrambles for a loose ball against Memphis’ Antonio Anderson during UCLA’s 78-63 loss in the 2008 Final Four. (Eric Gay/AP)

Four-year stars are rare in today’s college basketball landscape, which makes Darren Collison’s career seem like it belongs in a time capsule. The former UCLA point guard was the last Bruin to be taken in the NBA draft after exhausting his college eligibility, going 21st overall in 2009.

Now entering his seventh season as a pro, Collison took some time to talk about his NBA career, the growth of his youth basketball camp, and his thoughts on the state of UCLA men’s basketball.

Q: You’ve spent a lot of your career as a backup and journeyman. What did it mean for your career to sign a three-year contract with the Sacramento Kings and have a chance to be a starter?

It was a big step in my career. We all talk about stability, whether you’re working in the real world or you’re playing sports. I think stability was a part of my success this past season, because you kind of know where you’re going to be, you know who the coach is going to be, you know who your teammates are.

Q: The last time you had started full-time was with the Indiana Pacers. What was the difference in doing so again three years later?

I’m more confident than I was when I was in Indiana. I was still figuring out my way around (back then). I was ready to go (this time). I was ready to show the league that i was more than capable of starting. Not just starting, but being an above-average starter.

Q: You averaged a career-high 16.1 points as well as 5.6 assists before your injury. Do you feel like you proved people wrong?

Without a doubt, but at the same time, I knew my capability. People only came to that conclusion (that I couldn’t) because I’d been coming off the bench for a year and a half. They didn’t really do their research as to why I was coming off the bench. I knew I could start for any team. … I didn’t really care what team. Continue reading

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UCLA softball set to host No. 10 Missouri in NCAA Super Regional

UCLA catcher Stephany LaRosa heads for home plate after hitting a home run during a 9-1 win over CSUN on Friday. The Bruins hit 10 home runs as they swept through their NCAA Regional in three games at  Easton Stadium (Hans Gutknecht/Staff)

UCLA catcher Stephany LaRosa heads for home plate after hitting a home run during a 9-1 win over CSUN on Friday. The Bruins hit 10 home runs as they swept through their NCAA Regional in three games at Easton Stadium. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff)

UCLA softball will host its second straight NCAA Super Regionals this weekend, with No. 10 Missouri standing in the way of its first Women’s College World Series berth since 2010 — also the year of the Bruins’ last national title. The two teams met once before back in February, with UCLA triumphing 8-0 in six innings.

The upcoming schedule at Easton Stadium:
Saturday, May 23 — Game 1, 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 24 — Game 2, 12 p.m.
Sunday, May 24 — Game 3, 3 p.m. (if necessary)

The seventh-seeded Bruins are operating in peak form, coming off wins over CSUN (9-1, five innings), Texas (4-1), and San Diego State (8-0, six innings).

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James Kaprielian, David Berg pitch the first no-hitter in UCLA history

John Savage has groomed a long line of outstanding pitchers at UCLA. None of them ever pulled off what happened on Friday night.

To start the Bruins’ last Pac-12 home series of the season, James Kaprielian and David Berg combined to pitch 10 no-hit innings in a walk-off win over Arizona. It was the first no-hitter since UCLA baseball began taking records in 1946, and the first time the Wildcats had been no-hit since 1970 — eight years before they even joined the conference.

Kaprielian, who leads the league in strikeouts, tied his season-high with 11 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. He was brilliant through nine innings, retiring 14 straight batters from the third to the seventh. Berg, arguably the greatest closer in NCAA history, closed out the 10th before Kevin Kramer plated the winning run on a walk-off sac fly.

Earlier on Friday, UCLA softball began postseason play in a very different style, opening the NCAA Regional by mercy ruling CSUN in a 9-1 win. The Bruins hit three home runs in the third, shelling Matador pitcher Zoe Conley, who had only given up six homers all season.

UCLA is shooting to return to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2010.

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