Where UCLA figures land on SCNG’s 50 Most Powerful in SoCal Sports

Clockwise from top left: UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, point guard Lonzo Ball, football head coach Jim Mora and athletic director Dan Guerrero were all named to the SCNG’s list of 50 Most Powerful in SoCal Sports. (Photos by Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News, Ethan Miller/Getty Images, Brittany Murray/Daily Breeze, and Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

With new football and basketball facilities opening on campus this year, athletic director Dan Guerrero moved up one spot in the Southern California New Group’s list of the 50 Most Powerful in SoCal Sports. Guerrero, ranked 23rd this year, leads a group of UCLA figures on the annual list.

Others with UCLA ties:

See the full list here

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Men’s basketball: Hall of Fame Classic championship matchups set

Center Thomas Welsh’s is  UCLA’s only returning starter from last year’s team that made it to the Sweet 16. (Harry How/Getty Images)

UCLA finalized its 2017-18 nonconference schedule Tuesday as the Hall of Fame Classic filled out its championship round pairings. The Bruins will face Creighton in the opening game of the championship round on Nov. 20 in Kansas City, Mo., at 6:30 p.m. PT, then face either Baylor or Wisconsin on Nov. 21.

UCLA, Creighton, Baylor and Wisconsin are the host participants for the Hall of Fame Classic and will each play two games at home before advancing to the championship round in Kansas City.

Creighton (25-10 last year) shared an NCAA Regional host with UCLA, but lost to 11th-seeded Rhode Island in the first round of the tournament in Sacramento. Baylor (27-8) and Wisconsin (29-9) both lost in the Sweet 16.

With the selection committee placing greater emphasis on road wins this year, the Hall of Fame Classic’s potential matchups guarantees UCLA a valuable neutral game against an opponent that finished last year in the top 16. Wisconsin was ranked 16th in the final AP Poll while Baylor was No. 12. A neutral game against a top-50 team is included in the most valuable games for a team during selection time, according to the committee’s revised criteria. Other games in that top category include home games against top-30 teams and road games against teams in the top 75.

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Lonzo Ball named NBA Summer League MVP as Lakers win championship

The Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, center, celebrates with teammate Kyle Kuzma, right, after the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 110-98 in an NBA summer league championship basketball game, Monday, July 17, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Lonzo Ball didn’t play in the Lakers’ 110-98 NBA Summer League championship win over the Portland Trailblazers, but the former UCLA point guard still claimed league MVP honors Monday in Las Vegas.

Ball was held out due to a calf injury Monday, but averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds in his six games. Travis Wear, another former Bruin, also helped the Lakers to their summer league championship.

More from the OC Register’s Bill Oram on the championship game

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UCLA basketball links: Bruins in the NBA Summer League

Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball shoots over Los Angeles Clippers’ Brice Johnson (10) during overtime of an NBA summer league basketball game, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) ORG XMIT: NVJL117

Lonzo Ball‘s much-anticipated NBA Summer League debut for the Lakers started with a bang: an alley-oop pass to Brandon Ingram on the team’s very first possession.

The former UCLA Bruin’s night ended with his father LaVar Ball saying Lonzo did “the worst you can do,” after Ball was 2 for 15 shooting in the Lakers’ 96-93 overtime loss to the Clippers in Las Vegas on Friday.

Despite struggling with his shot, Ball still made an impact with five assists, four rebounds, two steals and one block.

More on Ball’s Summer League debut

Other links:

  • TJ Leaf was one of NBA.com’s 10 standouts from the Orlando Summer League with the Indiana Pacers. He played in three of the Pacers’ five games, averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
    • Fellow Pacers draft pick Ike Anigbogu did not participate in any summer league games due to a knee injury, according to the Indianapolis Star.
    • Undrafted guard Isaac Hamilton averaged 5.3 points and one rebound in three summer league games with the Pacers.
  • From the Albuquerque Journal: Bryce Alford, who landed with the Golden State Warriors after going undrafted, will stick to what he knows best: shooting. The Warriors start their summer league schedule Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN against the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas.
  • Jonah Bolden, who attended UCLA for one year before going to Europe to turn pro, played in three game with the 76ers in the Utah Summer League, averaging 10 points and 5.3 rebounds. The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about Bolden’s defensive versatility after he had a team-high four blocks in his debut. His team will continue summer league play in Las Vegas.
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UCLA basketball schedule revealed, sets up drama with USC

The UCLA basketball team will play at USC on the final day of the 2017-18 regular season, a game that could have large implications. (Thomas Cordova SCNG)

The Pac-12 conference basketball schedule released Thursday revealed both good and bad for UCLA.

Logistically, the Bruins can be thrilled with the stroke of luck that landed Arizona on their schedule just once in the regular season. The Wildcats could be a preseason No. 1 team in the country and avoiding a second meeting could be the difference in winning a conference championship. For example, Arizona and Oregon played each other just once last season, while UCLA had to play each twice, a fate that probably cost it a share of the conference title.

The timing of UCLA’s matchups with USC, which could form the top tier in the Pac-12 along with Arizona and UCLA, isn’t particularly favorable for the Bruins.

UCLA plays at USC in the final game of the regular season, where a more talented Bruins team than the 2017-18 version wilted in its worst performance of last season. UCLA’s first matchup with USC will be the final game of the first round of Pac-12 play and precedes the week it plays at Arizona and against Oregon in Pauley Pavilion, its toughest stretch of conference play.

UCLA can take some solace in its young team being able to ease into conference play by hosting the Washington schools to open Pac-12 play and visiting Cal and Stanford the next week. Last season, by comparison, UCLA opened with a last-second loss at eventual conference co-champion Oregon and its second road trip was the Colorado-Utah combination that only two programs have emerged from unscathed in Pac-12 history.

2017-18 UCLA Men’s Basketball Schedule

Nov. 10       vs. Georgia Tech (Shanghai, China)

Nov. 15       vs. Central Arkansas

Nov. 17       vs. South Carolina State Continue reading “UCLA basketball schedule revealed, sets up drama with USC” »

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