Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford will be honored on senior night before UCLA’s regular season finale against Washington State
Isaac Hamilton was Steve Alford’s first recruit at UCLA. Bryce Alford will leave campus as the fifth-leading scorer in the history of UCLA basketball. The two seniors will be honored on senior night before Saturday’s regular season finale against Washington State.
As for UCLA’s two best players? It’s almost a certainty that Saturday is Lonzo Ball’s final game at Pauley Pavilion. TJ Leaf’s was probably Wednesday – when he sprained his ankle and created UCLA’s biggest postseason concern. Ball is likely a top-five pick and Leaf a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA draft, should they depart after one season.
The chemistry of this UCLA team is fairly remarkable considering the convergence of youth and experience. The expectations for the postseason are lofty, especially considering the eight-game winning streak during which the Bruins augmented the nation’s best offense with respectable defense.
Four more UCLA players went off the MLB Draft board on Saturday: infielder Luke Persico (352nd pick, 12 round, Oakland Athletics), outfielders Eric Filia (587th pick, 20th round, Seattle Mariners), Kort Peterson (703rd pick, 23rd round, Kansas City Royals) and Christoph Bono (1,115th pock, 37th round, San Francisco Giants).
Dyer was the third player with UCLA ties drafted by the Phillies in the first two days of the draft. The Phillies selected two UCLA commits on Thursday: Mickey Moniak (first pick, first round) and Kevin Gowdy (42nd pick, second round).
Blake Rutherford, another UCLA commit, was drafted by the Yankees on Thursday with the 18th pick in the first round.
UCLA’s Kyle Molnar was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week today, his prize for accomplishing something no Bruin had in over a decade.
The freshman righty struck out eight batters in a row in an 11-2 win over Washington State on Sunday, giving the team its fifth straight win and a series sweep to open conference play. The last UCLA pitcher to record that many consecutive strikeouts was David Huff, who fanned nine straight on Feb. 16, 2006 at Pacific.
Molnar’s streak looks even more impressive given the Bruins’ track record of producing top pitchers. Since Huff was taken 39th overall in the 2006 MLB draft, seven UCLA pitchers have become either first-, second- or third-round picks.
That run includes Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer — who went first and third overall in 2011 — as well as James Kaprielian, who went 16th to the New York Yankees last June. Cole struck out seven straight against Texas A&M in March 2010.