Senior night at UCLA a send-off for more than Alford, Hamilton

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.

It should also be noted that the third senior being honored during Saturday’s pregame ceremony is Jerrold Smith, who began his college basketball career as a scout team player for the UCLA women’s team. He will end it as a scholarship player for the most storied program in college basketball.

READ: TJ Leaf a game-time decision for Washington State

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.

Before the Pac-12 tournament begins next week, there is still something on the line Saturday. Continue reading “Senior night at UCLA a send-off for more than Alford, Hamilton” »

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Four Bruins selected in Day 3 of MLB Draft

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).

Combined with pitcher Grant Dyer, who went in the eighth round on Friday, UCLA had five players selected in the 2016 MLB Draft along with four commits from the incoming freshman class. Three commits went on the first day, and Michael Toglia was selected on Saturday as the 1,040th pick in the 35th round by the Colorado Rockies.

Persico and Peterson are both juniors, while Filia and Bono just finished their UCLA baseball careers.  Continue reading “Four Bruins selected in Day 3 of MLB Draft” »

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

UCLA pitcher Grant Dyer selected in eighth round of MLB Draft

Grant Dyer was the first UCLA player drafted in the 2016 MLB Draft, going 227th overall to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. The junior went 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 starts this past year.

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.

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Three UCLA commits picked in Day 1 of MLB Draft

Coming off a disappointing 25-31 year, the UCLA baseball team could be losing out on a lot of talent in its incoming freshman class.

Three UCLA commits were selected in the first day of the MLB Draft on Thursday, including outfielder Mickey Moniak, who went as the No. 1 overall pick to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Along with the La Costa Canyon High outfielder, Chaminade Prep outfielder Blake Rutherford went 18th overall to the Yankees.

Santa Barbara High pitcher Kevin Gowdy went off the board in the second round to the Phillies with the 42nd overall pick.

The trio of commits played for the U.S. U18 national team in the World Cup, winning a gold medal in Japan.

The MLB Draft continues Friday and Saturday.

The Daily News prep writers have a behind-the-scenes look at Rutherford’s draft moment when he hears his name called:

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

UCLA freshman Kyle Molnar named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week

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.

Molnar, who opened the season as UCLA’s Sunday starter, was ranked as Baseball America’s No. 53 draft prospect. The Aliso Niguel alum was intent on going to college despite one West Coast scout describing him as the most pro-ready high school pitcher available last year.

The 6-foot-4 freshman has a 4.50 ERA through five starts, but that number drops to 3.43 after excluding his career debut against North Carolina.

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page