Lazeric Jones scores 14 first-half points to help the Bruins cut the lead to 1 by halftime.
As reported earlier, Norman Powell and Lazeric Jones will play tonight. Both suffered left ankle sprains but returned to practice yesterday and participated in this morning’s shootaround and warmups just a while ago.
Game tips off at 8 p.m. here at Maples. Will update you at halftime and after the game. Hang in there as we’re on a tight deadline for the paper, too. You can also follow live updates at http://www.twitter.com/jillpainter.
And happy new year!
Kai Maiava, Randall Carroll, Aramide Olaniyan tweeted Sunday night about their displeasure over not receiving checks UCLA withheld for missing mandatory (this is up for debate) workouts and not turning in academic exit forms in time. Many players – even those that didn’t tweet about not receiving checks – said these workouts during finals week for bowl prep have always been voluntary.
Players tweeted about how they would be hungry because they didn’t have money, but a few hours later the issue was resolved.
“The last thing we want to do is to have anybody starve,” Mike Johnson said.
Coincidentally, UCLA is playing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Jeff Locke took to twitter to defend UCLA and said after practice Monday: “The way it was treated by some of the players in the media made us look bad. I don’t think they should’ve made the school look bad at all. The way it was put out by some players made it look a lot worse than it really was. I think it was handled fine. We might have messed up for a second, but in the end it’s all fine.”
Here is UCLA’s statement from Nick Ammazzalorso, director of athletic communications, regarding the checks that were withheld from some players:
“All of our players were advised that they would need to complete three of five workouts and submit academic exit forms prior to Sunday’s practice in order to receive their bowl checks. Those who did not complete their assignment had their checks withheld. The coaching staff changed its mind when they realized that withholding the money would cause the players some financial hardship.”
Hope you’re feeling the holiday spirit and want to help Kiffin for a good cause…. this is a great time for USC and UCLA to come together to help children. Forget the rivalry for just a minute and help provide some Christmas cheer to kids who are less fortunate!
from USC… Kiffin is hosting the Kiff’s Kids toy drive to benefit children from the local community on Saturday at the USC-UCLA football game. Fans are encouraged to bring a toy or unwrapped gift to collection boxes set up around the Coliseum.
It’s USC-UCLA rivalry week, so it’s a good time to revisit Rick Neuheisel’s the-monopoly-is-over-ad and the gap-is-closing with USC.
This is what Neuheisal said on Monday.
“We have closed the gap,” Neuheisel said. “We have a chance to win the championship. The gap has closed. I don’t know it’s all the way done. We’ll talk after the ball game.”
* Richard Brehaut is listed at 50-50 this week on the injury report.
Asked what the plan is for the quarterbacks if Brehaut can play, Rick Neuheisel said: “ “Well, we’ll determine that plan when and if he’s ready to play, and that will be an ongoing thing. It’s a nice thing to have two quarterbacks that are capable of helping us win.”
* Dietrich Riley (neck) is out.
* UCLA coach Neuheisel said Norm Chow called him earlier this year to thank him for a concept he used at #Utah in BYU game. Friends or foes?
“I don’t know exactly what’s been said about Norm and I,” Neuheisel said. “We both feel we know the quarterback position. We’ve had lots of great conversations. I’ve enjoyed that banter. I learned from him. Whether he learned from me, you’d have to ask him.”
More to come.
Rick Neuheisel said Jerry Rice Jr., Jerry Johnson have an opportunity to see time at reciever this Saturday. Jordan James should see time outside Saturday against Cal.
“(Rice) has been chomping at the bit to play,” Neuheisel said. “We’ve got other ways we can play 11-man football. We’ll use all of them.”
Neuheisel said he wasn’t sure if QB Brett Hundley would play against the Bears, but he said he wasn’t 100 percent ready to play at Arizona. That doesn’t preclude that he couldn’t be ready for Cal this weekend.
De’End Parker and Anthony Stover both suffered concussions during UCLA’s hoops practices in the last week. Parker sustained his concussion on Saturday. He ran into the elbow of David Wear while he was driving the lane.
Stover suffered his concussion during a drill in practice last Monday, one week ago. He is expected to return to practice on Wednesday.